Automata, living and non-living: Descartes' mechanical biology and his criteria for life [Book Review]

Biology and Philosophy 13 (2):179-186 (1998)
Abstract
Despite holding to the essential distinction between mind and body, Descartes did not adopt a life-body dualism. Though humans are the only creatures which can reason, as they are the only creatures whose body is in an intimate union with a soul, they are not the only finite beings who are alive. In the present note, I attempt to determine Descartes'' criteria for something to be ''living.'' Though certain passages associate such a principle with the presence of a properly functioning heart, I show that there are important reasons for also understanding life in terms of a degree of complexity of design.
Keywords Descartes  life  mechanical biology
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1006502002257
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References found in this work BETA
A Word About Descartes' Mechanistic Conception of Life.Ann Wilbur MacKenzie - 1975 - Journal of the History of Biology 8 (1):1 - 13.

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Citations of this work BETA
Descartes and the Dissolution of Life.Barnaby R. Hutchins - 2016 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (2):155-173.
The Cartesian Doctor, François Bayle (1622–1709), on Psychosomatic Explanation.Patricia Easton - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (2):203-209.
The Cartesian Doctor, François Bayle , on Psychosomatic Explanation.Patricia Easton - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (2):203-209.

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