I was interested in the following piece which appeared in an article titled "Let's Be Philosophical" by Russel Baker in The New York Times (January 25, 1987).
It was that incident, in fact, that renewed my determination to get busy with reading philosophy. It is humiliating to be caught accidentally confusing Descartes with Hume.
And accident it was, of course, for I am thoroughly familiar with the thought of Descartes. It is famously stated in his ''Puto ergo sum,'' a Latin expression meaning, ''I am putative, therefore I do sums.'' This is sometimes written, ''Cogito ergo sum,'' meaning, ''Being incognito, I naturally add up.''
David Hume, on the other hand, was incapable of thinking such thoughts since he was never either putative or incognito and, being Scottish, detested the very idea of thinking in Latin. This he considered a disgusting affectation that the English used to show off Oxford educations.
Oxford Dictionary of English defines "incognito" as "(of a person) having one's true identity concealed".
Can someone clarify if the journalist correctly uses the word "incognito", as I'm not sure on this circumstance, even after reading the Latin origin this word ("incognitus", from in - 'not' + cognitus (past participle of cognoscere 'know')?