In the Shadow of Descartes

Essays in the Philosophy of Mind

  • Georg Henrik von Wright

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 272)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Georg Henrik von Wright
    Pages 1-44
  3. Georg Henrik von Wright
    Pages 45-68
  4. Georg Henrik von Wright
    Pages 69-82
  5. Georg Henrik von Wright
    Pages 83-96
  6. Georg Henrik von Wright
    Pages 97-123
  7. Georg Henrik von Wright
    Pages 125-148
  8. Georg Henrik von Wright
    Pages 151-154
  9. Georg Henrik von Wright
    Pages 155-164
  10. Georg Henrik von Wright
    Pages 165-170
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 171-180

About this book


Descartes made a sharp distinction between matter and mind. But he also thought that the two interact with one another. Is such interaction possible, however, without either a materialist reduction of mind to matter or an idealist (phenomenalist) reduction of matter to mind? These questions overshadow the Western tradition in metaphysics from the time of Descartes to present times.
The book makes an effort to stay clear of reductivist views of the two Cartesian substances. It defends a dualistic psycho-physical parallel theory which reconciles freedom of action with determinism in nature. Basic problems in perception theory are also discussed, with special emphasis on hearing and sound.
Because of the intrinsic interest of the subject and the author's non-technical presentation of it, the book should appeal to all readers with a serious interest in philosophy and psychology.


Action interaction mind psychology reduction

Authors and affiliations

  • Georg Henrik von Wright
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Academy of FinlandHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.University of HelsinkiFinland

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1998
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-5011-3
  • Online ISBN 978-94-015-9034-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site