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date: 28 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the Cartesian account of the passions of the soul, as it is delivered for the most part in the treatise published in 1649. This account includes several aspects which have to be both distinguished and related to each other: 1) the decision to locate the “most proximate cause” of the passions in the body, and its connection with the Cartesian tenet of the indivisibility of the soul; 2) the reconstruction of the cerebral and physiological process which produces passion in the soul; 3) the distinction between the passions and other kinds of perception; 4) the definition of their function or usefulness; and 5) the classification of the passions and the distinction between “simple and primitive” and “particular” passions, with its ethical and practical implications.

Keywords: mind, passion, sensation, emotion, virtue

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