DESCARTES_PINEAL_GLAND - "Several years have now...

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"Several years have now passed since I realized how numerous were the false opinions that in my youth I had taken to be true, and thus how doubtful were all those that I had subsequently built upon them. And thus I realized that once in my life I had to raze everything to the ground and begin again from the original foundations, if I wanted to establish anything firm and lasting in the sciences." Descartes opens his Meditations with these words and is destined to create a revolution in the science of philosophy and an entirely new orientation and object of philosophical study. This woodcut from Descartes' 1644 Principles of Philosophy diagrams Descartes' theory of vision and its interaction with the pineal gland. Descartes believed that light rays impressed subtle particles into the eyes. The image was then transmitted to the pineal gland, which served as the nexus between mind and body. In this sketch the external stimulus is translated into an act of will (pointing) by the pineal gland.
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History The pineal gland (or pineal body as it is also known) appears repeatedly in the literature of the history of anatomy and medicine. In the second century AD, Galen, one of the founding
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This note was uploaded on 09/30/2011 for the course PSY 4391 taught by Professor Ginsburg during the Fall '10 term at Texas State.

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DESCARTES_PINEAL_GLAND - "Several years have now...

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