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Descartes's Theory of Mind 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 000-0199261237
ISBN-10: 0199261237
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Editorial Reviews

Review

[Clarke's] account of Descartes on the workings of the human body and brain is intelligent and informative. His discussion of dualism is philosophically informed and suggestive. His biography is massively knowledgeable and erudite, bringing together recent discoveries and revealing many facts about Descartes' life. Jorge Secada, The Philosophical Quarterly 'Descartes's scientific ambitions were, to be sure, a crucial part of his philosophical project, and Clarkes careful and persuasive exploration of them provides an important addition to the literature' John Cottingham, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

About the Author

Desmond Clarke is in the Department of Philosophy, University College, Cork, Ireland.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (August 14, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199261237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199261239
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.9 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,913,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Many books are coming out now, by physiologists and neuroscientists and brain surgeons, saying things like, "the mind is completely explainable by the physiology of the brain." They say they have refuted Descartes. Well, not so fast!

This book explains quite well what Descartes was trying to do with his theory of mind, and it wasn't what everyone thinks they are refuting. In fact, Descartes was really trying to be more of a physiologist, according to Clarke.

I can't put this book down! For a philosophy professor, the author is quite a good writer, easier to understand than some.

One thing I am picking up is that Clarke has no time for Spinoza, never even mentions in the book. The omission seems odd since he mentions every other 17th Century philosopher in relation to Descartes. If there is a bias in the book it is against Scholasticism, Platonism, .. against an appeal to Forms, essence, substance, Nature with a capital N. The bias seems to be that things we see and interact with ought to be able to be explained in terms of things we see and interact with, without appealing to the unseen and unknown. Perhaps Spinoza gave too much of an appeal to Nature that Clarke does not feel he fits in a book about Descartes' Theory of Mind. Still a great book.
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Descartes's Theory of Mind
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