René Descartes, Nietzsche, thinking, reality, subject, consciousness, identity, knowledge, human subject, society, feelings, rationality, certainty, illusion
"Cogito ergo sum. "I think, therefore I am'. This Latin locution, uttered by René Descartes, philosophers of the Enlightenment, gives an unmistakable type of view of human consciousness. Since I have the will and the consciousness to think, I am, I exist. My thought, which I observe, refers to the active subject that I am and which is its origin.
Now, in Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche wants to denounce this 'superstition'. It is not because I want to think that I do so. Nietzsche has a deep contempt for this thinking ("If I am spoken to..."), as if this subject did not need to be given so much importance. It is the thought that comes when it wants, not when I want it, according to this philosopher.
[...] The discovery of human subjectivity, i.e., the cogito, brings the awareness of being aware. The consequence is that I cannot think without thinking about the fact that I am at the same time thinking. The human subject is the foundation of intellectual activity and moral responsibility. What is a man if he is not a subject? It is precisely the cogito that he needed in order to reflect on his actions, as an active subject. For, in fact, Man has built our society, the one defined by all the rules existing to this day, written because of past acts, and coherent thoughts. [...]
[...] For example, when I try not to think, I necessarily think about not thinking. Then it is impossible not to think. Thinking suggests an active subject. It is therefore logical that, as I think, I exist. This little 'something' that logicians seem to be attached to is not a certainty according to Nietzsche. In this way, Nietzsche questions the existence of a subject that would consciously dictate its actions. He sees in this 'something' an interpretation of the action, which does not belong to the process itself. [...]
[...] In the sixteenth century, the term "subject" breaks away and appears in its direct translation subjectum; in addition to subject, it becomes matter, theme, substance and person. Nietzsche illustrates this with the example of ancient atomism philosophical and physical current that asserts that matter is discontinuous and composed of unbreakable elements). He explains that to force, ancient atomism added a subject that conditions action. This subject is the atom, 'the particle of matter' that is supposed to be the seat of force. [...]
[...] Then, in a second step, we will see that it is not impossible to question the reality of the subject. Say that I exist, a way to assert oneself as a subject? Consciousness is the mere means of my identity. Indeed, since Nietzsche aims to relativize the importance of knowledge or consciousness, it is understandable that it aspires to be merely a way for life to express itself. In order to have consciousness, I must discard that which prevents it from developing. [...]
[...] Is the Reality of the Subject a Certainty or an Illusion? "Cogito ergo sum. think, therefore I am'. This Latin locution, uttered by René Descartes, philosophers of the Enlightenment, gives an unmistakable type of view of human consciousness. Since I have the will and the consciousness to think, I am, I exist. My thought, which I observe, refers to the active subject that I am, and which is its origin. Now, in Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche wants to denounce this 'superstition.' It is not because I want to think that I do so. [...]
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