Dualism

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    Barr, Stephen M.

     (208K)

    Modern Physics & Ancient Faith II: Science and the Soul

    " It is...highly significant that there is an argument that human beings are 'irreducible to the merely material' that comes from fundamental physics, has been vigorously defended by leading physicists, and never been refuted...There are powerful arguments, some purely philosophical, and some based on the most profound discoveries of the twentieth century, that point to this conclusion: Our intellects and our free wills are not reducible to mechanical processes or to mere matter."
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    Barr, Stephen M.

     (110K)

    The Atheism of the Gaps

    "It must be admitted that while we have faith that the human mind is understandable, we do not in fact understand it. It is indeed a very profound mystery how spirit and matter are integrated into a single nature in man in such a way as to respect the accuracy and consistency of physical law. But a mystery is not something incomprehensible in itself. It is something uncomprehended by us. Doubtless, further research on the brain will much enlighten us about these issues. Whether it will succeed in dispelling the mystery entirely, only time will tell."
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    Bernier, Richard J.

     (618K)

    The Plausibility of Substance Dualism as an Approach to the Mind-Body Problem: A Philosophical and Theological Inquiry

    "This thesis presents an argument that would posit a substantial non-physical principle of cognition and consciousness, i.e. a mind or soul, ontologically distinct from the physical brain and its properties. The case consists of, first, a series of arguments that seek to establish the rational foundation for this Cartesian or substance dualism and, second, an attempt to reply to some of the major objections to it. The second component includes a survey of physicalism, the chief alternative to dualism as a solution to the classic mindbody problem."
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    BonJour, Laurence

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    What is it Like to be a Human (Intstead of a Bat)?

    "My purpose in this paper is to discuss and defend an objection to physicalist or materialist accounts of the mind—one that I believe to be essentially conclusive...[T]he physical and neurophysiological account is radically incomplete as an account of my complete personal makeup and hence...physicalism or materialism, as an account of human beings, is surely and irredeemably false."
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    Brisbane, Scott D.

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    Case for Dualism

    "Within this paper I create a case for a substance dualism without discriminating between the Cartesian and Thomistic forms. Discover why a physicalist solution to the mind-body problem fails. Read about some common criticisms against substance dualism, followed by my defense."
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    Calef, Scott

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    Dualism and Mind

    "Dualists in the philosophy of mind emphasize the radical difference between mind and matter. They all deny that the mind is the same as the brain, and some deny that the mind is wholly a product of the brain. This article explores the various ways that dualists attempt to explain this radical difference between the mental and the physical world. A wide range of arguments for and against the various dualistic options are provided in the article."
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    Chalmers, David J.

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    Phenomenal Concepts and the Knowledge Argument

    "The classic statement of the knowledge argument against materialism has been given by Frank Jackson (1982)...In this paper, I will give an analysis of these concepts (in sections 2 and 3), and will then bring it to bear on the knowledge argument itself (in sections 4 and later). I will argue that the knowledge argument is basically sound (section 5), and that a correct understanding of phenomenal concepts helps to see why many responses to the knowledge argument fail (section 6)."
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    Chalmers, David J.

     (405K)

    The Two-Dimensional Argument Against Materialism

    "A number of popular arguments for dualism start from a premise about an epistemic gap between physical truths about truths about consciousness, and infer an ontological gap between physical processes and consciousness...Such arguments are often resisted on the grounds that epistemic premises do not entail ontological conclusion...My view is that one can legitimately infer ontological conclusions from epistemic premises, if one is very careful about how one reasons...To do so, the best way is to reason first from epistemic premises to modal conclusions (about necessity and possibility), and from there to ontological conclusions...In the final section of the paper, I show how this analysis might yield a unified treatment of a number of anti-materialist arguments."
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    Clifton, Andrew

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    An Empirical Case Against Materialism

    "The prima facie inference that phenomenal qualities are, most probably, non-physical may be resisted either by denying their existence altogether or by proposing that they are properties of some peculiar sort of mysterious physical complexity...It is argued here, however, that the first, eliminative hypothesis is empirically absurd--while the second is extravagant, vague, ad hoc and (for various additional reasons) profoundly implausible...I conclude by suggesting empirical and theoretical desiderata, respectively, for the vindication of materialism and alternatively, for the development and defense of a potentially robust and viable mentalist theory of consciousness."
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    DePoe, John M.

