Descartes and Malebranche on thought, sensation and the nature of the mind

Journal of the History of Philosophy 43 (4):387-402 (2005)
: Malebranche famously objects to Descartes' argument that the nature of the mind is better known than the nature of body as follows: if we had an idea of the mind's nature we would know the possible range of modes of the mind, including the sensory modes, but we do not know those modes and thus can't have an idea of the mind's nature. I argue that Malebranche's objections are readily answerable from within the Cartesian system. This argument involves examining the status of sensations in Descartes, innate ideas, and Malebranche's occasionalism
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