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Citizen SubjectFoundations for Philosophical Anthropology$
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Étienne Balibar

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823273607

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823273607.001.0001

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“Ego sum, ego existo”: Descartes on the Verge of Heresy

“Ego sum, ego existo”: Descartes on the Verge of Heresy

(p.55) One: “Ego sum, ego existo”: Descartes on the Verge of Heresy
Citizen Subject

Étienne Balibar

, Steven Miller
Fordham University Press

This chapter examines Descartes's references to the biblical sum qui sum and Ego sum in Descartes's Meditations, specifically from the Second Meditation onward, and how, “[b]y the idea of God,” Descartes might really not have meant “anything other than all men usually mean when they speak.” It posits that these references do not point to God, and that furthermore it was never God who designates himself in this manner. From a reference or an intersection inscribed in a literary heritage, this chapter thus arrives at a rupture, a brutal denegation, which might prove unacceptable to the faithful of revealed religion and consequently to the theologians.

Keywords:   sum qui sum, Ego sum, Descartes's Meditations, Rene Descartes, God, religion, Cartesian metaphysics, consciousness

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