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The Soul

Edited by A. P. Taylor (North Dakota State University)
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  1. B. A. (1998). Arthur F. Holmes, Fact, Value and God. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1997.) Pp. VIII+183. Religious Studies 34 (4):509-512.
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  2. Fred Ablondi (1999). Malebranche and Knowledge of the Soul. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 73 (4):571-581.
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  3. Carlos J. Álvarez (2015). The Neural Substrate of Emotions and Emotional Processing. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 171-182.
    Until recently emotion and emotional processing have been largely neglected by experimental psychology and neuroscience more generally. This paper reviews the substantial psychological and neuroscientific evidence that each emotion is localized in specific neural structures, and thus that it is not necessary to invoke souls or spirits to explain emotions or emotional processing often held to be distinctive of a soul. In addition, the paper aims to demonstrate the adaptive and biological value of emotion for humans and other animals. It (...)
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  4. Daniel C. Andersson (2012). John Abernethy: Calvinist Natural Histories of the Soul in the Seventeenth Century. Early Science and Medicine 17 (1-2):1-2.
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  5. Leonard Angel (2015). Is There Adequate Empirical Evidence for Reincarnation? An Analysis of Ian Stevenson’s Work. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 575-583.
    This article reviews the research of “top rebirth scientist” Ian Stevenson on spontaneous past-life memory cases, focusing on three key problems with Stevenson’s work. First, his research of entirely anecdotal case reports contains a number of errors and omissions. Second, like other reincarnation researchers, Stevenson has done no controlled experimental work on such cases; yet only such research could ever resolve whether the correspondences found between a child’s statements and a deceased person’s life exceed what we might find by chance. (...)
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  6. Leonard Angel (2015). Since Physical Formulas Are Not Violated, No Soul Controls the Body. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 377-391.
    This paper provides evidence from the history of the natural sciences in philosophy (particularly mathematical physics, chemistry, and biology) that a “piloting” soul would have to make physical changes in human beings violating well-established physical laws. But, among other things, it has been discovered that there can be no such changes, and thus that there is no piloting soul.
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  7. Keith Augustine (2015). Introduction. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 1-47.
    The Introduction provides a general overview of the issues discussed in The Myth of an Afterlife in more detail in the individual selections, structured according to the four parts of the volume, plus preceding introductory and subsequent concluding comments. -/- [1. Preliminary Considerations] [2. Empirical Arguments for Annihilation] [3. Conceptual and Empirical Difficulties for Survival] [4. Problematic Models of the Afterlife] [5. Dubious Evidence for Survival] [6. The Importance of Empirical Consideration] [7. Alternative Paranormal Explanations of the Survival Evidence] [8. (...)
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  8. Keith Augustine (2015). Near-Death Experiences Are Hallucinations. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 529-569.
    Reports of near-death experiences (NDEs) with suggestive or manifestly hallucinatory features strongly imply that NDEs are not glimpses of an afterlife, but rather internally generated fantasies. Such features include discrepancies between what is seen in the seemingly physical environment of “out-of-body” NDEs and what is actually happening in the physical world at the time, bodily sensations felt after near-death experiencers (NDErs) have ostensibly departed the physical world altogether and entered a transcendental realm, encounters with living persons and fictional characters while (...)
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  9. Keith Augustine & Yonatan I. Fishman (2015). The Dualist’s Dilemma: The High Cost of Reconciling Neuroscience with a Soul. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 203-292.
    Tight correlations between mental states and brain states have been observed time and again within the ethology of biologically ingrained animal behaviors, the comparative psychology of animal minds, the evolutionary psychology of mental adaptations, the behavioral genetics of inherited mental traits, the developmental psychology of the maturing mind, the psychopharmacology of mind-altering substances, and cognitive neuroscience more generally. They imply that our mental lives are only made possible because of brain activity—that having a functioning brain is a necessary condition for (...)
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  10. Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.) (2015). The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case Against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield.
    Because every single one of us will die, most of us would like to know what—if anything—awaits us afterward, not to mention the fate of lost loved ones. Given the nearly universal vested interest we personally have in deciding this question in favor of an afterlife, it is no surprise that the vast majority of books on the topic affirm the reality of life after death without a backward glance. But the evidence of our senses and the ever-gaining strength of (...)
