David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophers' Imprint 9 (5):1-22 (2009)
Descartes's lack of clarity about the causal connections between brain states and mental states has led many commentators to conclude that he has no coherent account of body-mind relations in sensation, or that he was simply confused about the issue. In this paper I develop what I take to be a coherent account that was available to Descartes, and argue that there are both textual and systematic reasons to think that it was his considered view. The account has brain states serving as occasions for the mind to produce in itself the sensations that it takes these brain states to signify. The relation between body and mind on this model is thus neither a standard efficient-causal relation, nor an occasionalist one, but rather a semantic-causal relation (i.e. a non-standard efficient causal relation that goes by way of natural signification). At the end of the paper I argue that the model does not undermine Descartes' commitment to the self-transparency of the mind.
|Keywords||Descartes sensation semantic|
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Jack H. Ornstein (1972). The Mind And The Brain: A Multi-Aspect Interpretation. The Hague: Nijhoff.
Andrew R. Platt (2011). Divine Activity and Motive Power in Descartes's Physics. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (4):623 - 646.
Kristoffer Ahlstrom (2010). What Descartes Did Not Know. Journal of Value Inquiry 44 (3):297-311.
Antonia Lolordo (2005). Descartes and Malebranche on Thought, Sensation and the Nature of the Mind. Journal of the History of Philosophy 43 (4):387-402.
Marleen Rozemond (2006). The Nature of the Mind. In Stephen Gaukroger (ed.), Blackwell Guide to Descartes’ Meditations. Wiley-Blackwell. 48--66.
Gregg Caruso (2005). Sensory States, Consciousness, and the Cartesian Assumption. In Nathan Smith and Jason Taylor (ed.), Descartes and Cartesianism. Cambridge Scholars Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads79 ( #15,639 of 1,096,473 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #90,211 of 1,096,473 )
How can I increase my downloads?