Descartes’ mind-body dualism in the contemporary retrospective
Keywords:mental, physical, mind, substance, thinking, extension, subject, reason
The article discusses the significance of the main ideas of Descartes’ philosophy of mind from the point of view of their reception, criticism and transformation in the contemporary analytical Philosophy of Mind. There is criticized the typical mistaken interpretation of Descartes’ substance dualism as the doctrine that the mind is made of a non-physical thinking stuff; there is also explained that Descartes’ thinking substance is an absolutely indivisible entity (mental subject, self) and so does not consist of any stuff. The author considers Descartes’ main arguments for substance dualism and ascertains their tenability and close connection with the most important contemporary arguments against materialism. On these grounds, one can conclude that the main ideas of Descartes’ philosophy of mind, provided moderate adaptation-modernization, remain actual and form a consistent and feasible system that assigns an appropriate place for the human person as a subject of experiences, thinking, awareness, will, and conscious, purposeful activity.
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