A Hylomorphic Interpretation of Descartes's Theory of Mind-Body Union

I contend that Descartes’s view of mind-body union is not a Platonic view in which the soul uses the body as its vehicle, but hylomorphic in that mind and body form a single unit. I argue that Descartes’s view is most like Ockham’s, and therefore Descartes is entitled to maintain a hylomorphic theory to the same extent that Ockham is. I argue further that the soul is the substantial form of human being, and that mind and body are incomplete substances that are substantially united to form the human substance. Finally, I address Descartes’s claim that the whole soul has its principle seat in the pineal gland, and conclude that this does not imply a Platonic view as one might suspect. This hylomorphic interpretation avoids the problem of mind-body interaction, which might be seen as preventing the possibility of the soul’s immortality, because an explanation of the behavior of one entity is required instead of an explanation of the interaction between two, apparently incompatible, entities
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/acpaproc2001752
 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: 21,527
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

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Justin Skirry (2004). Does Descartes's Real Distinction Argument Prove Too Much? American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 78 (3):399-423.
Kristoffer Ahlstrom (2010). What Descartes Did Not Know. Journal of Value Inquiry 44 (3):297-311.
Katalin Farkas (2005). The Unity of Descartes's Thought. History of Philosophy Quarterly 22 (1):17 - 30.
Paul Hoffman (1986). The Unity of Descartes's Man. Philosophical Review 95 (3):339-370.
Sarah Broadie (2001). Soul and Body in Plato and Descartes. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (3):295–308.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

27 ( #150,476 of 1,911,915 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #324,434 of 1,911,915 )

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.