Individualism and Descartes

Ferraiolo, William (1996) Individualism and Descartes. Teorema, XVI (1). pp. 71-86.


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Descartes is generally presumed to have been one of the foremost proponents of the doctrine of individualism of the mental. In this paper, I argue that it may be advisable for Descartes scholars and modern philosophers of mind to be slightly less presumptuous. My claim is that those passages from the Cartesian corpus which are traditionally cited in support of individualism should not be taken as conclusive evidence of Descartes's commitment to that doctrine. The relevant passages are either neutral with respect to the individualism debate or, in some cases, admit of reasonably palatable reinterpretation from an anti-individualistic standpoint. It is, therefore, my contention that we should require more substantial argument and textual analysis than that which is found in the contemporary literature before attributing individualism to Descartes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Epistemology; Individualism; Mind; Descartes
Subjects: Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Bewußtseinsphilosophie, Philosophie des Geistes und der Psychologie
Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Epistemologie, Wissenschaftstheorie, Naturphilosophie
Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Metaphysik
Philosophie > Geschichte der Philosophie > c) Renaissance
Depositing User: Stefan Köstenbauer
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2011 18:51

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