Consciousness and Affectivity in Descartes

Authors

  • Antonio Malo Ateneo Romano della Santa Croce

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17421/1121_2179_1993_02_02_Malo

Abstract

The Cartesian cogito-sum is an evidence founded upon the concomitant consciousness of one’s own existence, perceived in every act of thought. This evidence, diverse from that of the objects of thought, which is based on clarity and distinctness, is the source of the evidence of the passions of the soul, especially the emotions. Overlooking the distinction between these two sorts of evidence, Descartes considers the emotions to be obscure and confused thoughts. To explain the origin of the passions he uses two theories: physiological and cognitive. The impossibility of achieving a synthesis of the two approaches is owing to his conception of a contingent connection between the various elements of emotion. Only a theory which conceives emotion as a unitary phenomenon, capable of being educated from within one’s own affectivity and not merely controlled from without, is able to offer an adequate explanation of the personal character of the human being.

Published

30-09-1993

How to Cite

Malo, Antonio. “Consciousness and Affectivity in Descartes”. Acta Philosophica 2, no. 2 (September 30, 1993). Accessed July 13, 2024. https://www.actaphilosophica.it/article/view/4300.

Issue

Section

Studies

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