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June 10, 2003

Why Am I?

Rene Descartes

The philosopher Descartes embraced the primacy of self-awareness (Cogito, ergo sum). We have now learned that certain monkeys (and not even the smartest of the non-human primates at that) can solve and remember multiple complex, seven-part sequences of images (just as can college students). Both the monkeys and the college students can also compare and analyze a pair of images taken from different sequences to determine which of the two images comes first.primate with laptop
Given these findings that were not available to Descartes in the 17th Century, I wonder if he were alive today whether he might formulate his approach differently. After all, Fumus, ergo sum seems now to be just as defensible a position in light of the new evidence. [Pardon my Latin]

Ollie & Stan

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