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Que peut le corps ? Spinoza, au chevet des écorchés

Abstract : No one has yet determined what the body can do. Some readers of the Ethics have understood this enigmatic sentence as the expression of Spinoza’s mistrust concerning medical knowledge. According to this reading, Spinoza would regard the human body as being endowed with plastic abilities or innovation skills for which the narrow Cartesian framework of the medical sciences of his time would be unable to account. In this article, I argue against such a reading by taking into consideration the anatomical dissections that Spinoza attended and the medical books that he read. The purpose of this article is twofold: 1/ to give a historicized reading of the analytic representation of complex bodies that Spinoza endorsed; 2/ to contribute to the discussion about the possible relationships between the semantic interpretation of philosophical texts and the historical study of their cultural milieu.
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Submitted on : Saturday, August 4, 2018 - 9:05:46 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 1:06:02 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, November 5, 2018 - 12:11:25 PM


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  • HAL Id : halshs-01838399, version 2


Raphaële Andrault. Que peut le corps ? Spinoza, au chevet des écorchés. 2018. ⟨halshs-01838399v2⟩



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