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The Cartesian real distinction and the possibility of substantial union and interaction between soul and body

Grant number: 13/25335-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2014
Effective date (End): November 01, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - Metaphysics
Principal Investigator:Eneias Junior Forlin
Grantee:Ednaldo Isidoro da Silva
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):15/27024-2 - The metaphysical contributions in the notion of the passions of the soul, eternal truths and logical principles, BE.EP.DR


In this research, which aim is to show the (legitimate) possibility of the substantial union through the real distinction, we understand that Descartes conceives body and soul as autonomous substances because of their different roots and, primarily for his scientific interests, says that soul and body are principles in themselves. For them to be substances is to come from different roots. If it is not radical then it is not substance and there is no real distinction. Anyway, even if it were a real distinction, it did not preclude the substantial union and vice-versa. Oriented by Forlin, we want to show that it is indispensable to not mistake radical (from root) for the opposition of the beings, to not mistake the exclusion that a substance do for its nature for the exclusion of the being. Body and soul are not "to be" and "not to be", matter and antimatter for each other; the body is material and will never become spiritual, which does not means that it is antispiritual. And drawing on Objections and Replies and on letters to Regius and Elizabeth, we will criticize i) Gouhier and Gueroult, for whom the theory of real distinction generates an impossibility of body and soul unite and interact, which is possible only because God is almighty and operates this miracle against the real distinction itself; ii) Cottingham and Kambouchner who, relying on the letters to Elizabeth (and Regius), say that the theory of the primitive notions is crucial and revolutionary at the metaphysics of Descartes: Cottingham concludes that, at the substantial composite, the dualism ends as the sensations are the third distinct aspect of man after the thought and the extension - where comes the Cartesian triad; Kambouchner says that once it is impossible to explain the union from the real distinction and to conceive how two distinct substances are able to interact, Descartes would have given in the Aristotelian hylomorphism. (AU)

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
SILVA, Ednaldo Isidoro da. The cartesian theory of substance and the possibility of substancial union between soul and body. 2018. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas Campinas, SP.

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