Tijdschrift voor Filosofie vol:69 issue:2 pages:207-237
According to the French thinker Alain (1868-1951), Descartes' Treatise on The Passions of the Soul (1649) contains three layers. First there is the pure physiological account of the passions: the body as mechanical unity (“automaton”). In a second layer Descartes develops a more psychological account: the passions described from the point of view of the union of the soul with the body. And in a third one, he points to the existence of pure intellectual passions (as the “intellectual joy”). What is the relation between these three layers? And how does our knowledge of the existene of these layers contribute to our control over the passions as such?