     (192K)

    An Argument Against the Mind Being a Physical Mechanism

    "My argument has been that accepting (A) the causal closure of the physical, (B) that all causes are physical, and (C) all mechanistic causes are non-purposive, results in a view that undermines the rationality of asserting its own truth. Consequently, one of these principles must be wrong. But since physicalism seems committed to all of these principles, it seems that physicalism must be cast aside."
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    DePoe, John M.

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    A Defense of Dualism

    "Substance dualism is not among the most popular theories of mind in contemporary philosophy. Although, a number of significant contemporary philosophers maintain that property dualism1 or substance dualism2 is true. In philosophy, however, truth is not decided by the popularity of a theory but by the arguments that support it. In this essay, I will attempt to provide arguments that support substance dualism. I will also consider counterarguments to dualism at the end of this essay."
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    Dilley, Frank B.

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    Taking Consciousness Seriously: A Defense of Cartesian Dualism

    "What I have claimed in this paper is that the reasons for rejecting Cartesian dualism are not strong ones, and that what is at stake in rejecting Cartesian dualism is admitted by all to be enormous. I have tried to present Cartesian answers to typical objections, and to make some contribution by replying to some of the more nagging problems, namely the problem of a criterion for personal identity, the lack of physical evidence problem, and the problems of continuity, of pairing and the dependence of the developed soul on its structured body."
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    Evans, C. Stephen

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    "Separable Souls: Dualism, Selfhood, and the Possibility of Life after Death", Christian Scholar's Review 34:3 (Spring 2005) pp. 327-340

    "C. Stephen Evans argues in this essay that Christian theologians and philosophers have been hasty in deserting the traditional dualistic view of the person, which sees the human self as a non-material substance, capable of surviving death, that is nevertheless united with a body in this life and finally in the resurrection. Contemporary scientific findings about the relation of the mind to the body do not give any reason to reject dualism, but they do give reason to rethink dualism. He defends 'significant minimal dualism' against 'non-reductive materialism' by showing that this type of dualist can fully embrace the close union between mind and body that holds during this life." - Copyright © 2005 by Christian Scholar's Review; reprinted by permission.
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    Glanzer, P. David

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    Mind Life

    "Defining mind reductively in terms of brain activity or function is incomplete in that (1) it confounds the emergence of mind from brain with the instantiation of minds in the brain, (2) its localization of mind "between the ears" makes it difficult to recognize instantiations of mind outside the brain, and (3) identifying the mind and person too closely with the body situates interpersonal processes such as language and culture outside mind and person and makes it unnecessarily difficult to model their essential qualities of shared mind."
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    Groothuis, Douglas

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    Minds, Bodies and Persons

    "Rather than defending dualism against its many modern foes, I will discuss several of Richard Taylor’s salient criticisms of dualism which serve as roadblocks to an intelligible presentation. After discussing these, I will briefly turn my attention to a response which attempts to avoid the problems of both dualism and materialism by making the notion of a 'person'—rather than mind or body—the primitive and primary reference."
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    Guthrie, Shandon L.

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    Rationalism and the Historical Mind/Body Controversy

    "Rationalism has been at the forefront of epistemology ever since Descartes. Similarly, philosophers have debated over whether or not there exists a substratum of reality concurrent with the experiential world. Specifically, is substance dualism, with respect to mind-body interactionism, true? In this essay the reader will witness how this controversy began when dualism became a philosophical paradigm and how answering this controversy impacts our day-to-day outlook."
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    Guthrie, Shandon L.

     (131K)

    Reductionism as Explanation and the Mind/Body Problem

    "An evaluation of Drs. Paul and Patricia Churchland's view of mind as a mere function of the body fails in the light of various discoveries about human cognition. The view of Reduction is usually preferred over Christianity's dualism and this essay gives the reader good evidence to maintain the belief in a soul."
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    Hasker, William

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    Emergent Dualism

    "I will sketch out a theory of the mind which holds that the mind is endowed both with novel causal powers and with libertarian free will. I shall not claim either that this theory provides the only possible solution to the problem of the nature of persons, or that it is without difficulties of its own. I will count myself successful if I can leave the reader with the perception that this is a view that merits further consideration--that it may offer a way forward through the thicket of difficulties which perplex us."
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    Hasker, William

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    How Not To Be A Reductivist

    "Some current positions in the philosophy of mind, while ostensibly non-reductive, are in fact reductivist in ways that are seriously problematic. An example is found in the 'naturalistic dualism' of David Chalmers: by maintaining the causal closure of the physical domain, Chalmers makes the rationality of conscious experience inexplicable. This can only be remedied by abandoning causal closure and acknowledging that micro processes in the brain go differently in the presence of conscious experience than they would without it. But this move has startling consequences: once it has been made, major objections to mind-body dualism disappear, and determinism is seen to be a theory that is completely lacking in empirical support. Thomas Nagel and John Searle are cited as examples of philosophers who make a serious effort to face up to the consequences of not being reductivists."
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    Hubbard, John

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    Parsimony and the Mind

    "Parsimony is first defined and shown to be a valid criterion for choosing between theories. The argument that materialism is preferable to dualism because it is more parsimonious is then presented. This argument can be first critiqued on the grounds that materialism is not really more parsimonious. However, a reductionist form of materialism is more parsimonious than dualism. The reductionist argument can then be critiqued on the grounds that the principle of parsimony is not applicable to the mind-body problem. This is because certain characteristics of the mind present insurmountable problems to the materialist."
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    Koons, Robert C.

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    Functionalism Without Physicalism: Outline of an Emergentist Program

    "The historical association between functionalism and physicalism is not an unbreakable one. There are reasons for finding some version of a functional account of the mental attractive that are independent of the plausibility of physicalism. I develop a non-physicalist version of functionalism and explain how this model is able to secure genuine emergence of the mental, despite Kim's arguments that such emergence theories are incoherent. The kind of teleological emergence of the mental required by this model is in fact fully compatible with the best available interpretations of physics and does not simply repeat the mistakes of vitalism. In addition, this model of teleological, emergent causation provides an attractive account of free/libertarian agency."
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    Lloyd, Peter B.

     (132K)

    Is the Mind Physical? Dissecting Conscious Brain Tissue

    "The 'identity theory' is the popular belief that consciousness is just neural activity. Many scientists regard this is as self-evidently obvious. But the theory leads to nonsensical implications when it is applied to hypothetical experiments that involve the dissection of conscious brain tissue. I would conclude that the identity theory is wrong."
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    Luk, Ed

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    Physicalistic Functionalism and the Possessive Form of the First-Person Indexical

    "In this essay, I will argue that...the fact of the possessive form of first-person indexical thought—presents a special problem for physicalistic theories of mind...[N]o physicalistic theory of mind can tell us to whom (or what) each mental state belongs. This is an unhappy state of affairs, for it means that physicalistic theories of mind do not have the resources to account for the possessive form of the first-person indexical."
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    Menuge, Angus J.L.

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    Dennett Denied: A Critique of Dennett’s Evolutionary Account of Intentionality

    "Naturalism claims that all genuine properties and relations are in some way reducible to the categories that are studied, or that could, in principle, be studied, by the natural sciences. The main objection to naturalism is that it cannot account for the existence and character of the normative, including rational and moral qualities. In the philosophy of mind, even more fundamental than the problem of consciousness is the problem of intentionality...Prima facie, the intentional relation of thought to its object is not a natural relation. To claim that intentional qualities just are rather odd natural ones would trivialize naturalism. So what the naturalist needs is an explanation of intentional qualities, one which shows that they are in fact compatible with a naturalistic worldview. In other words, some sort of reduction is needed."
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    Moreland, J. P.

