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Cartesian Scientia And The Human Soul

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Chapter Summary

Descartess conception of matter changed the account of physical nature in terms of extension and related quantitative terms. Plants and animals were turned into species of machines, whose natural functions can be explained mechanistically. This chapter reflects on the consequences of this transformation for the psychology of human soul. It examines Descartess concept of scientia and his different uses of nature. The chapter argues that there is much more continuity between Aristotelian and Cartesian psychology than is usually recognized when it comes to an explanation of the functions of the embodied human soul. Cartesian Scientia is broader than philosophy of nature and rational psychology or metaphysics taken together. It encompasses both and allows in addition for a third, less perfect but irreplaceable form of cognition which is also irreducible in its kind.

Keywords: Aristotelian psychology; Cartesian Scientia; Cartesian transformation; Descartes; human soul

10.1163/ej.9789004173675.i-240.75
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004173675.i-240.75
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