In your column about whether or not fire is alive, a quote of Decarte’s quote appeared. Recent research in neurobiology is showing this to be an ineffective assumption. Despite my Catholic altar boy Latin, I’m not sure how to express what the researchers found, but would be something like “Sum Ergo Cogito.”
Human beings are wired such that in order for them to think, they first have to be. The lower layers of the nervous system hierarchy coupled with the chemicals coursing through the bloodstream give us our sense of self. In order for us to contemplate anything outside or even inside of ourselves, this sense of self must be available.
This is a very poor summation of what I’ve been reading in the book “The Feeling of What Happens”, but you can read it for yourself and tell me if I’ve interpreted this incorrectly.