Think like a Philosopher – Letter to the Editor

French philosopher Rene Descartes once wondered about how he knew he existed. He began examining his thoughts and discovered that he can’t be sure of anything… until he became certain that he was doubting his existence. He was sure that he was thinking, so he must, at least, be an existent thinking mind. In a famous quote, he declared: “Cogito, ergo sum,” which is Latin for “I think, therefore I am.” From this, Descartes determined that he can be certain of his other thoughts as well.
Notice how Descartes started from the most basic observation that he was thinking. This approach of solving a complex problem by using fundamental principles is extremely versatile. It can be applied in not only philosophy but also in STEM subjects such as mathematics, so teaching students this mindset will be essential to their success regardless of the career they plan to pursue.

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