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  11. Andrew M. Bailey, Joshua Rasmussen & Luke van Horn (2011). No Pairing Problem. Philosophical Studies 154 (3):349-360.
    Many have thought that there is a problem with causal commerce between immaterial souls and material bodies. In Physicalism or Something Near Enough, Jaegwon Kim attempts to spell out that problem. Rather than merely posing a question or raising a mystery for defenders of substance dualism to answer or address, he offers a compelling argument for the conclusion that immaterial souls cannot causally interact with material bodies. We offer a reconstruction of that argument that hinges on two premises: Kim’s Dictum (...)
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  12. Patrick K. Bastable (1972). Survival and Disembodied Existence. Philosophical Studies 21:282-283.
  13. Christian Battista, Nicolas Gauvrit & Etienne LeBel (2015). Madness in the Method: Fatal Flaws in Recent Mediumship Experiments. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 615-630.
    This paper reviews one of the most methodologically rigorous studies of mediumship conducted to date. On the surface, the statistical procedures used by Julie Beischel and Gary E. Schwartz in the study seem to support the existence of anomalous information reception (AIR), but in fact have been misapplied. Other methodological flaws are fatal, including unaccounted for researcher degrees of freedom, which completely calls into question Beischel and Schwartz’s conclusion regarding AIR. We conclude by proposing an experimental design more appropriate for (...)
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  14. Bernardo Carlos Bazan (1985). Questions on the Soul. Review of Metaphysics 38 (4):910-912.
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  15. Judith Bek & Suzanne Lock (2011). Afterlife Beliefs: Category Specificity and Sensitivity to Biological Priming. Religion, Brain and Behavior 1 (1):5-17.
    Adults have been shown to attribute certain properties more frequently than others to the dead. This category-specific pattern has been interpreted in terms of simulation constraints, whereby it may be harder to imagine the absence of some states than others. Afterlife beliefs have also shown context-sensitivity, suggesting that environmental exposure to different types of information might influence adults? reasoning about post-death states. We sought to clarify category and context effects in adults afterlife reasoning. Participants read a story describing the death (...)
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  16. Susan Blackmore (2015). Out-of-Body Experiences Are Not Evidence for Survival. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 519-527.
    This paper reviews the evidence that something leaves the body during out-of-body experiences (OBEs) and thus could potentially survive death. First, during OBEs people can purportedly see things at a distance without using the recognized senses. Second, some claim that the double or astral body can be detected. Finally, there is evidence from OBEs occurring near death. This paper evaluates each in turn.
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  17. Susan Blackmore (2015). The Implausibility of Astral Bodies and Astral Worlds. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 393-403.
    Astral body views posit that an exotic double with a definite location in space—an astral or ethereal body—leaves the normal biological body during out-of-body experiences or after death. In this paper the severe difficulties confronting such a view are reviewed, difficulties concerning not only the nature of the double which travels, but the nature of the world in which it travels. Three exhaustive possibilities are considered: that a physical double travels in the physical world; that a nonphysical double travels in (...)
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  18. Gina Marie Bonelli, Farabi's Virtuous City and the Plotinian World Soul: A New Reading of Farabi's «Mabadi' Ara' Ahl Al-Madina Al-Fadila.
    Happiness ) materializes as the ultimate goal of man in Abū NaṣrMuḥammad b. Muḥammad b. Tarkhān al-Fārābīs Mabādi' Arā' Ahl Al-Madīna Al-Fāḍila. Buthappiness, i.e., happiness in this life and happiness in the afterlife, is onlyattainable by the virtuous citizen. The prevailing academic vision of Fārābī'sVirtuous City essentially can be placed into two categories: either it is an idealas found in Plato’s Republic or it is an actual city that has been founded or willbe established at some time in the future. (...)
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  19. Harry Bracken (1960). Berkeley on the Immortality of the Soul. Modern Schoolman 37 (3):197-212.
  20. Raymond D. Bradley (2015). Can God Condemn One to an Afterlife in Hell? In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 441-471.
    This paper argues that God is not logically able to condemn a person to Hell by considering what is entailed by accepting the best argument to the contrary, the so-called free will defense expounded by Christian apologists Alvin Plantinga and William Lane Craig. It argues that the free will defense is logically fallacious, involves a philosophical fiction, and is based on a fraudulent account of Scripture, concluding that the problem of postmortem evil puts would-be believers in a logical and moral (...)
