Ghostless Cartesianism: Reintegrating the Fractured Self-Consciousness in Action

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Title: Ghostless Cartesianism: Reintegrating the Fractured Self-Consciousness in Action
Author: Kopilow, Emily
Advisor: Macbeth, Danielle; Yurdin, Joel
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Philosophy
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: In a series of exchanges Hubert Dreyfus and John McDowell take turns accusing each other of succumbing to dualistic theories of action founded in the subtle draws of a Cartesian dualism. The question of the meaning of mindedness, and the extent to which our conceptual capacities extend and are actualized, is the essential question framing what Hubert Dreyfus terms "the battle of the myths" between John McDowell and himself. The paper begins with Dreyfus's phenomenological claim that immersed bodily coping is nonconceptual, nonlinguistic, nonrational, and unminded. The second section supplements McDowell's reply in the exchange, primarily using Mind and World and a series of unpublished lectures. Through McDowell we come to see not only how intentional action cannot be unrational or nonconceptual, he shows us a way to understand how it can be rational and conceptual. The third section introduces what I term 'intellectual activity' as a form of immersed coping that further make Dreyfus's concerns seem unfounded.
Subject: Descartes, René, 1596-1650 -- Contributions in dualist doctrine of mind and body
Subject: Mind and body
Subject: Dreyfus, Hubert L. -- Criticism and interpretation
Subject: McDowell, John Henry -- Criticism and interpretation
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Kopilow, Emily. "Ghostless Cartesianism: Reintegrating the Fractured Self-Consciousness in Action". 2009. Available electronically from

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