Università di Trento
Abstract: This paper aims to show how Hegel’s interest in magnetic pathologies led him to focus on the mind-body problem as well as on the relation between rationality and preconsciousness. By analyzing the physiological side or basis of the magnetic state, it will emerge that these pathologies afflict both mind (Seele) and body. A closer look at the description of the organic disease given in the Philosophy of Nature will reveal that the psychic pathologies that Hegel describes in the Anthropology result from an uncontrolled reactivation of the subject’s preconscious dimension. Indeed, Hegel does not deny the existence of magnetic phenomena, but considers them as alterations of the feeling soul. In conclusion, the essay intends to show that the study of magnetism helped Hegel developing a philosophical psychology that differs from rational and empirical psychology, considering human subjects as embodied beings.
Keywords: Hegel; Anthropology; Animal Magnetism; Somnambulism; Mind-body Problem.