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  21. Raymond D. Bradley (2015). Why Survival is Metaphysically Impossible. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 297-328.
    Human bodies have a totally different mode of existence from those collections of mental properties (intelligence, will power, consciousness, etc.) that we call minds. They belong to the ontological category of physical substances or entities, whereas mental properties belong to the ontological category of properties or attributes, and as such can exist only so long as their physical bearers exist. Mental properties “emerge” (in a sense that makes emergence ubiquitous throughout the natural world) when the constituent parts of a biological (...)
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  22. Bernardo J. Cantens (2001). A Solution to the Problem of Personal Identity in the Metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 75:121-134.
    This paper presents a solution to the problem of personal identity over time in Thomas’s metaphysics. I argue that Professor Gracia’s solution to the problem of personal identity, existence, and Professor Stump’s solution, form or the human soul, are not only compatible but also necessarily interdependent on one another. This argument rests on (1) the special nature of the human soul, and (2) the metaphysical claim that for Thomas the human soul and existence are inseparable. First, I refine the problem (...)
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  23. Kevin Corcoran (ed.) (2001). Soul, Body, and Survival: Essays on the Metaphysics of Human Persons. Cornell University Press.
    This collection brings together cutting-edge research on the metaphysics of human nature and soul-body dualism.Kevin Corcoran's collection, Soul, Body, and ...
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  24. C. D. (1964). Monopsychism, Mysticism, Metaconsciousness. Review of Metaphysics 17 (4):630-631.
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  25. Theodore M. Drange (2015). The Pluralizability Objection to a New-Body Afterlife. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 405-408.
    This paper presents and defends that an afterlife in which a person receives a new body after his or her old body is destroyed (as it is on some notions of bodily resurrection) is conceptually impossible. The main idea behind this argument is that such an afterlife would conceptually require that a person be a kind of thing that could be rendered plural. But since persons are not that type of thing, such an afterlife is not conceptually possible.
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  26. Theodore M. Drange (2015). Conceptual Problems Confronting a Totally Disembodied Afterlife. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife. Rowman & Littlefield 329-333.
    This paper presents and defends an argument for the conclusion that a personal afterlife in the absence of any sort of body at all is not conceptually possible. The main idea behind the argument is that there would be no way for the identities of people in a bodiless state to be established, either by others or by themselves. The argument raises a significant challenge to explaining just how someone in a totally disembodied afterlife could ever be identified—a challenge that (...)
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  27. Steven M. Duncan, The Inescapable Self.
    In this paper I discuss the existence of the substantial self and argue against those, like Hume, who deny its reality.
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  28. Gregor Flock, Why Religion Fails to Deliver: From Blind Faith to Scientific Spirituality.
    There is virtually universal agreement in the scientific community that religion does not meet the requirements of science and that its contents can consequently be largely ignored. Yet what exactly is wrong with religion from a scientific point of view and why is religion still so widely spread around the globe? -/- This article, which is strongly influenced by Harris 2005, identifies three items - widespread ignorance of the empirical (2.1), rational (2.2), and fallibilist attitude (2.3) - as religion's primary (...)
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  29. Gerardo Ferral Gayosso (2006). Nocíón de Espíritu Encarnado en el pensamiento de Teilhard de Chardín. Dissertation, Instituto de Estudios Superiores Rafael Guízar Valencia
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  30. Rocco J. Gennaro & Yonatan I. Fishman (2015). The Argument From Brain Damage Vindicated. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 105-133.
    It has long been known that brain damage has important negative effects on one’s mental life and even eliminates one’s ability to have certain conscious experiences. It thus stands to reason that when all of one’s brain activity ceases upon death, consciousness is no longer possible and so neither is an afterlife. It seems clear that human consciousness is dependent upon functioning brains. This essay reviews some of the overall neurological evidence from brain damage studies and concludes that our argument (...)
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  31. Timothy J. Gianotti (2001). Al-Ghazālī's Unspeakable Doctrine of the Soul: Unveiling the Esoteric Psychology and Eschatology of the Iḥyāʻ. Brill.
