Monday, July 23, 2012

Putting Descartes before the horse

René Descartes (1596 - 1650) is perhaps best known for the philosophical statement “Cogito ergo sum” (French: Je pense, donc je suis; English: I think, therefore I am), found in part IV of Discourse on the Method (1637, written in French but with inclusion of “Cogito ergo sum”) and §7 of part I of Principles of Philosophy (1644, written in Latin).

The horse is perhaps best known for the famous equine question, “Wither thou goest?”


  1. i had a horse once whoose stifle bothered him a lot<>><<>i used to ride into the foothills with garcy forever and a day and then i was old enough where i started to learn the parts of an airplane and just flately had more fun swooping down on them {horses with their stifles}

  2. Rene Descartes walks into a restaurant and sits down for dinner. The waiter comes over and asks if he'd like an appetizer
    "No thank you" says Descartes, "I'd just like to order dinner"
    "Would you like to hear our daily specials?" asks the waiter
    "No" says Descartes, getting impatient
    "Would you like a drink before dinner?" the waiter asks
    Descartes is insulted, since he's a tee-totaller
    "I think not!" he says indignantly, and POOF! he disappeared.

  3. Looking at your past posts I saw that you wrote 1000! My goodness, that is an achievement! I spent so much time reading all my friends’ blogs – which I enjoy – that I don’t have much time left for posting myself. At my rate (about 56 posts a year) it will take me another 15 years to reach your total! Congratulations. By the way I don’t see the connection between Descartes and a horse, but then, English is my 3rd language, - it could be as my husband says “wherever you go, there you are.”

  4. I am going to ignore the first five comments and respond to Vagabonde instead.

    There is a saying in English about
    "putting the cart before the horse" that basically means a person has omitted or ignored something significant in a process or series of steps, ensuring that the desired results will not be achieved. The imagery works because a cart is pulled, not pushed, by a horse. And in French, the name Descarte sounds rather like the English words "the cart"; I was making a little bilingual joke.

    Your English is very good, by the way. And if I have not said it before, welcome to the blog!

  5. Decartes was also known for his belief that lower animals were machines that couldn't feel pain, yet God had made them so that they would give a perfect imitation thereof if you tortured them, which some of his disciples proceeded to do, all the while marveling at how very much in pain said animals APPEARED to be. If that isn't faith, I don't know what is.

  6. P.S. Why does my comment always follow the SPAM. I mean, it's like you write, and then all these intelligent, perceptive, and devoted readers comment, and then the SPAMMER does his thing, and then I come along. Should I feel insulted?

  7. PPS "Your English is very good"

    Thank you. I owe it to my 36 years in rural Mississippi.