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A non-reductionist Physiologism. Nietzsche on Body, Mind and Cosciousness


This paper addresses the following questions from the point of view of Nietzsche’s philosophy: What is the mind, and which kind of relationship does it hold to the body? Accordingly, the aim of this paper is to show that Nietzsche’s philosophy suggested a view of the mind that allows to outline an alternative stance to both mentalism and physicalism, as well as to both dualism and reductionism. It is argued that Nietzsche’s rehabilitation of the body as the specific seat of the mind in opposition to the Cartesian supremacy of the Ego still is of a great interest for contemporary philosophy, since it is not equivalent either to a reversed form of Cartesian dualism or to a physicalist reductionism. It is argued that Nietzsche did restrict the concept of the mind but in order not to eliminate it, rather to “de-sub- stantialise” it. As the body is described as “Leib-Organisation”, the mind becomes the course of various and manifold mental states that depend on a bodily basis.