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The Mind-Body StagePassion and Interaction in the Cartesian Theater$
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R. Darren Gobert

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804786386

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804786386.001.0001

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Epilogue: Cætera desunt

Epilogue: Cætera desunt

(p.163) Epilogue: Cætera desunt
The Mind-Body Stage

R. Darren Gobert

Stanford University Press

This chapter begins with an analysis of the National Theatre's 2010 “live re-broadcast” of Racine's Phèdre, starring Helen Mirren. The spectators' experience in the contemporary Cineplex suggests something of what is wrong with contemporary stagings of Racine and contemporary understandings of Cartesian mind-body union: the potential for intersubjective contact, so central to both playwright and philosopher, is eliminated. Too often, philosophy and theater mimic the view of Phèdre's 2010 spectators, sitting aloof in the amphitheater and objectifying a foreign image. The chapter argues that we should instead leverage the epistemological benefits of live performance. These benefits are in fact promoted by Descartes himself, in his posthumously published dialogue La recherce de la vérité par la lumière naturelle.

Keywords:   Descartes, Racine, Phèdre, intersubjectivity, La recherche de la vérité par la lumière naturelle, The Search for Truth, philosophy of theater, mind-body union, performance, dualism

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