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Causality and MindEssays on Early Modern Philosophy$
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Nicholas Jolley

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199669554

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669554.001.0001

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Sensation, Intentionality, and Animal Consciousness

Sensation, Intentionality, and Animal Consciousness

Malebranche’s Theory of the Mind

Chapter:
(p.57) 4 Sensation, Intentionality, and Animal Consciousness
Source:
Causality and Mind
Author(s):

Nicholas Jolley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669554.003.0005

In general, seventeenth-century philosophers assume that intentionality is an essential characteristic of our mental life. Malebranche is perhaps the only philosopher in the period who stands out against the orthodoxy. This chapter argues that attention to this fact makes it possible to mount at least a partial defence of his notorious doctrine of the rainbow-coloured soul; Malebranche’s doctrine is a striking anticipation of modern adverbial theories of sensation. In opposition to the Radners it is further argued that Malebranche has the resources to offer an interesting theory of animal consciousness. His continuing subscription to Descartes’ beast-machine doctrine rests largely on his acceptance of arguments from divine justice.

Keywords:   Adverbial, animal consciousness, beast-machine, colour, Descartes, intentionality, Radners, sensation

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