The aim of this article is to clarify an aspect of Descartes’s conception of mind that seriously impacts on the standard objections against Cartesian Dualism. By a close reading of Descartes’s writings on imagination, I argue that the capacity to imagine does not inhere as a mode in the mind itself, but only in the embodied mind, that is, a mind that is not united to the body does not possess the faculty to imagine. As a mode considered as a general property, and not as an instance of it, belongs to the essence of the substance, and as imagination (like sensation) arises from the mind-body union, then the problem arises of knowing to what extent a Cartesian embodied mind is separable from the body.
Alanen, L. 2003. Descartes’s Concept of Mind. Cambridge, MA.
–. 1986. “On Descartes’s Argument for Dualism and the Distinction between Different Kinds of Beings”. In The Logic of Being: Historical Studies. Eds. S. Knuuttila/J. Hintikka. Dordrecht.
Almog, J. 2002. What Am I? Descartes and the Mind-Body Problem. New York.
Aquila, R. E. 1988. “The Cartesian and a Certain ‘Poetic’ Notion of Consciousness”. Journal of the History of Ideas 49, 543–562.
The journal publishes exceptional articles in all areas of Western philosophy from antiquity up to contemporary philosophy. The Archiv articles are distinguished by precise argumentation and lucid prose. In addition to publishing articles and reviews, the journal occasionally features a discussion section where particularly controversial positions are debated.