Cartesian Explanation

Desmond M. Clarke

in Descartes's Theory of Mind

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780199261239
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597213 | DOI:
 Cartesian Explanation

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Descartes argued that the model for genuine explanation is provided by natural philosophy and that scholastic theories that appeal to substantial forms or real qualities are pseudo‐explanations. Thus, one cannot explain mental acts by reference to a mental substance. The intractability of mind–body interaction illustrates the limits of our explanatory success to date.

Keywords: explanation; mind–body interaction; pseudo‐explanation; real qualities; substantial forms

Chapter.  14208 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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