Descartes and intellectual memory
Keywords:Descartes, corporeal memory, intellectual memory, theology, philosophy
This article investigates the doctrine of intellectual memory in Descartes. In his writings, Descartes recognized not only a bodily memory, explainable in purely physiological terms, but also an intellectual or spiritual memory. In this article, I investigate whether Descartes postulated an intellectual memory for theological reasons or for philosophical reasons. From the analysis of certain texts in which Descartes explains what intellectual memory is, the paper will show that Descartes appeals, for strictly philosophical reasons, to intellectual memory to explain some processes of reminiscence that occur in the human being. In contrast to what some contemporary commentators on the Cartesian doctrine of memory have argued, Descartes’s motivations for postulating intellectual memory are not theological.
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