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The debate on "Descartes' dualism" might well be endless if one would neglect to raise two radical issues: (1) What sort of life would be that of a human body to which, by miracle, no soul would be joined? (2) What kind of thoughts can be regarded as absolutely independent of the body? This paper tackles the second issue, by examining successively the functions of the senses and passions, the role of imagination in scientific research, and the conditions of metaphysical reflection. Its conclusion is that every kind of thought, as it is described by Descartes, possesses its cerebral conditions, and that the Cartesian statements about the ontological independence of the mind are to be related to its notion rather than to its activity.
Pour citer cet article :Kambouchner Denis (2012/1). Descartes and the independence of the mind. In Gillot Pascale & Garreta Guillaume (Eds), The Mind and its Places, Intellectica, 57, (pp.55-68), DOI: 10.3406/intel.2012.1133.