The complete mind

A Hungarian debate on the nature of body-mind union from 1685




Descartes, Pósaházi, real distinction of mind, complete idea


My contribution considers the problem of the real distinction between mind and body and its resulting consequences regarding the unity of human being against the background of a debate on Cartesianism between Hungarian intellectuals of Early Modernity. In his Syllabus (1685), János Pósáházi censured 32 Cartesian assertions and criticized frequently Descartes’ conceivability argument for the real distinction. His criticism involved Descartes’ terminological innovation of introducing the complete ideas besides clear and distinct ones in the Replies as criteria for the argument from conceivability. Pósaházi’s censure was refuted in the same year in a text titled as Vindiciae written by an author whose identity we are not aware of today. The paper presents the anonymous author’s defense of Cartesianism regarding the problem of body-mind relationship.


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József Simon

Historian of philosophy, Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Szeged and research fellow at the Institute of Philosophy of the Eötvös Lóránd Research Network (Budapest). He is the leader of a research project entitled “The History of Philosophy in Early Modern Hungary (1570-1710)”. His research focuses on the history of European philosophy between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries, with a special emphasis on Eastern Europe. He has published several books, chapters and papers in Hungarian, English and German, including Die Religionsphilosophie Christian Franckens (1552-1610?). Atheismus und radikale Reformation in frühneuzeitlichem Ostmitteleuropa. Wolfenbütteler Forschungen Bd. 117 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2008).




Hogyan kell idézni

Simon, J. (2022). The complete mind: A Hungarian debate on the nature of body-mind union from 1685. KÜLÖNBSÉG (Difference), 21(1), 145–170.

Folyóirat szám


Union de l'âme et du corps dans la philosophie classique

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