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Animals, humans, machines and thinking matter, 1690-1707

In Tobias Cheung (ed.), Early Science and Medicine. Brill. pp. 3-37 (2010)

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  1. John Locke, ‘Hobbist’: Of Sleeping Souls and Thinking Matter.Liam P. Dempsey - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (4):454-476.
    In this paper, I consider Isaac Newton’s fevered accusation that John Locke is a ‘Hobbist.’ I suggest a number of ways in which Locke’s account of the mind–body relation could plausibly be construed as Hobbesian. Whereas Newton conceives of the human mind as an immaterial substance and venerates it as a finite image of the Divine Mind, I argue that Locke utterly deflates the religious, ethical, and metaphysical significance of an immaterial soul. Even stronger, I contend that there is good (...)
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  • God’s Creatures? Divine Nature and the Status of Animals in the Early Modern Beast-Machine Controversy.Lloyd Strickland - 2013 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 74 (4):291-309.
    In early modern times it was not uncommon for thinkers to tease out from the nature of God various doctrines of substantial physical and metaphysical import. This approach was particularly fruitful in the so-called beast-machine controversy, which erupted following Descartes’ claim that animals are automata, that is, pure machines, without a spiritual, incorporeal soul. Over the course of this controversy, thinkers on both sides attempted to draw out important truths about the status of animals simply from the notion or attributes (...)
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