Short Communication

Almog's Descartes

Fred Ablondi 
a1 Hendrix College, USA


The answer which Joseph Almog gives to the question which serves as the title of his recent book What Am I? (subtitled: Descartes and the Mind-Body Problem) is based upon his interpretation of (1) and objection to Descartes' argument for the distinction of the mind and the body raised by Antoine Arnauld, as well as Descartes' response to it, and (2) Descartes' letters of 9 February 1645 to Denis Mesland. I will argue that both of these interpretations are incorrect, and as such do not support the conclusions which Almog claims to draw from them. The answer, then to the question of what I am which Almog provides is, I believe, not one Descartes would have held, nor one which his writings support.

(Published Online October 13 2005)