Who am I, What am I, How did I become I?

Cogito Ergo Sum may be the most famous sayings of the philosopher, Rene Descartes. Put into simple modern day language, Cogito Ergo Sum means: I think, therefore I am. This phrase was created by Descartes in his search for a fundamental truth to base his entire philosophy on.

According to Descartes, because he is able to doubt everything (including his own existence), it serves to prove that he is a living and thinking being which therefore justifies his own existence. The full phrase goes by saying: I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am. Using this simple and elegant phrase, Descartes managed to prove his own existence, ironically through doubting it in the first place.

Cogito Ergo Sum is commonly found in articles, and books and it is so often taken for granted. But in a relative world, can a person’s existence and identity be build solely upon the doubting, and thinking of one’s self? More clearly written, would it be true to say whether what I think makes me what I am.

In most ways, this might be true as what you think affects your daily decisions that defines who you are. But from another perspective, what other people think of you matters too! IF you were to dress up as a beggar and walk the streets, your identity to the world outside would be that of a beggar (regardless of what you think in your costume).

Assuming that you are a good actor, everyone would look at you as a beggar, treat you as a beggar, and leave you alone to continue being beggar (this is sadly, always the case). This serves to say that one’s existence and identity is not only determined by one’s self but also by the perception of the people around you.

I think therefore I am can also mean I think therefore you are!

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