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Animals

In Janet Broughton & John Carriero (eds.), Companion to Descartes. Blackwell. pp. 404–425 (2008)

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  1. Between Two Worlds: A Reading of Descartes's Meditations.John Carriero - 2008 - Princeton University Press.
    Introduction -- The first meditation -- The second meditation -- The third meditation : the truth rule and the "chief and most common mistake" -- The third meditation : two demonstrations of God's existence -- The fourth meditation -- The fifth meditation -- The sixth meditation.
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  • ‘In Human Shape to Become the Very Beast!’ – Henry More on Animals.Cecilia Muratori - 2017 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (5):897-915.
    Animals – both tame and wild, as metaphors and as real presences – populate many of More’s works. In this essay, I show that, from the early Psychodia Platonica to the Divine Dialogues, animals are at the core of key metaphysical issues that reverberate on the levels of psychology and ethics. In particular I discuss three main aspects: the role of animals in More’s critique of atheism, both as safeguard for the body–soul interaction and as proofs of divine providence in (...)
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  • Descartes: New Thoughts on the Senses.Gary Hatfield - 2017 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (3):443-464.
    Descartes analysed the mind into various faculties or powers, including pure intellect, imagination, senses, and will. This article focuses on his account of the sensory power, in relation to its Aristotelian background. Descartes accepted from the Aristotelians that the senses serve to preserve the body by detecting benefits and harms. He rejected the scholastic Aristotelian sensory ontology of resembling species, or ‘forms without matter’. For the visual sense, Descartes offered a mechanistic ontology and a partially mechanized account of sensory processes, (...)
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  • Metaphysical Themes, 1274–1671.Robert Pasnau - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    The thirty chapters work through various fundamental metaphysical issues, sometimes focusing more on scholastic thought, sometimes on the seventeenth century.
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  • Cartesian Functional Analysis.Deborah J. Brown - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):75 - 92.
    Despite eschewing the utility of ends or purposes in natural philosophy, Descartes frequently engages in functional explanation, which many have assumed is an essentially teleological form of explanation. This article considers the consistency of Descartes's appeal to natural functions, advancing the idea that he is utilizing a non-normative, non-teleological form of functional explanation. It will be argued that Cartesian functional analysis resembles modern causal functional analysis, and yet, by emphasizing the interdependency of parts of biological systems, is able to avoid (...)
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  • Psychology, Philosophy, and Cognitive Science: Reflections on the History and Philosophy of Experimental Psychology.Gary Hatfield - 2002 - Mind and Language 17 (3):207-232.
    This article critically examines the views that psychology first came into existence as a discipline ca. 1879, that philosophy and psychology were estranged in the ensuing decades, that psychology finally became scientific through the influence of logical empiricism, and that it should now disappear in favor of cognitive science and neuroscience. It argues that psychology had a natural philosophical phase (from antiquity) that waxed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, that this psychology transformed into experimental psychology ca. 1900, that philosophers (...)
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  • Mental Acts and Mechanistic Psychology in Descartes' Passions.Gary Hatfield - 2008 - In Neil Robertson, Gordon McOuat & Tom Vinci (eds.), Descartes and the Modern. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 49-71.
    This chapter examines the mechanistic psychology of Descartes in the _Passions_, while also drawing on the _Treatise on Man_. It develops the idea of a Cartesian “psychology” that relies on purely bodily mechanisms by showing that he explained some behaviorally appropriate responses through bodily mechanisms alone and that he envisioned the tailoring of such responses to environmental circumstances through a purely corporeal “memory.” An animal’s adjustment of behavior as caused by recurring patterns of sensory stimulation falls under the notion of (...)
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  • Descartes on the Theory of Life and Methodology in the Life Sciences.Karen Detlefsen - 2016 - In Peter Distelzweig & Evan Ragland (eds.), Early Modern Medicine and Natural Philosophy. Springer. pp. 141-72.
    As a practicing life scientist, Descartes must have a theory of what it means to be a living being. In this paper, I provide an account of what his theoretical conception of living bodies must be. I then show that this conception might well run afoul of his rejection of final causal explanations in natural philosophy. Nonetheless, I show how Descartes might have made use of such explanations as merely hypothetical, even though he explicitly blocks this move. I conclude by (...)
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  • Is 'the Monstrous Thesis' Truly Cartesian?Rodrigo González - 2017 - Discusiones Filosóficas 18 (30):15-33.
    According to Kemp Smith, Descartes believed that animals were devoid of feelings and sensations. This is the so-called ‘monstrous thesis,’ which I explore here in light of two Cartesian approaches to animals. Firstly, I examine their original treatment in function of Descartes’ early metaphysical approach, i.e., all natural phenomena are to be elucidated in terms of mental scrutiny. As pain would only exist in the understanding, and animals have neither understanding nor souls, Descartes held that they did not suffer. Secondly, (...)
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  • Cartesian Critters Can't Remember.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 69:72-85.
    Descartes held the following view of declarative memory: to remember is to reconstruct an idea that you intellectually recognize as a reconstruction. Descartes countenanced two overarching varieties of declarative memory. To have an intellectual memory is to intellectually reconstruct a universal idea that you recognize as a reconstruction, and to have a sensory memory is to neurophysiologically reconstruct a particular idea that you recognize as a reconstruction. Sensory remembering is thus a capacity of neither ghosts nor machines, but only of (...)
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  • Obscurity and Confusion: Nonreductionism in Descartes's Biology and Philosophy.Barnaby Hutchins - 2016 - Dissertation, Ghent University
    Descartes is usually taken to be a strict reductionist, and he frequently describes his work in reductionist terms. This dissertation, however, makes the case that he is a nonreductionist in certain areas of his philosophy and natural philosophy. This might seem like simple inconsistency, or a mismatch between Descartes's ambitions and his achievements. I argue that here it is more than that: nonreductionism is compatible with his wider commitments, and allowing for irreducibles increases the explanatory power of his system. Moreover, (...)
