Controlling the passions: passion, memory, and the moral physiology of self in seventeenth-century neurophilosophy

In S. Gaukroger (ed.), The Soft Underbelly of Reason: The Passions in the Seventeenth Century. Routledge. pp. 115-146 (1998)

Authors
John Sutton
Macquarie University
Abstract
Some natural philosophers in the 17th century believed that they could control their own innards, specifically the animal spirits coursing incessantly through brain and nerves, in order to discipline or harness passion, cognition and action under rational guidance. This chapter addresses the mechanisms thought necessary after Eden for controlling the physiology of passion. The tragedy of human embedding in the body, with its cognitive and moral limitations, was paired with a sense of our confinement in sequential time. I use two strands of 17th-century natural philosophy to exemplify forms of the perceived connection between physiology, memory, and the passions. I deal at length with Cartesian mechanism, and more briefly with Restoration natural philosophy in England. These are fruitful historical domains for connecting cognition and culture, since relations of domination, disruption, or accommodation between present and past are in play for both selves and societies. Despite the difficulty of integrating affect with cognition in theories of brain and mind, the capacity to treat passion and memory together is crucial for future cognitive science to address issues which outsiders care about.
Keywords Descartes  Malebranche  Memory
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Human Action and Virtue in Descartes and Spinoza.Noa Naaman-Zauderer - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 21 (1):25-40.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Descartes, Passion, and the Ability to Do Otherwise.Christopher Gilbert - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Research 38:275-298.
Descartes.John Cottingham (ed.) - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Never Let the Passions Be Your Guide: Descartes and the Role of the Passions.Shoshana Brassfield - 2012 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (3):459-477.
The Body and the Brain.John Sutton - 2000 - In S. Gaukroger, J. Schuster & J. Sutton (eds.), Descartes' Natural Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 697--722.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-01-21

Total views
87 ( #88,924 of 2,249,269 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
11 ( #102,620 of 2,249,269 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature