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January 11th 2010    Tim Candler

    "I Think, Therefore I Am," puts way too much emphasis on "Think."   Always have preferred the less convoluted, "Am I Still Here"   And I suppose it is inevitable to be again irritated by Descartes in a season that culminates in Tax Day.

    I argue, the question mark implied by "Am I Still Here", provides slope for Heidegger's understanding of authenticity.  It is "being aware of  being", rather than some nonsense with a "therefore" in the middle of it.  And there are some sneaky individuals who might suggest that in my mind, "slope" is an ill-defined "therefore".   In which case there is hope through mathematics.  And the soul may well resides in the pineal gland, as Descartes suggested.

   But, "Am I Still Here" locates the body on a map of contentment.   And generally on this map, a "therefore" is more like a "think", because a "therefore"  becomes more like a relationship than it becomes like an equal sign.  "Am I Still Here" includes wistfulness, hope, happiness and despair, all of which are relative to a thing that is other.  Rather than a thing that is positioned absolutely. 

    In short: without  'Am I'  there would be no 'I Think'. 

     Nor am I discontent with the idea of myself as an algorithm.   Happy to consider "Am I Still Here" a mathematical certainty, rather than it belonging to an environmental circumstance which itself may have a content of wistfulness, hope, happiness and despair.   Terrible to think of a universal and passing whimsy that might take "Am I Still Here" away from me only to replace it with a "You Are Now Here"

      Yet sometimes when it is endlessly cold like this, with wind blowing and ice in the pipes, I find the remark "Why Am I still Here" most entertaining. 

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