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Department of English Studies


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Publication details for Dr Michael Mack

Mack, Michael (2012). Testing the compatibility of psychoanalysis and contemporary neuroscience Freud between Spinoza and Kant. Avello publishing journal 2: The Unconscious(1): 3-29.

Author(s) from Durham


What is Spinoza’s insight then? That mind and body are parallel and mutually correlated processes, mimicking each other at every crossroad, as two faces of the same thing. That deep inside these parallel phenomena there is a mechanism for representing body events in the mind. That in spite of the equal footing of mind and body, as far as they are manifest to the percipient, there is an asymmetry in the mechanism underlying these phenomena. He suggested that that the body shapes the mind’s contents more so than the mind shapes the body’s, although mind processes are mirrored in body processes to a considerable extent. On the other hand, the ideas in the mind can double up on each other, something that bodies cannot do. If my interpretation of Spinoza’s statements is even faintly correct, his insight was revolutionary for its time but it had no impact on science.

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