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1. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Angus Menuge, Jonathan J. Loose Introduction to Symposium on Dualism and Physicalism
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Routinely dismissed as a defeated position, substance dualism has seen a resurgence. This is partly due to a persistent failure of reductive physicalism to capture mental phenomena and to the instability of nonreductive alternatives. But it is also due to the return of the subject to center stage in the philosophy of mind and to the rich diversity of historical and contemporary theories of the soul. It is therefore time for a serious reevaluation of the merits of substance dualism by both dualists and their physicalist rivals, hence this symposium and the related book, The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism.
2. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Craig J. Hazen Editor’s Introduction
3. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Eric T. Olson Swinburne’s Brain Transplants
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Richard Swinburne argues that if my cerebral hemispheres were each transplanted into a different head, what would happen to me is not determined by my material parts, and I must therefore have an immaterial part. The paper argues that this argument relies on modal claims that Swinburne has not established. And the means he proposes for establishing such claims cannot succeed.
4. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Richard Swinburne The Argument to the Soul from Partial Brain Transplants
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Suppose we transplant the left hemisphere of one person, Alexandra, into the skull of another person, Alex, from whom both cerebral hemispheres have been removed; and transplant Alexandra’s right hemisphere into the skull of another person, Sandra, both of whose cerebral hemispheres have been removed. Both of the resulting persons will then have some of Alexandra’s brain and probably almost all of her memories and character. But since at most only one of them can be Alexandra, being Alexandra must, by the “principle of the identity of composites,” involve having another essential non-physical part—her soul. It is our soul and only our soul which makes us who we are.
5. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
J. P. Moreland The Fundamental Limitations of Cognitive Neuroscience for Stating and Solving the Ubiquitous Metaphysical Issues in Philosophy of Mind
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According to Nancey Murphy, advances in science have made substance dualism a position with very little justification. However, contra Murphy’s claims, I defend the following thesis: When the central issues in philosophy of mind are made clear, it becomes evident that cognitive neuroscience which is rooted in the empirical data offers very little help, if at all, for selecting, clarifying and arguing about the central metaphysical issues, especially questions about the existence and nature of consciousness and the soul. Thus, the Autonomy Thesis seems warranted in philosophy of mind. To defend this thesis, I, first, show that the central metaphysical issues in philosophy of mind are largely autonomous with respect to neuroscientific discoveries; second, respond to claims made by Murphy that, if true, would undermine my thesis.
6. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Brandon Rickabaugh The Primacy of the Mental: From Russellian Monism to Substance Dualism
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I argue for the primacy of the mental from recent physicalists’ endorsements of phenomenal transparency and the nontransparency of the physical. I argue that the conjunction of these views shows that (1) arguments for dualism from introspection are difficult to resist; and (2) a kind of Hempel’s dilemma removes constraints that block substance dualism. This shows that (1) raises the probability of the primacy of the mental, while (2) lowers the probability of the primacy of the physical. Lastly, I argue that the conjunction of (1) and (2) raises the probability of substance dualism.
7. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Lynne Rudder Baker The First-Person Perspective
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Baker rejects naturalistic views that exclude first-person facts. Persons are emergent, constituted entities having first-person perspectives (FPPs) that are ineliminable, first-personal, dispositional, multi-stage properties. Persons appear gradually with FPPs in the rudimentary stage (intentional, conscious thought), but are distinguished by the later, robust stage (self-consciousness). We possess first-person perspectives essentially and thereby have first-personal persistence conditions. Transtemporal identity is unanalyzable, requiring a variant of the Simple View. All that can be said is that a person exists whenever her FPP is exemplified. The view is “not-so-simple” because (among other things) it eschews substance dualism.
8. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Jonathan J. Loose The Constitution View: Not So Simple
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Lynne Rudder Baker’s work was driven by commitments to quasi-naturalist materialism and the ontological distinctiveness of human persons. The incompatibility of these commitments is apparent in her constitution view (CV). Baker's “Not-so-simple Simple View” of personal identity is inferior to the Simple View traditionally associated with substance dualism since CV’s underlying account of persons is vacuous. It also entails a dilemma: either indeterminate identity or the problem of the many. Finally, CV also fails to support Baker’s view that human persons do not begin to exist prior to the acquisition of a capacity for conscious, intentional thought.
9. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
William Hasker What Has CERN to Do with Jerusalem?
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There is disagreement concerning the relevance of scientific data to a theological account of the nature of human beings. I contend that science is indeed relevant, but not in a way that should lead us to discount philosophical and theological ideas about human nature. I mention five different findings of science that have significant implications for our understanding of the mind-body relationship.
10. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Angus Menuge The First-Person Perspective Is Not a Mere Mental Property
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Lynne Rudder Baker maintained that persons are essentially constituted by a first-person perspective. But she argued that this perspective is only an emergent property: it does not require a mental substance. In this paper, I argue that the first-person perspective cannot be a mere mental property, because it presupposes the existence of a mental substance. This makes it incoherent to claim that possession of a first-person perspective is what makes an individual a person. And, intentionality, which is required to have a first-person perspective, also presupposes a mental subject. So the constitution view is not successful in avoiding substance dualism.