The definition of love given by Descartes in the Passions of the Soul (art. 79-84) has never stopped puzzling commentators. If the first Cartesian textbooks discreetly evoke or even fail to discuss Descartes's account of love, Spinoza harshly criticizes it, pointing out that it is on all hands admitted to be very obscure'. More recently several scholars have noticed the puzzling (or even paradoxical) character of the articles of the Passions of the Soul on love and hate. In this paper, I would like to propose a reassessment of the definition of love provided by the Passions of the Soul and the Letters to Elisabeth and Chanut. By tracing back Descartes's scholastic sources (namely Aquinas's treatises on the passions and charity in the Summa Theologiae), I will demonstrate how Descartes builds up his definition of love by displacing or subverting the meaning of several major elements of the thomistic vulgata on love. Hence, a significant part of the obscurity of the definition given by the Passions of the Soul possibly finds its ultimate rationale in this attempt to recover some traditional questions of the scholastic debate on love, while advancing new answers to them.
A very obscure definition: Descartes’ account of love in the Passions of the Soul and its scholastic background / A. Frigo. - In: BRITISH JOURNAL FOR THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY. - ISSN 0960-8788. - 24:6(2016), pp. 1097-1116.
|Titolo:||A very obscure definition: Descartes’ account of love in the Passions of the Soul and its scholastic background|
|Parole Chiave:||Descartes; Aquinas; Passions of the Soul; love; early modern theories of emotions|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore M-FIL/06 - Storia della Filosofia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09608788.2016.1192021|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|