«Cogito Ergo Sum» and Philofsophy of Action





Descartes, cogito, history of philosophy, analytical philosophy, justification of knowledge, foundationalism, epistemology, philosophy of action


Analytical philosophy opens new perspectives of studies in the history of philosophy. There are (1) generalized history of analytical interpretations of Cartesian principle cogito ergo sum and (2) analysis of Cartesianism through the prism of contemporary philosophy of action, with special attention to performativity of the mentioned principle. The importance of such research necessarily goes beyond "pure" history of philosophy: it also contributes to revision of traditional approaches to justification of knowledge (foundationalism, coherentism, reliabilism), which still remain problematic.

Attention to performativism of cogito ergo sum thesis is the key to new convenient interpretation of knowledge justification problem, because it allows for justification as self-justification in terms of accomplishment. Inevitable accomplishment, peculiar to evidfently performative knowledge (example of which is cogito ergo sum, a very good contender for the role of a sure foundation), suggests that fundamentalist strategy of knowledge justification, in the perspective of philosophy of action, amounts to a preferable interpretation compared to traditional epistemological approach.

Author Biography

Anna Laktionova, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

PhD in philosophy, associate professor, post-doctoral fellow at Department of Philosophy


Ayer, A. J. (1996). I think, therefore I am. [In Russian]. Logos, 8, 44-51.

Ayer, A. J. (1956). I think, therefore I am. In Ayer, A. J. The Problem of Knowledge (pp. 45-54). London: MacMillan.

Beaney, M. (Ed.). (2013). The Oxford Handbook of The History of Analytic Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford UP. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199238842.001.0001

Bodnarchuk, L., Sen', A. (2014). Cottingam's Conception of Descrates' Trialism and Modern Discussions. [In Ukrainian]. Sententiae, XXХ(1), 196-209. https://doi.org/10.22240/sent30.01.196

Ciprotti, N. (2009). Hintikka on Descartes's Cogito. Nordicum-Mediterraneum. Icelandic E-Journal of Nordic and Mediterranean Studies, 4(1). Retrieved from

Critchley, S. (2008). Continental philosophy: a very short introduction. [In Ukrainian]. Kyiv: Stylos.

Descartes, R. (1996). OEuvres completes in 11 vol. (Ch. Adam, & P. Tannery, Eds.). Paris: Vrin.

Dmitriev, T. (1996). Descartes and Linguistic philosophy. [In Russian]. Logos, 8, 38-43.

Floyd, J. (2009). Recent themes in the history of early analytic philosophy. Journal of the History of Philosophy, 47(2), 157-200. https://doi.org/10.1353/hph.0.0106

Frankfurt, H. G. (1966). Descartes's Discussion of his Existence in the Second Meditation. The Philosophical Review, 75(3), 329-356. https://doi.org/10.2307/2183145

Frankfurt, H. G. (2008). Demons, Dreamers, and Madmen: The Defense of Reason in Descartes's Meditations. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP.

Glock, H.-J. (2008). Analytic Philosophy and History: A Mismatch? Mind, 117(468), 867-897. https://doi.org/10.1093/mind/fzn055

Glock, H.-J. (2008). What is Analytic Philosophy? Cambridge, U.K. & New York: Cambridge UP. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511841125

Hintikka, J. (1996). Cogito, ergo quis est? Revue International de Philosophie, 50(1), 5-21.

Hintikka, J. (1962). Cogito ergo sum: Inference or Performance. Philosophical Review, LXXI, 3-32. https://doi.org/10.2307/2183678

Hintikka, J. (1963). Cogito, ergo sum as an inference and a performance. Philosophical Review, 72(4), 487-496. https://doi.org/10.2307/2183033

Hintikka, J. (1990). The cartesian cogito, epistemic logic and neuroscience: Some surprising interrelations. Synthese, 83(1), 133-157. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00413690

Hutto, D. D. (2010). Analytic Philosophy: The History of an Illusion. Philosophical Investigations, 33(2), 187-191. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9205.2009.01395.x

Katz, J. J. (1988). Cogitations: a study of the cogito in relation to the philosophy of logic and language and a study of them in relation to the cogito. New York: Oxford UP.

Khoma, O. I. (2010). Philosophical translation and philosophical community. [In Ukrainian]. Filosofska dumka, 3, 49-66.

Kim Sang Ong-Van-Cung. (2014). If Descartes Identified in Ego the Subject and Substance? [In Ukrainian]. In O. I. Khoma, (Ed.), Descartes' «Meditations» in Morrow of Contemporary Interpretations: Jean-Mari Beissade, Jean-Luc Marion, Kim Sang Ong-Van-Cung (pp. 93-113). Kyiv: Duh i litera.

Luquet, S. M. (1989). Presentation du traducteur. In H. G. Frankfurt, Demons, reveurs et fous: la defense de la raison dans les Meditations de Descartes (pp. 1-6). Paris: PUF.

Marion, J.-L. (2007). Descartes: etat de la question. In J.-L. Marion, Descartes (pp. 7-22). Paris: Bayard.

Moya, C. J. (1990). The Philosophy of Action: An Introduction. Oxford: Polity Press.

O'Connor, T., Sandis, C. (Eds.). (2010). A Companion to the Philosophy of Action. Chichester, West Sussex, UK & Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444323528

Russell, B. (1912). Knowledge by Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description. In B. Russell, The Problems of Philosophy (pp. 21-18). London: Routledge.

Sarkar, H. (2003). Descartes' Cogito: Saved from the Great Shipwreck. Cambridge, U.K. & New York: Cambridge UP. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511498305

Schwartz, S. P. (2012). A Brief History of Analytic Philosophy: From Russell to Rawls. Chichester, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell.

Slezak, P. (2010). Doubts about Descartes' indubitability: The cogito as intuition and inference. Philosophical Forum, 41(4), 389-412. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9191.2010.00370.x

Sorell, T., Rogers, G. A. J. (Eds). (2005). Analytic Philosophy and History of Philosophy. Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford UP.

Volf, M., Butakov, P., Berestov, I. (2013). Analytic History of Ancient Philosophy. [In Russian]. Sententiae, XXVIII(1), 96-108.

Wee, C. (2012). Descartes's Ontological Proof of God's Existence. British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 20(1), 23-40. https://doi.org/10.1080/09608788.2011.650973

Zimovets, S. (1996). Trajectory of a Man: Between a Curve of Body and a Straight of Spirit. [In Russian]. Logos, 8, 32-37.


Abstract views: 667



How to Cite

Laktionova, A. (2015). «Cogito Ergo Sum» and Philofsophy of Action. Sententiae, 32(1), 88–99. https://doi.org/10.22240/sent32.01.088






Download data is not yet available.