The Singularity of the Cogito: Some Additions to Hintikka’s Theory

  • Aleš Bunta
Keywords: cogito, Descartes, Hintikka, performative, St. Augustine


The paper is a study of one of the most important theories on the Cartesian cogito in the twentieth century – Jaakko Hintikka’s performative interpretation of the cogito. In the first part of the text, we explain the kernel of Hintikka’s argument, showing why is it possible to claim that it was in fact Hintikka who first developed a clear concept of the singularity of the Cartesian cogito. In the second part of the text, we show that arguably the greatest difficulty of Hintikka’s theory consists of the fact that his interpretation cannot be efficiently applied to Descartes’ line of argumentation in the Meditations. In the same context we also clarify the relation between Descartes’ own deduction of the point of certainty in Meditations and the strikingly similar argument that St Augustine devised in his dialogue On Free Choice of the Will. In the final part of the paper, we focus on some highly innovative theses that Hintikka developed in his later studies of the cogito.


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How to Cite
Bunta A. The Singularity of the Cogito: Some Additions to Hintikka’s Theory. FV [Internet]. 2019Jan.15 [cited 2020Oct.26];39(1). Available from: