Latest Issue

Plato and other thinkers of antiquity were not much interested in mind. They were interested in “the soul,” conceived as a non-material composite of reason, passion and appetite. Plato wished to demonstrate in his Phaedo and Phaedrus that the soul is immortal, and that ethical perfection consists in the harmony of its parts.

Scientific interest in mind qua organ of thought owes itself to René Descartes, who argued in his Meditations (1641) that mind is thinking substance and matter extended substance or space. This dualism looks plausible because mental and material properties seem exclusive; we do not describe thoughts as…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect