Mind, Body, and Morality : New Perspectives on Descartes and Spinoza book cover
1st Edition

Mind, Body, and Morality
New Perspectives on Descartes and Spinoza

ISBN 9781032093529
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
274 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $48.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The turn of the millennium has been marked by new developments in the study of early modern philosophy. In particular, the philosophy of René Descartes has been reinterpreted in a number of important and exciting ways, specifically concerning his work on the mind-body union, the connection between objective and formal reality, and his status as a moral philosopher. These fresh interpretations have coincided with a renewed interest in overlooked parts of the Cartesian corpus and a sustained focus on the similarities between Descartes’ thought and the philosophy of Baruch Spinoza.

Mind, Body, and Morality consists of fifteen chapters written by scholars who have contributed significantly to the new turn in Descartes and Spinoza scholarship. The volume is divided into three parts. The first group of chapters examines different metaphysical and epistemological problems raised by the Cartesian mind-body union. Part II investigates Descartes’ and Spinoza’s understanding of the relations between ideas, knowledge, and reality. Special emphasis is put on Spinoza’s conception of the relation between activity and passivity. Finally, the last part explores different aspects of Descartes’ moral philosophy, connecting his views to important predecessors, Augustine and Abelard, and comparing them to Spinoza.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Martina Reuter and Frans Svensson

Part I: Cartesian Persons

2. The Metaphysics of Cartesian Persons

Deborah Brown

3. The Gender of the Cartesian Mind, Body, and Mind-Body Union

Martina Reuter

4. "I certainly seem to see" – Embodiment in the Second Meditation

Mikko Yrjönsuuri

Part II: Ideas, Knowledge, and Reality

5. Ideas and Reality in Descartes

Peter Myrdal and Arto Repo

6. Spinoza’s Three Kinds of Cognition: Imagination, Understanding, and Definition and Essence

John Carriero

7. Mind-Body Interaction and Unity in Spinoza

Olli Koistinen

8. Spinoza and the Inferential Nature of Thought

Karolina Hübner

9. Self-Consciousness and Consciousness of Self: Spinoza on Desire and Pride

Lisa Shapiro

10. Spinoza on Activity and Passivity: The Problematic Definition Revisited

Valtteri Viljanen

Part III: Will, Virtue, and Love

11. Teleology and Descartes’ Problem of Error

Tomas Ekenberg

12. Descartes’ Generosité

Calvin Normore

13. A Cartesian Distinction in Virtue: Moral and Perfect

Frans Svensson

14. Spinoza and the Cartesian Definition of Love

Denis Kambouchner

15. Self and Will in Descartes’s Account of Love

Lilli Alanen

View More



Martina Reuter is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

Frans Svensson is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, Linguistics, and Theory of Science at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.