I loved your series. Question:
Is that all not a consequence of "I think"?
 My increased Cartesian sentence may be;
I think therefore I think I am.
Both ways:
Cogito, ergo 'ego', and
Cogito, ergo ' esse'.
John M
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, August 04, 2006 8:07 PM
Subject: Re: Are First Person prime?

Bruno Marchal wrote:
I think that if you want to 
make the first person primitive, given that neither you nor me can 
really define it, you will need at least to axiomatize it in some way. 
Here is my question. Do you agree that a first person is a knower, and 
in that case, are you willing to  accept the traditional axioms for 
knowing. That is:

1) If p is knowable then p is true;
2) If  p is knowable then it is knowable that p is knowable;
3) if it is knowable that p entails q, then if p is knowable then q is 

(+ some logical rules).


I like where this may be leading.... This may be the first step to your roadmap. As you know I have been a supporter of first person primitive for a long time. My roadmap was simple. It is a chain rule a la Descartes. I mentionned it before. Let me repost it:
  1. I think therefore I am  (Descartes)
  2. I am therefore the world is (Anthropic principle)
  3. The world is therefore the plenitude is. (Principe of sufficient reason: if something is observed to be arbitrary and without any cause, then all other alternatives must also be realized)
Let me make these statements more precise:
  1.  I think what I think, therefore I am what I am. (Descartes augmented by defining my consciousness and being as a function of my thought process)
  2. I am what I am, therefore the world is what it is. (Anthropic principle augmented by defining the world in more precise terms as a function of exactly who I am - There is a strange echo from the burning bush in Exodus)
  3. The world is what it is, therefore the plenitude is.
Would it be possible to map your three axiomatic lines replacing "knowable" by "think" and "true" by "exist." Then we have:
  1. If p thinks then p exists;
  2. If p thinks then it is thinkable that p thinks;
  3. If it is thinkable that p entails q, then if p thinks then q thinks.
The phrase "it is thinkable" is undefined possibly because of third person (it?) inferencing. If we make it squarely first person then we have:
  1. If p thinks then p exists; (This maps nicely with Descartes as stated from a third person)
  2. If p thinks then p think that p thinks; (This is nice reflective statement essential to consciousness)
  3. If p think that p entails q, then if p thinks then q thinks. (The phrase "p entails q" reminds me vaguely of the Anthropic principle. I am not sure what to make of this. My children think???????)
George Levy

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