Rozemond explicates Descartes's aim to provide a metaphysics that would accommodate mechanistic science and supplant scholasticism. Her approach includes discussion of differences from and similarities to the scholastics and how these discriminations affected Descartes's defense of incorporeity of the mind and the mechanistic conception of body.
Descartes, an acknowledged founder of modern philosophy, is identified particularly with mind-body dualism--the view that the mind is an incorporeal entity. But this view was not entirely original with Descartes, and in fact to a significant extent it was widely accepted by the Aristotelian scholastics who preceded him, although they entertained a different conception of the nature of mind, body, and the relationship between them. In her first book, Marleen Rozemond explicates Descartes's aim to provide a metaphysics that would accommodate mechanistic science and supplant scholasticism. Her approach includes discussion of central differences from and similarities to the scholastics and how these discriminations affected Descartes's defense of the incorporeity of the mind and the mechanistic conception of body. Confronting the question of how, in his view, mind and body are united, she examines his defense of this union on the basis of sensation. In the course of her argument, she focuses on a few of the scholastics to whom Descartes referred in his own writings: Thomas Aquinas, Francisco Suarez, Eustachius of St. Paul, and the Jesuits of Coimbra. This new systematic account of Descartes's dualism amply demonstrates why he still deserves serious study and respect for his extraordinary philosophical achievements.
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[Descartes's Dualism is] a thorough and careful study of Descartes's account of the mind/soul. -- Stephen Gaukroger Time Literary Supplement [Descartes's Dualism] is a brilliant book. Rozemond provides an excellent articulation of the dualism of Descartes. Her analytic skills are very high, and her references to the medieval background of Descartes's theory of knowledge are crisp and secure...Rozemond's interest in the medievals also leads to a most informative, and rare, presentation of the influence of the doctrine of transubstantiation on discussions of substance and sense qualities. Among the many books on Descartes, this one ranks with a mere handful in terms of the highest worth. -- M. A. Bertman Choice [Rozemond's] discussion of the scholastic context of Descartes' arguments is exceedingly clear and informative, and should be read by anyone who really wishes to understand the context and meaning of Descartes' argument. -- John Barresi Journal of Consciousness Studies
About Marleen Rozemond
Marleen Rozemond is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto.
Table of Contents
Preface Abbreviations The Real Distinction Argument Scholasticism, Mechanism, and the Incorporeity of the Mind Sensible Qualities Real Qualities and Substantial Forms Hylomorphism and the Unity of the Human Being Sensation and the Union of Mind and Body Postscript Notes References Index
Descartes's Dualism by Marleen Rozemond
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Harvard University Press
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