Religion Past and Present

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“I” (Ego)
(415 words)

[German Version]

The “I” or ego did not become a central concept of philosophy until the modern era. According to R. Descartes, the term denotes a substantial thinking being (res cogitans) with immediate and indubitable knowledge of its own existence, on the basis of which it can be made the foundation of philosophy and all branches of knowledge. Since this certainty is attained without any knowledge of material bodies, it follows that the substance of the mind (res cogitans) differs in reality from material substance (res extensa). The question of the ontological status of the e…

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Stolzenberg, Jürgen, ““I” (Ego)”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 19 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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