Journal of the History of Philosophy 32 (4):573-603 (1994)

Tad Schmaltz
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
This article considers Descartes's famous claim that mind and body are distinct substances from the unusual perspective of Nicolas Malebranche. In particular, it focuses on Malebranche's argument that since Cartesians feel compelled to support such a claim by appealing to their clear idea of body, they must lack access to a clear idea of soul. The main conclusion is that while such an argument does not apply directly to Descartes's discussion in the "Meditations" of mind- body distinctness, this discussion nonetheless renders Descartes vulnerable to Malebranche's central charge that the nature of body is for Cartesians better known than the nature of the soul
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DOI 10.1353/hph.1994.0083
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