I think, therefore I am?
‘Cogito, ergo sum.’ – ‘I think, therefore I am’. This is probably the best-known of all philosophical principles. The French philosopher René Descartes wrote it down in 1637. Nowadays, his proposition confronts us with a major question. Thinking, as a core activity of and fuel for human existence, seems decreasingly self-evident. The recent decisions by two Dutch universities to reduce or even axe their faculties of Philosophy illustrate how timeless and unconditional thought is losing ground. But if we as a society no longer initiate thinking, do we still actually exist?
There is an urgent need for an examination of this issue. When do ideas become a body of thought? How do thoughts influence our lives? What happens to a body when it thinks?
Thinking is an art
It is striking how often philosophy makes an appearance in today’s performing arts. Well-known philosophers become characters, and philosophical ideas form a grid that is a foundation for artistic work. There seems to be a necessity to make pure thinking visible. To refer to ideas that feel ‘more real’ or authentic than the actual fragmented reality. Thinking is literally given ‘room’ in art, because it is precisely by thinking that art too knows that it is and will continue to be.
Philosophers on stage
As a common thread throughout the season, RE:THINK confronts you with productions centred on the thoughts of several great philosophical minds. We shall also be holding monthly RE:THINK TALKS at 7 pm. Experts will spotlight philosophical points inspired by the performance that follows immediately afterwards. To cap it all we are also hosting a number of renowned thinkers who will offer an insight into pressing social issues in a series of full-length lectures.