The article discusses the significance of the main ideas of Descartes’ philosophy of mind
from the point of view of their reception, criticism and transformation in the contemporary
analytical Philosophy of Mind. There is criticized the typical mistaken interpretation
of Descartes’ substance dualism as the doctrine that the mind is made of a non-physical
thinking stuff; there is also explained that Descartes’ thinking substance is an absolutely
indivisible entity (mental subject, self) and so does not consist of any stuff. The author
considers Descartes’ main arguments for substance dualism and ascertains their tenability
and close connection with the most important contemporary arguments against materialism.
On these grounds, one can conclude that the main ideas of Descartes’ philosophy of
mind, provided moderate adaptation-modernization, remain actual and form a consistent
and feasible system that assigns an appropriate place for the human person as a subject of
experiences, thinking, awareness, will, and conscious, purposeful activity.