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Comment éveiller l'âme de Victor ? Le problème des idées innées de Descartes à Itard

Abstract : In the historiography of the wild child, Dr Jean Itard (1774-1838) represents a starting point, and Victor of Aveyron, a paradigmatic case. But it is also the end-point of a long history in metaphyics, in which the nature of the human soul is the central ontological and epistemological problem. A critical moment in the seventeenth century points forwards to the nineteenth century: every human being possesses an innate idea of his or her soul, but how does this idea become operative? Or equally, why does it not become operative, or only with great difficulty, in certain humans? And what can be done about this? The case of Victor is, from this standpoint, an “empirical” shorthand for the “rationalist” problem of how the soul is awakened. This article sets out to trace the development and reception of this metaphysical background, and to explain Dr Itard’s clinical assessment of Victor's case in the light of a history of epistemology.
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Contributor : Samuel Lézé Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, July 26, 2021 - 4:10:43 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, June 26, 2022 - 3:11:32 AM
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Delphine Antoine-Mahut, Mathias Winter, Samuel Lézé. Comment éveiller l'âme de Victor ? Le problème des idées innées de Descartes à Itard. Revue d'histoire des sciences humaines, Publications de la Sorbonne, 2021, Usages de l'enfant sauvage, pp.69-87. ⟨10.4000/rhsh.5765⟩. ⟨hal-03296750⟩



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