Definition of cogito in English:



usually the cogito
  • The principle establishing the existence of a being from the fact of its thinking or awareness.

    ‘Augustine gives a memorable earlier version of the Cartesian cogito’
    • ‘The cogito shows that there is a thought, but not that there is an I who thinks it.’
    • ‘The Cartesian cogito played a major part in promoting the scientific and rational development of the Enlightenment in the 18th century.’
    • ‘This missing element is the self, or subject: the focal point of Descartes reasoning, whose existence was established by the cogito.’
    • ‘Even the most forcefully experienced insights - save the cogito - become open to doubt once the immediacy of the intuition passes.’
    • ‘It is because of this that Descartes erroneously took the cogito to be the foundation of certainty in human knowledge, and our knowledge of body to be less clear and less immediate.’


Latin, ‘I think’, in Descartes's formula (1641) cogito, ergo sum ‘I think therefore I am’.