O'Neal Lectures at the Sorbonne on Mind-Body Problem

John O'Neal
John O'Neal
Professor of French John C. O'Neal gave a lecture titled "La frontière qui s'estompe entre l'âme et le corps chez Rousseau et les philosophes" for the research group on Rousseau studies at the Sorbonne in Paris on May 22.

In it, he argued at first for the spiritualist leanings of Rousseau in the face of the atheistic materialist tendencies of his fellow philosophes. Rousseau's later work reveals, however, as O'Neal pointed out, a more ambiguous relationship between the soul and the body, one that places Rousseau among the first to have closely examined therapeutic approaches to recurrent mental problems of anxiety and depression, much as modern psychology does today.

O'Neal has just returned from France, where he was working as a research associate in the Sorbonne's Center for the Study of 17th- and 18th-Century French Language and Literature.
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