Automata, living and non-living: Descartes' mechanical biology and his criteria for life [Book Review]

Biology and Philosophy 13 (2):179-186 (1998)
Abstract
Despite holding to the essential distinction between mind and body, Descartes did not adopt a life-body dualism. Though humans are the only creatures which can reason, as they are the only creatures whose body is in an intimate union with a soul, they are not the only finite beings who are alive. In the present note, I attempt to determine Descartes'' criteria for something to be ''living.'' Though certain passages associate such a principle with the presence of a properly functioning heart, I show that there are important reasons for also understanding life in terms of a degree of complexity of design.
Keywords Descartes  life  mechanical biology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/A:1006502002257
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 20,866
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Patricia Easton (2011). The Cartesian Doctor, François Bayle , on Psychosomatic Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (2):203-209.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

85 ( #49,634 of 1,907,142 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

9 ( #78,743 of 1,907,142 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.