by Paul Hartal
How can we affirm our own existence?
Cogito ergo sum, Descartes said,
I think therefore I am.
Who is doing the thinking?
Am I my body?
Well, Descartes explained,
we are talking about
two incompatible substances:
The un-extended and indivisible mind
in contrast with the extended and divisible matter,
Res cogitans versus rex extensa.
Yes, but am I my body?
How is the contact created
Between the mental
and the physical worlds?
Princess Elizabeth of the Palatinate asked.
Well, somewhere at the base of the brain,
in the pineal gland, replied the philosopher.
Oh, I have a problem with that,
the princess remarked.
For, if the brain exists in space,
how can the non-spatial mind dwell in it?
And Descartes threw up his hands
Last updated March 12, 2012