The Real Man

Joseph Almog

in What Am I?

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780195146462
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833054 | DOI:
The Real Man

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This chapter reviews the real distinction of Chapter 1 in the light of the pressure put on generic dualism by the integrationist challenge to give way to robust essences. It revisits the question of conceivability, in particular conceivability illusions such as the apparent conceivability of disembodiment and man–mind swaps. The full essence of the specific entities involved in the conceivability attempts holds the key to unravelling the illusion. It is not conceivable of the mind that it exists disembodied—contrary to first‐blush—if the full essence of the mind is brought to bear upon the question, the mind being what it is, namely, the mind of a human being. Two kinds of integrations are distinguished: generic versus tight, depending on whether the mind is made to depend existentially on any body of a given kind, or whether it is inextricably connected to a particular human body. The final pages contain a discussion of Descartes's primal question (what am I?) and finds that there is ‘appeal and confidence’ in Descartes's primal answer to that question: a man.

Keywords: body; conceivability; human being; mind

Chapter.  8748 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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