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On Descartes' Passive Thought – The Myth of Cartesian Dualism | Chicago Scholarship Online
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On Descartes' Passive Thought: The Myth of Cartesian Dualism

Jean-Luc Marion


Although Descartes is often thought to advocate a strong dualistic split between mind and body, valuing the mind over the body and even doubting the latter’s existence, this careful treatment of the Sixth Meditation, The Passions of the Soul, and Descartes’ letters to Elizabeth and Christina shows that such strict dualism is not supported by the texts. In fact, Descartes draws a distinction between bodies in general (in the external world) and his own body—the flesh or meum corpus—which is so closely connected to the mind as to be indubitable. In this way he anticipates phenomenological distin ... More

Keywords: Descartes, passive thought, senses, Sixth Meditation, body, flesh, union, onto-theo-logy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780226192581
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226192611.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jean-Luc Marion, author
University of Chicago