Article ID: CBB247713160

The Mind–Body Problem and the Role of Pain: Cross-Fire Between Leibniz and His Cartesian Readers (2018)


This article is about the exchanges between Leibniz, Arnauld, Bayle and Lamy on the subject of pain. The inability of Leibniz’s system to account for the phenomenon of pain is a recurring objection of Leibniz’s seventeenth-century Cartesian readers to his hypothesis of pre-established harmony: according to them, the spontaneity of the soul and its representative nature cannot account for the affective component of pain. Strikingly enough, this problem has almost never been addressed in Leibniz studies, or only incidentally, through the more general problem of evil. My purpose in this article is to clarify Leibniz’s psychophysical parallelism by opposing his representationist account of pain to the functionalist account endorsed by Arnauld, Bayle, Lamy and Malebranche.

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Authors & Contributors
Cook, Monte
Kremer, Elmar J.
Watson, Richard
Ganault, Joël
Negroni, Barbara de
Buroker, Jill Vance
Journal of the History of Philosophy
Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques
Modern Schoolman
Corpus: Revue de Philosophie
Rivista di Storia della Filosofia
History of Philosophy Quarterly
Oxford University Press
University of Toronto Press
Pennsylvania State University Press
Franco Angeli
Cambridge University Press
University of Massachusetts
Mind and body
Philosophy of science
Natural philosophy
Malebranche, Nicolas de
Arnauld, Antoine
Descartes, René
Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm von
Régis, Pierre Sylvain
Berkeley, George
Time Periods
17th century
18th century
Early modern
16th century
Paris (France)

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