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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 78, Issue 1, Winter 2004

Gordon Barnes
Pages 99-106

Is Dualism Religiously and Morally Pernicious?

In a recent address to the American Catholic Philosophical Association, Alfred Freddoso has claimed that dualism is both religiously and morally pernicious. He contends that dualism runs afoul of the Catholic teaching that the soul is the form of the body, and that dualism leaves the body with nothing more than instrumental moral worth. On the contrary, I argue that dualism per se is neither religiously nor morally pernicious. Dualism is compatible with a rich teleology of embodiment that will underwrite all of the same moral insights about the body that traditional hylomorphism supports.