Combining Philosophers

Ideas for Pierre Gassendi, Damon and Augustine

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2 ideas

17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 2. Interactionism
The contact of spirit and body is utterly amazing, and incomprehensible [Augustine]
     Full Idea: The manner of contact of spirit with body, which produces a living being, is utterly amazing and beyond our powers of comprehension
     From: Augustine (City of God [c.427], XXI.10)
     A reaction: This leads to a rather clear objection against a theory which needs a miracle to explain a common natural phenomenon. At least Augustine was beginning to recognise that interaction is a bit of a problem.
Things must have parts to intermingle [Gassendi]
     Full Idea: If you are no larger than a point, how are you joined to the whole body, which is so large? …and there can be no intermingling between things unless the parts of them can be intermingled.
     From: Pierre Gassendi (Objections to 'Meditations' (Fifth) [1641]), quoted by Jaegwon Kim - Philosophy of Mind p.131
     A reaction: As Descartes says that mind is distinct from body because it is non-spatial, it doesn't seem quite right to describe it as a 'point', but the second half is a real problem. Being non-spatial is a real impediment to intermingling with spatial objects.