Volume 80, 2006
Intelligence and the Philosophy of Mind
Hylomorphism and Post-Cartesian Philosophy of Mind
Descartes developed a compelling characterization of mental and physical phenomena which has remained more or less canonical for Western philosophy ever since. The greatest testament to the power of Cartesian thinking is its ubiquity. Even philosophers who are critical of post-Cartesian anthropology (philosophers,
for instance, who are self-professed exponents of one or another form of hylomorphism) nevertheless tacitly endorse Cartesian assumptions. Part of what leads to this strange inconsistency is that by and large philosophers no longer know what a non-Cartesian anthropology looks like. I discuss some commitments characteristic of post-Cartesian philosophy of mind, and present an alternative conception of psychological phenomena more consistent with a hylomorphic framework.