Cartesianism and Philosophy of Mind

April 13, 2023 - April 14, 2023
University of Oulu c/o Finnish Institute in Rome

Passeggiata del Gianicolo 10

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University of Oulu

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Cartesianism and Philosophy of Mind

A Workshop

Rome, Italy, April 13–14, 2023


Call for Abstracts

Philosophers labelled as Cartesians proceed through reactions to views and arguments originating in a single source, the works of Descartes. Despite this commonality, they are variegated as to what they consider to constitute the core of “the Cartesian philosophy” and they disagree with each other about specific doctrines. In philosophy of mind especially, we find a plurality of views that are closely related to Descartes’ own views, yet they put forth additional substantial philosophical claims, not all of which are easily reconcilable with Descartes’ original views.

For example, Desgabets insists that having an idea of an object entails the existence of the object outside the mind, la Forge claims that the mind is immediately conscious of everything which takes place in itself as it is acting or is acted on, Malebranche holds that the intimate presence of the mind with itself does not afford apprehension of its nature, and Elisabeth argues that the mind must have some affinities with extension in order for the union between mind and body to be intelligible. Are these views compatible with or do they mark a departure from Descartes? If the latter, do we have good reasons to think of them as Cartesian views, nonetheless? Most importantly, what is the philosophical import of these views?

The workshop is related to our book project Cartesianism and Philosophy of Mind, which aims to shed light on its subject with an inclination toward systematic yet context sensitive discussion of the examined issues. 

We invite abstracts for papers to be presented at the workshop on the premises of Finnish institute in Rome, Villa Lante, April 13–14, 2023.

The deadline for abstract submissions is February 22nd. We expect to have 2–3 available slots. We aim to communicate results very soon after the deadline.

Possible topics include, but are not restricted to, the following issues in Cartesian philosophy of mind:

·       Sensory perception

·       Intellectual perception

·       Mind–world relations (including mind–body relation)

·       Nature, structure, and function of consciousness

·       Self and the human being

·       Volitions and passions

·       Representation, signification, and language

Confirmed speakers of the workshop include Olivier Dubouclez, Steven Nadler (via Zoom), Dániel Schmal, and Lauren Slater.

Organizers: Vili Lähteenmäki & Jani Sinokki, University of Oulu

Submissions[email protected]

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