Authors
Colin Chamberlain
Temple University
Abstract
In the _Meditations_ and related texts from the early 1640s, Descartes argues that the self can be correctly considered as either a mind or a human being, and that the self’s properties vary accordingly. For example, the self is simple considered as a mind, whereas the self is composite considered as a human being. Someone might object that it is unclear how merely considering the self in different ways blocks the conclusion that a single subject of predication—the self—is both simple and composite, which is contradictory. In response to this objection, this paper develops a reading of Descartes’s various ways of considering the self. I argue that the best reading of Descartes’s qualified claims about the self, i.e., about the self _qua_ mind or the self qua human being, presupposes an account of the unqualified self, that is, of the self _simpliciter_. I argue that the self _simpliciter_ is not a mind, and that it is not a human being either. This result might suggest the pessimistic conclusion that Descartes’s view of the self is incoherent. To avoid this result, I introduce a new metaphysical account of the Cartesian self. On my view, the self is individuated by a unified mental life. The self is constituted by the beings that jointly produce this mental life, and derives its unity from it.
Keywords   embodiment   mind   person   self   union  Descartes  Descartes  embodiment  mind  person  self  union
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.32881/jomp.30
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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

Reconceiving Spinoza.Samuel Newlands - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
Aquinas.Eleonore Stump - 2003 - Routledge.

View all 63 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Descartes Passions of the Soul and the Union of Mind and Body.Lisa Shapiro - 2003 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 85 (3):211-248.
Descartes on Mind-Body Interaction.Daniel Holbrook - 1992 - Southwest Philosophical Studies 14:74-83.
Descartes' Notion of the Union of Mind and Body.Daisie Radner - 1971 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 9 (2):159-170.
Descartes, Mind-Body Union, and Holenmerism.Marleen Rozemond - 2003 - Philosophical Topics 31 (1/2):343-367.
Descartes and the Passionate Mind.Deborah J. Brown - 2006 - Cambridge University Press.
The Faces of Simplicity in Descartes’s Soul.Marleen Rozemond - 2014 - In Dominik Perler & Klaus Corcilius (eds.), Partitioning the Soul: Debates From Plato to Leibniz. De Gruyter. pp. 219-244.
Descartes on Composites, Incomplete Substances, and Kinds of Unity.Dan Kaufman - 2008 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 90 (1):39-73.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-10-16

Total views
191 ( #55,807 of 2,454,544 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
53 ( #14,653 of 2,454,544 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes