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Předmět, akademický rok 2022/2023
The Passions of the soul. Descartes vs Thomas Aquinas - AFSV00331
Anglický název: The Passions of the soul. Descartes vs Thomas Aquinas
Zajišťuje: Ústav filosofie a religionistiky (21-UFAR)
Fakulta: Filozofická fakulta
Platnost: od 2020
Semestr: zimní
Body: 0
E-Kredity: 5
Způsob provedení zkoušky: zimní s.:
Rozsah, examinace: zimní s.:2/0 Zk [hodiny/týden]
Počet míst: neurčen / neurčen (30)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
Virtuální mobilita / počet míst: ne
Stav předmětu: nevyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Další informace: https://dl1.cuni.cz/course/view.php?id=8065
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
Garant: Anna Tropia, Ph.D.
Rozvrh   Nástěnka   
Poslední úprava: Anna Tropia, Ph.D. (01.10.2019)
Charles University
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
(BA Module + ERASMUS)

Anna Tropia, Ph.D.
Office hours:
Wednesday 13:00-14:00

Email: anna.tropia@ff.cuni.cz

The Passions of the Soul. Descartes vs Aquinas

(Thursday 9:10-10:45)
Room: P218

Cíl předmětu
Poslední úprava: Anna Tropia, Ph.D. (10.09.2019)

In the Passions of the soul (1649), Descartes tackles the problem of the union between the mind and the body, after the severe metaphysical distinction he had expounded in his Meditations. Stimulated by the questions of Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia, the philosopher not only provides the reader with his last attempt at clarifying what the relation mind-body is, but also confronts himself with the long-durée tradition of treatises on the passions of the soul. The psychological fact that human beings have affects like fear or rage interested philosophers since antiquity mostly because of their moral consequences, but also because it was not clear what such “passions” belong to: the soul? the body? or rather their union? One of the most influential philosophical treatise on this topic is Thomas Aquinas’, in Summa theologiae Ia IIae qq. 22-41.
Our course will revolve around Descartes’ and Aquinas’ conceptions of the mind-body union, which will be examined through the lens of the Cartesian work in a back and forth perspective. In particular, we will focus on the primitive passions: such as love. Also, what emerges from the comparison between the two treatises is not only a different way to conceive of the soul’s passions, but, also, the mind-body relation.

Podmínky zakončení předmětu
Poslední úprava: Anna Tropia, Ph.D. (10.09.2019)

Students will be evaluated based upon the following two distinct parameters:


(1) Participation (which includes, yet is not limited to: doing the assignments, attendance, in-class active participation). If you are absent, please remember to check out the course moodle-page).

(2) A Final Oral Exam (date and additional information will be provided in due course) or a 30 min. in-class presentation to be discussed with the teachers based upon our schedule

Poslední úprava: Anna Tropia, Ph.D. (10.09.2019)


Original Texts:


Réné Descartes, Les Passions de l’âme, introduction et notes par Geneviève Rodis-Lewis, Paris, Vrin, 1994 (best edition, also useful for the notes and the bibliography)




René Descartes, Les Passions de l’âme, vol. XI des Œuvres de Descartes, Ch. Adam and P. Tannery (eds.), Paris, Vrin, 1996


René Descartes, correspondence with Elisabeth of Bohemia – excerpta from the vols. III-V of the Adam-Tannery edition;


René Descartes, Correspondance avec Elisabeth de Boehme et Christine de Suède, J-R Armogathe (ed), Paris, Folio, 2018 (very useful for the notes and bibliographical apparatus)


Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae, Ia IIae, (excerpta from the) qq. 22-41; ST Ia, qq. 75-77





(Almost) all the works by Thomas are available in English tr. here: https://dhspriory.org/thomas/


 For the Pars Prima, qq. 75-77: https://www3.nd.edu/~afreddos/summa-translation/TOC-part1.htm


J. Cottingham, The philosophical writings of Descartes. Vol. 1, Cambridge, CUP, 1995




(Some) bibliography:


R. Pasnau, Thomas Aquinas on Human Nature, Cambridge, CUP, 2002


-, “Mind and Hylemorphism”, in J. Marenbon (ed.), The Oxford Handbook to Medieval Philosophy. Oxford, OUP, (2012)


J-B Brenet, “Descartes l’arabe. Averroes jusque dans la querelle d’Utrecht”, in O. Lizzini et J.-B. Brenet (eds), La philosophie arabe à l'étude. Sens, limites et défis d'une discipline moderne, Paris, Vrin, 2018


D. Kambouchner, L’homme des passions. 2 vols. Paris, Albin Michel, 1995


E. Scribano, Guida alle Meditazioni Metafisiche di Descartes. Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2008 (also tr. in English: Id. A reading guide to Descartes' Meditations on first philosophy, South Bend, 2016)


J-L Marion, On Descartes’ Passive Thought. The myth of Cartesian Dualism. Chicago, 2018

Poslední úprava: Anna Tropia, Ph.D. (10.09.2019)

This module will be structured in two parts: the first one will consist in the teacher’s exposition of Thomas Aquinas’ and Descartes’ texts and their metaphysical and anthropological background. The second in the analysis of the primitive passions. The active participation of the students, under the form of short-presentations and interventions, is strongly encouraged.


1.    Course outline

1.     The structure of the Cartesian treatise

2.     The ethical perspective of the Traité des passions

3.     The order of the passions

4.     The Cartesian deconstruction of the primacy of love


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