This is a preprint
Abstract

This essay compares Descartes and Wang Yangming’s metaphysics of the mind, a comparison that, I propose, brings to light a shared but hitherto neglected philosophical early modernity registered in the metaphysical reorientation from Nature towards the mind. The ontological primacy of the mind asserted by both Descartes and Yangming lies at the root of the epistemological and moral autonomy marking the modern subject that rose to prominence in Renaissance Europe and Ming China.

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