À l'occasion de son séjour à l'ENS de Lyon dans le cadre du LabEx COMOD, Gary Hatfield donnera une conférence le mardi 11 décembre intitulée "Descartes and the Active Brain".
La double formation de Gary Hatfield, en histoire de la philosophie moderne et en neurosciences, sera l'occasion d'échanges féconds entre représentants de toutes les formes de scientificité.
Contrary to many descriptions of his work, Descartes did not regard the brain a passive conduit of stimulation that affects the mind or as a mere instrument for the willed movement of bodily limbs. Nor was he much concerned with the metaphysical problems of his mind–body dualism, instead focusing on the functional aspects of mind and its relation to body. Within this framework, this talk first examines the concepts of mind and psychology as categories applicable to Descartes’ writings, before turning to the active role of the brain in Descartes’ theory of mind and his “machine psychology,” including his natural geometry (a kind of mechanical calculation), his theory of the passions, and the machine psychology of mindless non-human animals—and of human beings, when the body acts without direction from the mind.