cover of book

On Descartes’ Passive Thought: The Myth of Cartesian Dualism
by Jean-Luc Marion
translated by Christina M. Gschwandtner
introduction by Christina M. Gschwandtner
University of Chicago Press, 2018
Cloth: 978-0-226-19258-1 | eISBN: 978-0-226-19261-1
Library of Congress Classification B1875.M336613 2018
Dewey Decimal Classification 194

On Descartes’ Passive Thought is the culmination of a life-long reflection on the philosophy of Descartes by one of the most important living French philosophers. In it, Jean-Luc Marion examines anew some of the questions left unresolved in his previous books about Descartes, with a particular focus on Descartes’s theory of morals and the passions.

Descartes has long been associated with mind-body dualism, but Marion argues here that this is a historical misattribution, popularized by Malebranche and popular ever since both within the academy and with the general public. Actually, Marion shows, Descartes held a holistic conception of body and mind. He called it the meum corpus, a passive mode of thinking, which implies far more than just pure mind—rather, it signifies a mind directly connected to the body: the human being that I am. Understood in this new light, the Descartes Marion uncovers through close readings of works such as Passions of the Soul resists prominent criticisms leveled at him by twentieth-century figures like Husserl and Heidegger, and even anticipates the non-dualistic, phenomenological concepts of human being discussed today. This is a momentous book that no serious historian of philosophy will be able to ignore.

See other books on: 1596-1650 | Mind & Body | Mind and body | Myth | Philosophy, French
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