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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.
11. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Joshua R. Farris Souls, Emergent and Created: Why Mere Emergent Dualism Is Insufficient
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With the challenges from science, there has been a shift away from traditional or classical versions of substance dualism (most notably Thomism and Cartesianism come to mind) toward emergentist accounts of the mind. Of particular importance for those still inclined to make some distinction between the mind and brain, emergent substance dualism provides an attractive option. However, it promises more than it can deliver. In the present article, I show that a version of emergent substance dualism, where the brain produces a soul (what I call mere emergent substance dualism), lacks the resources to account for the particularity of the soul. I show that, if, in fact, souls (in this case human souls) have primitive thisness, then physical laws could not produce these souls. That being the case, I show how creationism and emergent substance dualism, rather than being disjunctive options, are compatible. In the end, what I call emergent-creationism or creationist-emergentism provides an attractive theory of the origin of souls.
12. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
William Hasker Emergent Dualism and Emergent Creationism: A Response to Joshua Farris
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Joshua Farris offers “emergent creationism” as an alternative to emergent dualism. It is argued that emergent creationism cannot deliver some of the advantages claimed for it, and that Farris’s objections to emergent dualism are not compelling.
13. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Stephen E. Parrish Defending Theistic Conceptualism
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There has been much discussion of the relationship between God and abstract objects. Three positions taken by theists are Absolute Creationism, Theistic Conceptualism, and Antirealism. I argue that Theistic Conceptualism combined with Perfect Being theology can avoid common criticisms, and that it renders the created abstract objects of Absolute Creationism unnecessary. I also hold that Antirealism is quite close to Theistic Conceptualism, and that Antirealism when combined with God as an omniscient being ends up being almost indistinguishable from it.
14. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Christopher Woznicki Peter Martyr Vermigli’s Account of Petitionary Prayer: A Reformation Alternative to Contemporary Two-Way Contingency Accounts
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Many contemporary philosophical accounts of petitionary prayer assume that petitionary prayer attempts to persuade God to act by giving God reasons to do that which God would otherwise not have done had the prayer not been offered. Alternatively, this essay suggests there is an account of what petitionary prayer accomplishes that has largely been left underexplored in contemporary philosophical literature: the Secondary-Causal Account. I suggest that the work of the Italian Reformer, Peter Martyr Vermigli, is a helpful resource for developing this alternative which is faithful to Scripture, meets confessional requirements, and can meet common intuitions about prayer.
15. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
John C. Wingard, Jr. God and Possible Worlds: A Reformed Exploration
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In this essay I consider how God is related to possible worlds from a classically evangelical and Reformed perspective, contending that God’s essential perfections determine what is genuinely possible. I then consider briefly three views that take God to be a significant delimiter of possible worlds and offer some defense of one of those views, the view that there are many genuinely possible worlds that are equally and unsurpassably good and that God might have chosen to actualize. I conclude by noting two significant implications of my position, one epistemological and the other concerning the problem of evil.
16. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Daniel A. Bonevac Pauline Arguments for God’s Existence
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In Acts 17, Paul offers general framework for demonstrating the existence of God—a supernatural being, a creator, designer, and ultimate purpose of the universe, who cannot be identified with anything natural but instead underlies and explains the natural world as a whole. What Paul says, combined with unstated theses about causation and explanation that his Stoic and Epicurean audience would have shared, adds up to a powerful argument for God’s existence. Cosmological and design arguments emerge as special cases.
17. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Stephen T. Davis “Nobody Has the Right to Tell Me What to Believe or Do”: The Illusion of Human Autonomy
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The word “autonomy” has many uses in contemporary philosophy and culture, some of them helpful. But Joel Feinberg says, “I am autonomous if I rule me, and no one else rules I.” Certain philosophers (among them, James Rachels) turn this sort of sentiment into an argument against religion. A principle of obedience to God—so they say—violates one’s personal autonomy. In the present paper, I reply to such arguments and try to sort out what is acceptable and what is unacceptable about autonomy.
18. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Chad Bogosian, Paul Copan The Epistemology of Religious Disagreement: An Introduction
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Our introduction to the special topics forum provides a brief explanation of terms central to the general epistemology of disagreement literature that has developed over the past fifteen years. We then provide an overview of each contributor’s paper with an eye toward how each one relates to and extends the discussion about the epistemology of disagreement. Papers are arranged in an effort to draw readers into the discussion as follows: applying different general theories about disagreement to religious disagreement in particular, analyzing core principles related to disagreement, and then on to specific everyday issues related to navigating religious disagreements such as conversion and tolerance. Of special interest is the possibility of prospects for reasonable religious disagreement or lack thereof.
19. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
John Warwick Montgomery God and Gödel
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One of the perennial defenses of God’s existence is the ontological argument, associated particularly with St. Anselm. Ontological arguments are generally discounted in today’s philosophical circles, but a remarkably sophisticated version was developed by the preeminent mathematical logician Kurt Gödel. This short paper evaluates the major objection to ontological proofs and finds Gödel’s formulation convincing.
20. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Chad Bogosian Rowe’s Friendly Atheism and the Epistemology of Religious Disagreement
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In this paper, I engage William Rowe’s “Friendly Atheism” to illuminate the discussion of religious disagreement. I argue that his view gives way to an epistemic principle about how two “intellectual peers” might remain steadfast in what they believe their total available evidence supports and thereby reasonably disagree about their religious beliefs (or lack thereof ). I consider a key objection from Uniqueness thesis proponents and show how there are additional epistemic considerations to help fix the proposed problem.