can a blog “exist” ?

March 30, 2008

on March 29, 2008 at 1:43 am, Jared wrote:

My question is one of the metaphysical nature. How do I know that this blog even exits? If you do answer, please include your qualifications as a metaphysicist.

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René Descartes

Thank you for your question, confused as it was. Frankly, none of us here at phi·lo·blog·y know what exactly to make of your question. What would it look like for a blog to “exit”? Such a question takes for granted the attribution to blogs of some level of consciousness, an ontological jump few of us here at phi·lo·blog·y would be willing to make.

However, if the question you meant to ask was “how do I know that this blog exists,” then the answer is a simple one. The philosophical enquiry into existence reaches back to the 17th century with modern philosopher René Descartes’ pronouncement cogito ergo sum, and since the French Descartes would have thought in French, his mind would have translated this from “Je suis un homme très intelligente” which, transliterated into English means “I am a very smart man.” Descartes’ smartness led him to develop a deductive syllogism with the flawless argument that if a person thinks, then a person is (i.e. exists).

But I can already hear you ask, “That’s fine for me, but what about blogs?” The solution is to first ask yourself “Do I exist?” Go ahead, ask yourself. Done? Good. Now, in order to ask yourself this, you had to first think it in your mind, and the fact that you thunk it proves that you exist. Moreover, your existence proves in turn the existence of “the other” (this is the philosophical term for “blog”) via rational self-positing. According to 18th century German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte, rational self-positing entails differentiation: one can only know oneself if one can achieve differentiation between self and other. In short, you exist, hence blogs exist.

P.S. The Philoblogger thinks of himself more as a metaphysician than a metaphysicist, enthralled as he is by the soul-healing power of metaphysics. To be a metaphysician is to categorically evade rigid credentialism in favour of references from satisfied metapatients.