The impenetrable animal heart: Descartes and Condillac on animals

Hernán Neira

Abstract


During French modernity, comparison between animals and humans is a key to understand what “human” is, as shown by Descartes’s and Condillac’s works. An analysis of these works allows us to see how, during modernity, two questions about animals arise. (i) How might one establish a foundation for a resemblance between humans and animals or, on the contrary, consider it illegitimate? (ii) How could one speak philosophically about animals if part of their essence seems to consist of being impenetrable for human knowledge? Reflecting on the position of Descartes and Condillac on animals makes it possible to clarify some of the challenges that contemporary zoophilosophy must solve.

Key words: Descartes, Condillac, animals, animal sensibility, sovereignty, zoophilosophy.


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ISSN: 1984-8234 - Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License [Updated on September 23, 2016].

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