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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…

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