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  • Between ‘Perception’ and Understanding, From Leibniz to Kant.Clinton Tolley - 2016 - Estudos Kantianos 4 (2):71-98.
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  • Spinoza über Tiere.Dominik Perler - 2014 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 96 (2):232-261.
    :According to Spinoza, there is no categorical distinction between human and non-human animals: they all belong to the same nature and all consist of bodies with corresponding ideas. This thesis gives rise to two problems. How is it possible to distinguish different types of animals, in particular nonrational and rational ones, if all of them have the same metaphysical structure? And why does Spinoza nevertheless claim that human beings have a privileged status that gives them the right to use non-rational (...)
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  • Transparency of Mind: The Contributions of Descartes, Leibniz, and Berkeley to the Genesis of the Modern Subject.Gary Hatfield - 2011 - In Hubertus Busche (ed.), Departure for Modern Europe: A Handbook of Early Modern Philosophy (1400-1700). Felix Meiner Verlag. pp. 361–375.
    The chapter focuses on attributions of the transparency of thought to early modern figures, most notably Descartes. Many recent philosophers assume that Descartes believed the mind to be “transparent”: since all mental states are conscious, we are therefore aware of them all, and indeed incorrigibly know them all. Descartes, and Berkeley too, do make statements that seem to endorse both aspects of the transparency theses (awareness of all mental states; incorrigibility). However, they also make systematic theoretical statements that directly countenance (...)
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  • Disposition and Latent Teleology in Descartes’s Philosophy.Lynda Gaudemard - 2015 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 89 (2):293-308.
    Most contemporary metaphysicians think that a teleological approach to mereological composition and the whole-part relation should be ignored because it is an obsolete view of the world. In this paper, I discuss Descartes’s conception of individuation and composition of material objects such as stones, machines, and human bodies. Despite the fact that Descartes officially rejected ends from his philosophy of matter, I argue, against some scholars, that to appeal to the notion of disposition was a way for him to maintain (...)
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  • The Use of Usus and the Function of Functio: Teleology and Its Limits in Descartes’s Physiology.Peter M. Distelzweig - 2015 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 53 (3):377-399.
    rené descartes famously and explicitly rejects appeals to final causes in natural philosophy, suggesting that such appeals depend on knowledge of God’s inscrutable ends.For since I now know that my own nature is very weak and limited, whereas the nature of God is immense, incomprehensible and infinite, I also know without more ado that he is capable of countless things whose causes are beyond my knowledge. And for this reason alone I consider the whole kind of causes, customarily sought from (...)
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  • Natural Geometry in Descartes and Kepler.Gary Hatfield - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (1):117-148.
    According to Kepler and Descartes, the geometry of the triangle formed by the two eyes when focused on a single point affords perception of the distance to that point. Kepler characterized the processes involved as associative learning. Descartes described the processes as a “ natural geometry.” Many interpreters have Descartes holding that perceivers calculate the distance to the focal point using angle-side-angle, calculations that are reduced to unnoticed mental habits in adult vision. This article offers a purely psychophysiological interpretation of (...)
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  • Did Descartes Have a Jamesian Theory of the Emotions?Gary Hatfield - 2007 - Philosophical Psychology 20 (4):413-440.
    Rene Descartes and William James had "body first" theories of the passions or emotions, according to which sensory stimulation causes a bodily response that then causes an emotion. Both held that this bodily response also causes an initial behavioral response (such as flight from a bear) without any cognitive intervention such as an "appraisal" of the object or situation. From here they differ. Descartes proposed that the initial processes that produce fear and running are entirely mechanical. Even human beings initially (...)
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  • Teleology and Natures in Descartes' Sixth Meditation.Karen Detlefsen - 2013 - In Descartes' Meditations: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press. pp. 153-176.
    In this paper, I consider Descartes’ Sixth Meditation dropsy passage on the difference between the human body considered in itself and the human composite of mind and body. I do so as a way of illuminating some features of Descartes’ broader thinking about teleology, including the role of teleological explanations in physiology. I use the writings on teleology of some ancient authors for the conceptual (but not historical) help they can provide in helping us to think about the Sixth Meditation (...)
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  • Descartes’s Metaphysical Biology.Gideon Manning - 2015 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (2):209-239.
    In the past decade, several Descartes scholars have gone on record claiming that, for biological purposes, Descartes likely accepts the practical scientific necessity of the existence of “physical natures,” even while his official substance-mode ontology and his characterization of matter in terms of extension do not license the existence of physical natures. In this article, I elaborate on the historical context of Descartes’s biology, the “practical scientific necessity” just mentioned, and argue, contrary to other interpretations, that Descartes does offer a (...)
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  • Descartes, Other Minds and Impossible Human Bodies.Gideon Manning - 2012 - Philosophers' Imprint 12:1-24.
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  • Reflection and the Stability of Belief: Essays on Descartes, Hume, and Reid.E. Loeb Louis - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
    This volume will thus appeal to advanced students and scholars not just in the history of early modern philosophy but in epistemology and other core areas of ...
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  • Descartes' Philosophical Revolution: A Reassessment.Hanoch Ben-Yami - 2015 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    In this book, Ben-Yami reassesses the way Descartes developed and justified some of his revolutionary philosophical ideas. The first part of the book shows that one of Descartes' most innovative and influential ideas was that of representation without resemblance. Ben-Yami shows how Descartes transfers insights originating in his work on analytic geometry to his theory of perception. The second part shows how Descartes was influenced by the technology of the period, notably clockwork automata, in holding life to be a mechanical (...)
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