'What am I?' Descartes and the mind-body problem - reply [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (3):717-734 (2005)
In his Meditations, René Descartes asks, "what am I?" His initial answer is "a man." But he soon discards it: "But what is a man? Shall I say 'a rational animal'? No: for then I should inquire what an animal is, what rationality is, and in this way one question would lead down the slope to harder ones." Instead of understanding what a man is, Descartes shifts to two new questions: "What is Mind?" and "What is Body?" These questions develop into Descartes's main philosophical preoccupation: the Mind-Body distinction. How can Mind and Body be independent entities, yet joined--essentially so--within a single human being? If Mind and Body are really distinct, are human beings merely a "construction"? On the other hand, if we respect the integrity of humans, are Mind and Body merely aspects of a human being and not subjects in and of themselves? For centuries, philosophers have considered this classic philosophical puzzle. Now, in this compact, engaging, and long-awaited work, UCLA philosopher Joseph Almog closely decodes the French philosopher's argument for distinguishing between the human mind and body while maintaining simultaneously their essential integration in a human being. He argues that Descartes constructed a solution whereby the trio of Human Mind, Body, and Being are essentially interdependent yet remain each a genuine individual subject. Almog's reading not only steers away from the most popular interpretations of Descartes, but also represents a scholar coming to grips directly with Descartes himself. In doing so, Almog creates a work that Cartesian scholars will value, and that will also prove indispensable to philosophers of language, ontology, and the metaphysics of mind.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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.
Citations of this work BETA
Hagit Benbaji (2013). Persons and Mysterianism. Dialogue 52 (1):165-188.
Similar books and articles
J. Almog (2001). What Am I?: Descartes and the Mind-Body Problem. Oxford University Press.
Daniel Holbrook (1992). Descartes on Mind-Body Interaction. Southwest Philosophical Studies 14:74-83.
Fred Ablondi (2005). Almog's Descartes. Philosophy 80 (3):423-431.
Deborah J. Brown (2006). Descartes and the Passionate Mind. Cambridge University Press.
Marleen Rozemond (1999). Descartes on Mind-Body Interaction: What's the Problem? Journal of the History of Philosophy 37 (3):435-467.
Lisa Shapiro (2003). Descartes Passions of the Soul and the Union of Mind and Body. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 85 (3):211-248.
Marleen Rozemond (2003). Descartes, Mind-Body Union, and Holenmerism. Philosophical Topics 31 (1/2):343-367.
Justin Skirry (2001). A Hylomorphic Interpretation of Descartes's Theory of Mind-Body Union. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 75:267-283.
Justin Skirry (2005). Descartes and the Metaphysics of Human Nature. Review of Metaphysics 15:1-200.
Lilli Alanen (1996). Reconsidering Descartes's Notion of the Mind-Body Union. Synthese 106 (1):3 - 20.
Samuel Olusegun Steven (2011). Cartesian Dualism: An Evaluation of Wireduan and Gilbert Ryle's Refutations. Kritike: An Online Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):156-165.
René Descartes (2002). Meditations on First Philosophy. Second Meditation: The Nature of the Human Mind, and How It is Better Known Than the Body, and Sixth Meditation: The Existence of Material Things, and the Real Distinction Between Mind and Body. Reproduced From Descartes (1985). In David J. Chalmers (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Oxford University Press 10--21.
Kristoffer Ahlstrom (2010). What Descartes Did Not Know. Journal of Value Inquiry 44 (3):297-311.
Daisie Radner (1971). Descartes' Notion of the Union of Mind and Body. Journal of the History of Philosophy 9 (2):159-170.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads12 ( #300,248 of 1,911,506 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #178,657 of 1,911,506 )
How can I increase my downloads?