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Perception and Imagination in Descartes, Boyle and Hooke

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020

J.J. MacIntosh*
Affiliation:
University of Calgary

Extract

Descartes, Boyle and Hooke shared, with many other seventeenth-century figures, the view that mechanical explanations were the only intellectually satisfactory ones. They also all accepted the view that we have incorporeal souls. This generated a problem for them when they wrote about perception. In this area, indeed, Descartes seems to be almost a reluctant Cartesian. When we read his scientific writings, the incorporeal soul is not stressed, and Descartes happily speaks of physical, or of corporeal, ideas in discussing sensation, memory and imagination.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Authors 1983

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Footnotes

1

This paper incorporates suggestions of A. Rorty, M. Osler, and A. Wylie, to all of whom I am grateful. It has also benefited considerably from the helpful and constructive suggestions of the CJP's referee. This is particularly true of the section on Hooke. Work on this paper was supported by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Award no. 451-81-3627. Most of the work was done at the University of Auckland while on sabbatical leave from the University of Calgary. I should like to thank the Librarian and library staff of the Royal Society Library, London, for making the Boyle manuscripts available to me on a number of occasions.

References

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