Writing Descartes:
I Am, and I Can Think, Therefore ...

Starting Points
      Letter to René
      by Paul Grobstein

      Introduction

      Mind and Body: From René Descartes to William James

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Story Evolution: Dialogues

How does the process of conceiving oneself as other relate to story telling and more importantly to delusions and lies brought up in your own stories as well as reaffirmations or conflicting stories of others? - Rachel Berman

I couldn't agree more that it's time to dethrone thinking - or elevate other means of knowing - to allow for, and to value, a multiplicity of ways into being - Sharon Burgmayer

If he had written "I feel, therefore I am," would you object so much to the statement? - Paul Burgmayer

In my experience, the ability to think does not always suffice to change myself - Anneliese Butler

the stuffness of the inside will always somehow be more overwhelming than the stuffness of the outside - Elizabeth Catanese

the maxim does speak to a way of thinking about classrooms that I like and 'believe in,' though had never articulated this way--actually, I think it's connected with why i've returned to/stayed with teaching to this point in my life - Jody Cohen

Women like myself ... have long understood Descartes' dualistic position as that of the (frankly clueless) enemy. Overhearing your conversation has nudged me to reconsider that opposition - Anne Dalke

In the field of psychotherapy there is often polarization between those who believe that "feeling" is the starting point and those who believe thinking is the starting point. "I am and I can think" is a more dynamic and inclusive approach to considering a starting point.- Lucy Darlington

But now I find myself back on this circular argument. I am, because I know/registrar interactions/changes within and without myself, but I cannot "know"until I am/zero/a point of reference. This tautology leaves me with only one option, namely, to not doubt my existence, to not be skeptical, to have FAITH - Wil Franklin

It's not the thinking per se, in the sense of using our cognitive apparatus, that I was talking about. It's "consciously experiencing." - Descartes/Elio Frattaroli

our problem is not in rejecting sources of authority ... but in finding something relevant to accept - Jed Grobstein

To have the thought is to make it a part of one's self, but the words come from something other than the self; the thought is both a part of one and not one, suggesting that the self is neither static nor a self contained entity. - Rachel Grobstein

Why would I want to change who I am? Someone living in a rose garden wouldn't want to change. - Warren Hampe

I have made notes toward an article about the difficulties of "bridging discourse communities" on our campus (in politics, ideology, academic disciplines, faith, and gender), and this letter is going to help me think forward - Michael Heller

The bottom line is for people to think? and to think deeply, without prejudice, and without preconceived notions of where the thinking will go? It's the old argument for the liberal arts education, and also for therapy and psycho-analysis, and ... - Lucy Kerman

you should recognize the fallibility of your own ideas which have become the basis for this paper. It might dishearten the reader, but it is very illustrative of your point. - Chelsea Phillips

How do we know that "thinking" is any different than sensory input? - Eric Raimy

I always saw not only the body, but the complex architecture that allows for our sense of consciousness, in a somewhat adversarial light... at best a rickety scaffolding that "we" sit atop, trying to keep steady and at worst a time bomb against which we race our whole life, trying to get in the things that count before something falls apart. - Maria Scott-Wittenborn

I draw on a sort of gut reaction and also on my experience interviewing legal services lawyers and clients and from what i see in the welfare and housing policy discourses. When we say that people have the potential to change (and is that the same thing as the power?) we do not take into account the structural conditions (and to extrapolate perhaps the biological parameters) within which change is possible - Corey Shdaimah

I am just reading Allan Bloom's Closing of the American Mind ... In my mind, Allan Bloom like many other culture warriors on both sides of the conflict does not seem to understand the difference between his truth and the truth. His truth is a problem of practice. The truth is an epistemological problem. - Roland Stahl

How can you be skeptic and not doubt the existence of trees, or of the complex structure that you claim is necessary to think? How can you be sure they are not mere thoughts, dreamed by you, God, or some wicked little demon? - Descartes/Paula Viterbo




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