The Anatomy and Physiology of Mind: Hume's Vitalistic Account

In H. F. J. Horstmanshoff, H. King & C. Zittel (eds.), Blood, Sweat and Tears: The Changing Concepts of Physiology from Antiquity into Early Modern Europe. Brill (2012)
In this paper I challenge the widely held view which associates Hume’s philosophy with mechanical philosophies of nature and particularly with Newton. This view presents Hume’s account of the human mind as passive receiver of impressions which bring into motion, from the outside, a mental machinery whose functioning is described in terms of mechanical causal principles. Instead, I propose an interpretation which suggests that for Hume the human mind is composed of faculties that can be characterized by their active contribution which frequently results in qualitative change. This anatomy of the mind is explored from a physiological perspective focused on the normal functioning and interaction of the mind’s various organs. While pursuing this enterprise, I suggest that Hume’s outlook is closer to eighteenth-century “philosophical chemistry” and vitalistic physiology than to the heritage of mechanical philosophies.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 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 Translate to english
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,217
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

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

17 ( #267,544 of 1,932,483 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #332,993 of 1,932,483 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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