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ThoughtsPapers on Mind, Meaning, and Modality$
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Stephen Yablo

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199266463

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199266463.001.0001

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The Real Distinction between Mind and Body

The Real Distinction between Mind and Body

(p.1) 1 The Real Distinction between Mind and Body

Stephen Yablo (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter pursues two ideas. The first is that Descartes' argument cannot be faulted simply for relying on an inference from de re conceivability to de re possibility; that inference is implicated in too many de re modal claims routinely accepted without qualm or question. So the standard objection needs refinement: even if some de re conceivability intuitions justify de re modal conclusions, others do not, and when the differences are spelled out, Descartes' argument emerges as unpersuasive. The second idea is that, to the contrary, the more the differences are spelled out, the better Descartes' argument looks.

Keywords:   Descartes, conceivability, thinking things, possibility, dualism

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