Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy


published on February 29, 2020

Razvan Ioan

Descartes’s Turn to the Body

What are Descartes’s views on the body and how do they change? In this article, I try to make clearer the nature of the shift towards an increased focus on the body as ‘my’ body in Descartes’s Passions of the Soul. The interest in the nature of passions, considered from the point of view of the ‘natural scientist’, is indicative of a new approach to the study of the human. Moving beyond the infamous mind-body union, grounded in his dualist metaphysics, Descartes begins developing a philosophical anthropology centred on the notion of power and better suited to practical philosophy.