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    Restoring the Soul to Christianity

    "Throughout history, most people have been dualists, at least in the sense that they have taken a human to be the sort of being who could enter life after death while his or her corpse was left behind. Some form of dualism appears to be the natural response to what we seem to know about ourselves through introspection and in other ways. Many philosophers who deny dualism have to admit that it is the common sense view. When we turn to church history, we see the same thing. The vast majority of Christians have believed that a human being is a unity of two distinct entities — body and soul...Surprisingly, some Christian thinkers have now set aside substance dualism for some form of physicalism. They claim that a soul is 'a functional capacity of a complex physical organism, rather than a separate spiritual essence….' The reasons for this trend are varied and complicated...I will argue that it is seriously flawed and that the traditional view of the church is correct."
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    Moreland, J.P.

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    If You Can’t Reduce, You Must Eliminate: Why Kim’s Version of Physicalism Isn’t Close Enough

    "The admission of qualia is especially troublesome if there are antecedent grounds for accepting theism, and if qualia (secondary qualities, and so on) provide data for an argument for God’s existence, an argument that is part of a broader cumulative case. If I am right about this, then I suspect that many physicalists will have the jitters about accepting qualia. Kim has admitted elsewhere, that if a whole range of phenomena is not among basic physical phenomena and those phenomena defy physical explanation, it would be time to reexamine one’s physicalist commitments. It may be time for Kim to do just that. Given theism as a plausible rival to naturalism, Kim’s version of physicalism may not be close enough after all."
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    Moreland, J.P.

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    A Christian Perspective on the Impact of Modern Science on Philosophy of Mind

    “Today it is widely held that, while broadly logically possible, dualism is no longer plausible in light of the advances of modern science. My thesis is that once we get clear on the central first and second-order issues in philosophy of mind, it becomes evident that stating and resolving those issues is basically a (theological and) philosophical matter for which discoveries in the hard sciences are largely irrelevant.”
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    Moreland, J.P. and Scott B. Rae

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    Establishing a Framework for Approaching Human Personhood

    This is the first chapter of Body & Soul: Human Nature & the Crisis in Ethics. Moreland and Rae discuss and define different kinds of dualism. They argue that the Bible teaches an anthropological dualism and lay out a framework for applying a "theological realist stance to the task of developing a metaphysical and ethical view of human persons that is responsive to the teachings of special revelation and to the most important information from outside special revelation relevant to the task at hand."
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    Nagel, Thomas

     (130K)

    What is it Like to be a Bat?

    "Consciousness is what makes the mind-body problem really intractable. Perhaps that is why current discussions of the problem give it little attention or get it obviously wrong. The recent wave of reductionist euphoria has produced several analyses of mental phenomena and mental concepts designed to explain the possibility of some variety of materialism, psychophysical identification, or reduction.1 But the problems dealt with are those common to this type of reduction and other types, and what makes the mind-body problem unique, and unlike the water-H2O problem or the Turing machine-IBM machine problem or the lightning-electrical discharge problem or the gene-DNA problem or the oak tree-hydrocarbon problem, is ignored."
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    O'Connor, Timothy

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    Causality, Mind, and Free Will

    "The radical disparity posited between a nonspatial mind, whose intentional and conscious properties are had by no physical object, and a spatial body, all of whose properties are had by no mind, has prompted some to conclude that, pace Descartes, causal interaction between the two is impossible. Jaegwon Kim has recently given a new twist to this old line of thought.(1) In the present essay, I will use Kim's argument as a springboard for motivating my own favored picture of the metaphysics of mind and body and then discussing how an often vilified account of freedom of the will may be realized within it."
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    O'Connor, Timothy

     (145K)

