[SydPhil] Deb Brown's Talk

Samuel Baron samuel.baron at sydney.edu.au
Thu May 9 15:34:16 AEST 2013

Dear all,

Please note that there has been a title and abstract change for Deb Brown's (University of Queensland) on 15/05/13.


Animal Souls


The status of animals posed special problems for those thinkers of the seventeenth century ambitious enough to put Scholasticism behind them. One problem was that the Scholastic idea that the soul was the substantial form and organising principle of matter in organic bodies had no place in the new physics, leaving it an open question how the unity and integrity of organic matter was to be explained. Another problem related to a residual commitment to the medieval idea that a thing just is its parts, which made it difficult to account for how anything, like an animal, grows or undergoes replacement of its parts. This paper looks at how two thinkers of the period, Hobbes and Descartes, responded to some of these challenges and how, therefore, Beulah the cow came to be thought of as anything at all.



DR SAMUEL BARON | Postdoctoral Research Fellow
School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry | Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

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E samuel.baron at sydney.edu.au<mailto:carolyne.carter at sydney.edu.au>
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