Philosophy Colloquium
Alison Peterman
University of Rochester
Two questions about embodiment

What is Spinoza's account of the relationship between the human mind and body? I'll argue that Spinoza has two different answers to two different versions of this question, starting from two different sets of premises. First, Spinoza starts with subjective data like felt sensations and our experience of moving our bodies, and from that he concludes that the human mind is united to the human body by representing it. Second, to account for apparent psychophysical interaction in general, Spinoza develops parallelism. While these accounts of the mind-body relationship are often run together (including by Spinoza), I'll show that Spinoza argues for them in relative isolation from one another and does not resolve them. I'll trace this back to Descartes, who also offers two irreconcilable approaches to two different questions about the mind-body relationship, and I'll argue that we can still find a sense of this tension in contemporary philosophy of mind.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015
3:30pm

KEY 0103