    Dualist And Agent-Causal Theories

    "This essay will canvass recent philosophical accounts of human agency that deploy a notion of 'self' (or 'agent') causation. Some of these accounts try to explicate this notion, whereas others only hint at its nature by way of contrast with the causality exhibited by impersonal physical systems. In these latter theories, the authors' main argumentative burden is that the apparent fundamental differences between personal and impersonal causal activity strongly suggest mind-body dualism. I begin by noting two distinct, yet not commonly distinguished, philosophical motivations for pursuing an agent-causal account of human agency. In the course of discussing the accounts that some philosophers have developed in response to these considerations, I reconsider both the linkage of agent causation with mind-body dualism and its sharp cleavage from impersonal (or 'event') causation."
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    O'Connor, Timothy

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    Groundwork for an Emergentist Account of the Mental

    "As striking as conscious experience, thought, and deliberate action are, their irreducibility to physical processes within their subjects is hotly debated. I shall ignore these debates entirely, as my purpose in this essay is constructive. Assuming that these mental qualities and processes are indeed irreducible to impersonal, non-purposive physical phenomena, I want to propose the very general form a non-reductive explanatory account of their underpinnings and dynamics should take. A suggestive label for my proposal is ontological emergence."
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    Payne, Peter E.

     (143K)

    The Enigma of Consciousness

    “Nothing in our current theories of physics or chemistry seems to offer the resources needed to lead us to expect that consciousness would arise from any physical system.”
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    Robertson, M.D.

     (197K)

    Dualism vs. Materialism: A Response to Paul Churchland

    "Paul M. Churchland, in his book, Matter and Consciousness, provides a survey of the issues and positions associated with the mind-body problem...In this paper I shall reexamine the metaphysical aspect of the mind-body problem. The metaphysical question concerns the existential status of the mind and the body, and the nature of the relationship between them. Like Churchland, I shall not hide my biases on the matter. What follows may be thought of as a rewriting of the second chapter of Churchland's book ('The Ontological Issue') from a non-naturalistic perspective."
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    Robinson, Howard

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    Materialism in the Philosophy of Mind

    "The materialist mood in the twentieth century has been poised between an almost triumphalist self-confidence and a more modest perplexity. The triumphalism is produced by the success of science, which makes materialism seem obviously true. In this mood, materialists are prepared to deny what seem to be the most obvious facts of mental life if their theory requires it. In a more sombre moment, however, some will confess that all attempts to tackle the problems have so far missed the mark...The Journal of Consciousness Studies has been set up to 'take consciousness seriously' in a way it is said science has not so far done; but perhaps this underestimates the main reason why consciousness has been sidelined and treated harshly: namely because it seems so clearly impossible to say anything constructive about it within the materialist presuppositions of natural science."
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    Ross, James F.

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    Immaterial Aspects of Thought

    "[T]he principle of human life, being immaterial, is incorruptible and thus cannot cease to be by undergoing any change. I am not suggesting that a human being is two parts, one immaterial and the other material but made to exist by the immaterial part. Rather, the human person is one being, with bodily/animal states essentially, but also with immaterial states and operations essentially, and the explanatory reality for both kinds of states and operations has to be one immaterial principle of being -- otherwise, there would not be a single entity, a person. Failure of the bodily/animal activities by failure of the material capacity is not sufficient for destruction of the unified person."
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    Swinburne, Richard

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    "Nature and Immortality of the Soul" in E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge (1998).

    "...[T]he soul is what gives life to the body. Plato thought of it as a thing separate from the body. A human living on earth consists of two parts, soul and body. The soul is the essential part of the human – what makes me me. It is the part to which the mental life of humans pertains – it is the soul which thinks and feels and chooses. Soul and body interact. Bodily states often cause soul states, and soul states often cause bodily states. This view is known as substance dualism."
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    Swinburne, Richard

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    The Possibility of Life after Death

    "In this paper I argue that a human on Earth consists of two interconnected parts (two substances, in philosophical terminology) - body and soul. The body is material, the soul is immaterial. The soul is the essential part of the person; it is the continuing of my soul which constitutes the continuing of me, as argued in my The Evolution of the Soul. At death my body ceases to function, and gradually decays. If there is a God, as I believe, what happens to the soul depends on his will; and I believe that he has revealed that normally he will keep it in existence for ever. I do not know what would happen to the soul if there were no God. I can't prove to you in twenty minutes, as well as everything else, that there is a God and so that the soul will go on existing forever. But I can, I hope, prove to you that there is a soul for something to happen to."
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    Swinburne, Richard

