Kurt Smith - Descartes and the notion of animal spirits: a brief historico-philosophical remark on Sonya Marie Scott's 'Crises, confidence, and animal spirits: exploring subjectivity in the dualism of Descartes and Keynes'

jpe:10710 - Journal of Philosophical Economics, May 21, 2018, Volume XI Issue 2 - https://doi.org/10.46298/jpe.10710
Descartes and the notion of animal spirits: a brief historico-philosophical remark on Sonya Marie Scott's 'Crises, confidence, and animal spirits: exploring subjectivity in the dualism of Descartes and Keynes'Article

Authors: Kurt Smith 1

  • 1 Bloomsburg University

In ‘Crises, confidence, and animals spirits: exploring subjectivity in the dualism of Descartes and Keynes,’ Sonya Marie Scott sets out to deepen our understanding of Keynes’ use of animal spirits in his influential work in economics, by exploring one of the sources from which he appears to have acquired the notion—in the work of Seventeenth-Century philosopher René Descartes. The examination to follow will focus almost exclusively on Descartes’s view, where I hope to bring to light, for future discussion, both historical and philosophical troubles lurking in the account of Descartes as found in Scott’s article. I shall focus on two issues: first, I shall say a few critical words about the analogy offered by Scott, the analogy between Descartes’s and Keynes’ respective ‘dualisms;’ secondly, I shall look briefly at Scott’s reading of Descartes on animal spirits. As a quick bit of preliminary stage-setting, let me preface my remarks with a brief account of Descartes’s dualism and his account of the human being.


Volume: Volume XI Issue 2
Section: Articles
Published on: May 21, 2018
Imported on: December 28, 2022
Keywords: mind,rationality,economics,[SHS]Humanities and Social Sciences

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