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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Think (noun, verb.)

“I think, therefore I am” –

 A famous philosophical quote by Rene Descartes, originally written in French in his Discourse on Method, from 1637. It is a phrase with a simple meaning and simple idea, but one that compels you to stop, and do just that. Think. Do we, as humans exist simply to think? Is it for that reason we evolved as a prominent species, our significant sized brain allowing for critical thinking, reasoning, and logic? These are philosophical questions that encourage us to ponder and reason within our minds, and in doing so we may ironically answer those very same questions.

To think, or the act of thinking, is a mental operation. One that to a great extend defines what it means to be conscious and living. Requiring that you attempt to evaluate, analyze, understand, make decisions, draw conclusions, and finally fabricate opinions. These operations account for every moment spent in a conscious reality, and become integral to what life it then about. Allowing you to have beliefs, employ rational, form ideas, judgments, ambitions, and utilize imagination. You cannot simply turn the mind off, and therefore we are always engaging in the act of thought. Even when asleep, the mind is working. Although not forced to think directly, but nevertheless it functions to organize the very same thoughts and observations that were encountered in previous mental operations confronted in previous days.

To think, and to understand that there are numerous different ways of thinking and undergo thought is essential. Education is intended to encourage and teach critical and logical thinking. The arts strive to promote the use of creative and social thinking, that motivate one to think socially, philosophically, inwardly, and spiritually, among various others forms. The word think then, has evolved as an important one, as it is used to describe and discern the interactions that we participate in daily. Describing the characteristics of work that our minds have functioned under throughout the day, and the very actions that likely resulted in ones wages for that month.

Having evolved from words in Proto Germanic, Old English, Proto French, and from various other Proto Indo European languages, one can conclude that its use is far reaching linguistically in history. Having converged in Middle English, resulting in methinks, and later thunk, one could then, by analogy of drink, sink, etc. extrapolate the use of the word think, as recorded in 1876. It is now a frequently used word, describing an action that is even more prevalent.



1)   Oxford English Dictionary, “think”, accessed Nov 19th 2012, http://www.oed.com/search?searchType=dictionary&q=think&_searchBtn=Search
2)   Wikipedia, “Cogito ergo sum”, accessed Nov 20th 2012, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogito_ergo_sum
3)   Definitions for, “think”, accessed Nov 20th 2012, http://www.definitions.net/definition/think
4)   The Free Dictionary by Farlex, “think”, accessed Nov 20th 2012, http://www.thefreedictionary.com/think
5)   Online Etymology, accessed Nov 20th 2012, http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=think

Sonja Berg

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