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    Interview with Science and Religion News (2006) on Mind-body Dualism

    "I think that any scientific theory ought to explain all the relevant data...I am not postulating dualism as an explanation of data, of which some other theory might provide a better explanation; I am putting it forward because it is a datum of experience that some person has a mental property; and that talk about persons is not talk about bodies and talk about mental properties is not talk about physical properties."
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    Treanor, Nick

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    The Cogito and the Metaphysics of Mind

    "Descartes used the cogito to make two points: the epistemological point that introspection affords us absolute certainty of our existence, and the metaphysical point that subjects are thinking things logically distinct from bodies. Most philosophers accept Descartes’s epistemological claim but reject his metaphysical claim. I argue that we cannot do this: if the cogito works, then subjects are nonphysical. Although I refrain from endorsing an argument for dualism based on this conditional, I discuss how such an argument would differ from the conceivability arguments pursued by Descartes in the Sixth Meditation and by contemporary philosophers. Unlike those arguments, this argument would not be refuted by the discovery of a posteriori identities between physical and phenomenological properties. In other words, it is possible to argue for substance dualism even if phenomenal properties are physical properties."
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    Vallier, Kevin

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    Indexical Thisness as a Basic Property

    "What I’ve tried to do in this paper is to outline the core concept of personal identity, what I have called ‘Indexical Thisness’ (‘IT’). IT is, more or less, the metaphysical equivalent of a rigid designator. It is that property or a set of properties that tracks you in every possible world in which you exist. I argued that IT doesn’t supervene on physical properties or mental properties and that instead mental properties supervene on IT. We have the outlines of a proposal for a kind of soul, be one a materialist or a dualist about mental properties."
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    Willard, Dallas

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    Non-Reductive and Non-Eliminative Physicalism?

    “[John] Searle does not show that the mental is a feature of the brain, nor that, if it were, and played an evolutionary role as well, it would be physical in any sense that would make its causal position viz a viz the body something which could be integrated into physics as commonly understood.”
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    Willard, Dallas

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    On the Texture and Substance of the Human Soul

    “Empiricism as a theory of knowledge is a recognized failure in any form that has been definitely specified, and has nothing left to support it but the bias of a sensualistic culture. There is no reason to regard conclusions about mind or substance that derive from it as serious challenges to what the ordinary, thoughtful and experienced person assumes to be the case about self-knowledge and self-identity.”
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    Willard, Dallas

     (140K)

    Intentionality and the Substance of the Self

    "I want to talk about what a spiritual (I would also say 'personal') substance might be like. For brevity’s sake, I shall refer to this kind of substance as a 'self,' and also as a 'person.' So the idea I shall be working toward is that the self is a substance, and that its substance or 'make up' consists primarily of intentional properties or states (specific 'ofnesses' and 'aboutnesses' of various kinds) in massive quantities, interwoven in characteristic ways to make up the life of one person. I shall assume that a person or self is something that has the characteristics standardly thought of in connection with substances. With a topic such as this, there are land mines in every direction, and even if I were intelligent enough to disarm them—which I am not—I could not do so on this occasion. So I shall just strike out across country, pursuing my goal of (hopefully) making a little sense of spiritual substance in terms of intentional properties (Intentionality) and their interweavings."
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    Zimmerman, Dean

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    Dualism in the Philosophy of Mind

    "Mind-body dualism is the doctrine that human persons are not made out of ordinary matter, at least not entirely. Every person has—or, on many versions of the view, simply is identical to—a soul. A soul is said to have little in common with human bodies and other material objects but is in one way or another responsible for a person’s mental life...The entry begins with a brief discussion of property dualism, only to set it to one side in order to examine substance dualism in detail: its varieties, the traditional objections to the view, and the most popular arguments in its favor."