Bijdragen 69 (2):172-196 (2008)

Abstract
This paper wishes to offer a historical derivation of the mature Diderot’s fully materialistic, physiological theory of the soul, and to show the conflict between the theological concept of the soul as a principle of freedom, and the materialistic-deterministic concept of the soul, in his philosophical and literary oeuvre. In historical respect, Diderot formulated his mature position on the basis of Locke’s theory of ‘thinking matter’, of Toland’s idea that ‘action is essential to matter’, of Maupertuis’s theory of ‘spontaneous creative degeneration’. We present and analyze these theories one by one, together with Voltaire’s propaganda of the Lockean conception. Next, d’Alembert’s orthodox philosophy of the soul is examined, as this was Diderot’s immediate target in Le Rêve d’Alembert. The last chapters of the paper describe the afore-mentioned conflict within Diderot’s philosophy of the soul. We reach the conclusion that in Diderot’s theory, soul as a not fully determined substance still seems the ‘differentia’ of man from the rest of the living beings, though he would certainly argue that our freedom is very limited. A philosophical comparison with Kant’s account of human freedom closes the article
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2143/BIJ.69.2.2031572
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 53,548
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

John Locke and the Way of Ideas.John Linnell - 1958 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 19 (2):256-257.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Omnipotence Again.Erik J. Wielenberg - 2000 - Faith and Philosophy 17 (1):26-47.
Omnipotence.Graham Oppy - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (1):58–84.
New Puzzles About Divine Attributes.Moti Mizrahi - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 5 (2):147-157.
The Divine Attributes.Nicholas Everitt - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (1):78-90.
Some Remarks on Formal Description of God's Omnipotence.Kordula Świętorzecka - 2011 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 20 (4):307-315.
Omnipotence and Other Possibilities.Martin Lembke - 2012 - Religious Studies 48 (4):425 - 443.
Omniscience and Maximal Power.Thomas Metcalf - 2004 - Religious Studies 40 (3):289-306.
Divine Incoherence.Michael Martin - 2007 - Sophia 46 (1):75-77.
Understanding Omnipotence.Kenneth L. Pearce & Alexander R. Pruss - 2012 - Religious Studies 48 (3):403-414.
In Defence of Omnipotence.E. J. Khamara - 1978 - Philosophical Quarterly 28 (112):215-228.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-01-15

Total views
9 ( #863,431 of 2,348,331 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #511,012 of 2,348,331 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes