The Origins of Cartesian Dualism

Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (3):335-352 (2020)
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Abstract

In the recently discovered Cambridge manuscript, widely regarded as an early draft ofRules for the Direction of the Mind, Descartes does not describe the mind as a ‘purely spiritual’ force ‘distinct from the whole body’. This has led some readers to speculate that Descartes did not embrace mind-body dualism in the Cambridge manuscript. In this article, I offer a detailed interpretation of Descartes's mind-body dualism in the established Charles Adam and Paul Tannery edition ofRules, and argue that, while differences between the Cambridge manuscript and the established version ofRulesare significant, the relevant passages in the Cambridge manuscript preclude interpretation along both materialist and hylomorphic lines. I then offer an account of the development of Descartes's mind-body dualism between the Cambridge manuscript and the established version ofRules. What the Cambridge manuscript reveals is not Descartes before dualism, but rather Cartesian dualism in its barest form.

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Tarek Dika
Johns Hopkins University

Citations of this work

Cartesian Intuition.Elliot Samuel Paul - forthcoming - British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-31.
Descartes’s Deduction of the Law of Refraction and the Shape of the Anaclastic Lens in Rule 8.Tarek R. Dika - 2022 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 12 (2):395-446.

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References found in this work

The unity of Descartes's man.Paul Hoffman - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (3):339-370.
Le système de Descartes.O. Hamelin, L. Robin & Émile Durkheim - 1911 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 19 (1):1-2.
Life’s Form: Late Aristotelian Conceptions of the Soul.Dennis des Chene - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (208):390-392.
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.

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