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J Hist Neurosci. 2001 Mar;10(1):6-18.

The originality of Descartes' theory about the pineal gland.

Author information

1
Faculty of Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam, P.O. Box 1738, NL-3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands. lokhorst@fwb.eur.nl

Abstract

René Descartes thought that the pineal gland is the part of the body with which the soul is most immediately associated. Several prominent historians (such as Soury, Thorndike and Sherrington) have claimed that this idea was not very original. We re-examine the evidence and conclude that their assessment was wrong. We pay special attention to the thesis about the pineal gland which Jean Cousin defended in January, 1641.

PMID:
11446265
DOI:
10.1076/jhin.10.1.6.5629
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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