I’m delighted to announce that in December 2014 the Ashgate Research Companion to Theological Anthropology will be published, featuring a chapter from me called “The Mortal God.” The chapter is about how a doctrine of the incarnation might look coupled with a materialist view of human beings. Theological anthropology is about coming up with a view of human persons from a decidedly theological point of view, although there is a natural overlap with philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, theology and biblical studies. Questions about bodies, minds, souls, spirits, life, death, eternity and more are tackled in this sizeable piece of scholarship.
This episode is a very late addition to the series “In Search of the Soul,” looking at the various options that exist in philosophy of mind.
In the original five part series I was very conscious of the fact that I was leaving out the view of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, and this addendum is my penance for that fact. As promised in the episode, here are just a few suggestions for further reading, from authors who defend “hylemorphic dualism.”
David Oderberg, Real Essentialism
David Oderberg, “Hylemorphic Dualism” in Ellen Paul, Fred Miller and Jeffrey Paul (eds), Personal Identity
Edward Feser, Philosophy of Mind: A Beginner’s Guide
Here’s the next instalment of the “Nuts and Bolts” series, in which I spell out some of the basic terms and concepts used in the various branches of philosophy and theology.
I’ve already written plenty of blog entries (and even a podcast series) on dualism, but a recent online conversation with a couple of Christian bloggers prompted me to write this, because it drove home the fact that plenty of Christians don’t know what the word means, to the point where they will even get into lengthy arguments about not being a dualist when they aren’t yet sure what a “dualist” even is (yes, this actually happened recently). In the interests of being part of the solution, I present: What is dualism? Continue reading “Nuts and Bolts 006: What is Dualism?”→
At last, the series ends. Here is part five of the series on the mind/body problem. This episode steps completely away from analytical philosophy and is an overview of some of the biblical material that bears on the subject. Although it’s a comparatively long episode (just under fifty minutes), it’s still a very sketchy overview. The subject is a large one, and at best I can get the ball rolling and encourage you to look further. Enjoy. 🙂
Here’s the fourth installment on my series on the mind-body problem.
In this episode I look at the argument against physicalism from the afterlife. Here, some dualists argue that if physicalism were true, then the resurrection of the dead would be logically impossible. Their argument is:
The doctrine of the resurrection of the dead entails that people will be raised back to life who are the same people who died long ago. In other words, they will have the same identity.
Sameness of identity requires unbroken metaphysical continuity (that is, the continued, uninterrupted or “non-gappy” existence of whatever thing the functioning person is, whether a physical thing or an immaterial mind).
In physicalism, it is logically impossible for there to be unbroken metaphysical continuity between a physical person who died a hundred years ago and a person who will be raised to life in the future.
Therefore if physicalism is true, the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is logically impossible. Stated differently, a physicalist cannot consistently believe in the resurrection of the dead.
How might a physicalist respond to this line of argument? Listen to find out. As promised in the episode, here are a few pieces of work by Trenton Merricks that relate to some of the material I cover:
“How to Live Forever Without Saving your Soul,” in Kevin Corcoran (ed.) Soul, Body, and Survival: Essays on the Metaphysics of Human Persons (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001), 183-200
“There Are No Criteria of Identity Over Time,” Noûs 32:1 (1998), 106-124.
“The Resurrection of the Body and the Life Everlasting” in Michael J. Murray (ed.), Reason for the Hope Within (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 261-286.
Here’s part three of the series on philosophy of mind. We’ve moved from dualism in part one through to physicalism in this episode. I look at epiphenomenialism, reductionism, nonreductive physicalism and a constitution view.
As promised, here’s some suggested reading for those who want to look into the subject futher:
Nancey Murphy, “Nonreductive Physicalism and Free Will” http://www.metanexus.net/magazine/tabid/68/id/10501/Default.aspx
Nancey Murphy, “Is “Nonreductive Physicalism” an Oxymoron?” http://www.metanexus.net/magazine/tabid/68/id/10865/Default.aspx
Joel B. Green and Stuart L. Palmer (eds), In Search of the Soul: Four Views of the Mind-Body Problem (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2005). This volume includes contributions from Stewart Goetz (Substance Dualism), William Hasker (Emergent Dualism), Nancey Murphy (Nonreductive Physicalism) and Kevin Corcoran (Constitution View).
Joel B. Green (ed.), What About the Soul?: Neuroscience and Christian Anthropology (Abingdon Press, 2001). This volume includes contributions from Bill T. Arnold, D. Gareth Jones, Joel B. Green, Patrick D. Miller, Charles E. Gutenson, Stuart L. Palmer, William Hasker, Michael Rynkiewich, Virginia T. Holeman, Lawson G. Stone and Malcolm Jeeves.
Here it is, part two of the series on philosophy of mind, In Search of the Soul. In this episode I introduce the viewpoint called emergentism, and I explore the argument for dualism from free will.
It’s not the most exciting of episodes, but it’s worth including and listening to if you’re wanting to get a decent overview of philosophy of mind because it lays out a major position (emergentism) and examines a pretty common argument for dualism. In episode 28 (I’ve decided that the whole series will be no more than five episodes long), I’ll look at William Hasker’s (among other people) objection to physicalism from the possibility of an afterlife, which I think will be a lot more interesting.
In this episode of the Say Hello to my Little Friend podcast I start a four part series on philosophy of mind. I know I recently said that it would be a three part series, but hey, even four parts isn’t really enough to give the subject the full treatment it deserves. In part one I start with the dualist end of the spectrum. Today it’s Cartesian/Platonic dualism, which I take to be the most popular variety.
After recording the episode I thought maybe I should have thrown this in, so I’ll add it here. It’s a rather witty wee argument offered by Kevin Corcoran in the book that this series gets its name from, In Search of the Soul: Four Views of the Mind-Body Problem. The argument appears in his reply to Cartesian dualist Stewart Goetz:
Stewart Goetz sometimes kisses his wife.
Stewart Goetz’s substantively simple soul never kisses anyone. (It has no lips!)
Therefore, Stewart Goetz is not a simple soul.
If you’re not yet familiar with what the term “simple” means in this context, listen to the episode, then come back and read Corcoran’s argument. Also in this episode I have my first ever “caller,” Joe Johnson from the “Watching Theology” podcast. You too can call into the show by emailing me an audio clip of your comments and questions. Send them to peoples dot glenn at gmail dot com.
A while back I posted a draft version of my paper “William Hasker at the Bridge of Death.” Since then, I’ve received feedback on the paper from both William Hasker and Nancey Murphy, for which I’m very grateful. As it turns out, I still think Dr Hasker’s theory of emergentism and post-mortem survival of the mind has a major problem, and I don’t think his criticisms change that, but they did help me to tweak parts of the paper, which is to be published in Philosophia Christi.
The bottom line remains the same: A mind/self that is genuinely emergent on the brain will cease to exist if that brain ceases to exist, and if it is able to survive as a self/mind when the brain has ceased to exist, then it turns out not to be emergent on the brain after all.
The finished version of the paper can be found here.