The common view is that the mind is like "a wind or similar body"

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

Place of Publication
Michel de Soly
The common view is that the mind is like "a wind or similar body"
Metaphor in Context
DESCARTES: You then adopt a droll figure of speech and pretend to interrogate me as if I were present; and you address me no longer as a whole man but as a disembodied soul, I think that you are indicating here that these objections of yours did not originate in the mind of a subtle philosopher but came from flesh alone. I ask you then, O Flesh, or whatever name you want me to address you by, have you so little to do with the mind that you were unable to notice when I corrected the common view whereby that which thinks is supposed to be like a wind or similar body? I of course corrected this view when I showed that it can be supposed that there is no wind or any other body in the world, yet nonetheless everything which enables me to recognize myself as a thinking thing still remains. Hence all your subsequent questions as to whether I might not still be a wind or occupy space or be in motion in several ways, and so on, are so fatuous as to need no reply.
(Fifth Set of Replies, p. 244)
Past Masters
Descartes, René. The Philosophical Writings of Descartes. Trans. John Cottingham, Robert Stoothof, and Dugald Murdoch. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.