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Descartes on Causation$
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Tad M. Schmaltz

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195327946

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195327946.001.0001

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Causation in Psychology

Causation in Psychology

(p.129) 4 Causation in Psychology
Descartes on Causation

Tad M. schmaltz

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the issue of causal interaction in the context of Descartes's dualistic psychology. A common objection is that there is a “scandal of Cartesian interaction” that derives from the fact that Descartes cannot explain the interaction of objects that differ in nature. However, it is argued that Descartes confronts not this scandalous problem but rather different sets of difficulties that apply to the cases of body‐to‐mind and mind‐to‐body action and that, in contrast to the scandalous problem, are linked to earlier scholastic discussions. Moreover, it is concluded that Descartes's conservationist physics creates difficulties for his view of mind‐to‐body action that he never fully confronted.

Keywords:   Descartes, causation, Cartesian interaction, body‐to‐mind action, mind‐to‐body action, scholasticism

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