    This text marks a radical rethinking of the soul and the afterlife in the writings of al-Ghaz?l? (d. 505/1111), particularly within his magnum opus, "Reviving ...
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  32. Terryl L. Givens (2009). When Souls Had Wings: Pre-Mortal Existence in Western Thought. OUP Usa.
    The notion that we spring into existence ex nihilo at birth strikes many people as counter-intuitive. By contrast, the idea that we have an eternal identity appeals to some deep intuition about the self. And indeed, belief in the soul's pre-mortal existence has a long history in Western thought. Terryl Givens offers the first systematic exploration of this fascinating if generally unfamiliar feature of Western cultural history.
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  33. Eric W. Hagedorn (2010). Is Anyone Else Thinking My Thoughts? Aquinas's Response to the Too-Many-Thinkers Problem. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 84:275-286.
    It has been recently argued by a number of metaphysicians—Trenton Merricks and Eric Olson among them—that any variety of dualism that claims that human persons have souls as proper parts (rather than simply being identical to souls) will face a too-many-thinker problem. In this paper, I examine whether this objection applies to the views of Aquinas, who famously claims that human persons are soul-body composites. I go on to argue that a straightforward readingof Aquinas’s texts might lead us to believe (...)
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  34. WIlliam Hasker, Afterlife. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Human beings, like all other organic creatures, die and their bodies decay. Nevertheless, there is a widespread and long-standing belief that in some way death is survivable, that there is “life after death.” The focus in this article is on the possibility that the individual who dies will somehow continue to live, or will resume life at a later time, and not on the specific forms such an afterlife might take. We begin by considering the logical possibility of survival, given (...)
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  35. David B. Hershenov (2011). Soulless Organisms? American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 85 (3):465-482.
    It is worthwhile comparing Hylomorphic and Animalistic accounts of personal identity since they both identify the human animal and the human person.The topics of comparison will be three: The first is accounting for our intuitions in cerebrum transplant and irreversible coma cases. Hylomorphism, unlike animalism, appears to capture “commonsense” beliefs here, preserves the maxim that identity matters, and does not run afoul of the Only x and y rule. The next topic of comparison reveals how the rival explanations of transplants (...)
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  36. David B. Hershenov (2008). A Hylomorphic Account of Thought Experiments Concerning Personal Identity. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 82 (3):481-502.
    Hylomorphism offers a third way between animalist approaches to personal identity, which maintain that psychology is irrelevant to our persistence, andneo-Lockean accounts, which deny that humans are animals. This paper provides a Thomistic account that explains the intuitive responses to thought experiments involving brain transplants and the transformation of organic bodies into inorganic ones. This account does not have to follow the animalist in abandoning the claim that it is our identity which matters in survival, or countenance the puzzles of (...)
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  37. Terence Hines (2015). Brain, Language, and Survival After Death. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 183-194.
    This paper reviews the neuroanatomical bases of language processing in the brain. It argues that the highly detailed anatomical structures that process different aspects of language render any extracorporeal mind superfluous. Though conceivable, the reality of a mind that can exist independently of the brain would make redundant the neural architecture and complex processing mechanisms necessary for the production and understanding of language. Since these structures and mechanisms are manifestly not redundant, how could normal language function be preserved after their (...)
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  38. Jamie Horder (2015). The Brain That Doesn’T Know Itself: Persons Oblivious to Their Neurological Deficits. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 195-202.
    This paper surveys the neuroscientific evidence that brain lesions and drug intoxication can not only disrupt mental functions like perception and motor control, but can also remove one’s very awareness that these functions are impaired or altered. Such deficits imply that consciousness of one’s mental faculties, no less than the faculties themselves, is a product of particular neural structures. But this is inconsistent with any view—such as the dualistic interactionism of John Eccles—that holds that the conscious self interacts with and (...)
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  39. Noriaki Iwasa, Karmic Criticism of Abortion and Infanticide.
    Employing both hedonistic and preference utilitarianism, Peter Singer argues for abortion and infanticide. This essay challenges his arguments from the perspective of karma. There is suggestive evidence for karma. Singer's claim that fetuses and newborn infants are not persons is false if they have souls. Abortion and infanticide, if performed on human embryos with souls, fetuses with souls, and infants with souls, temporarily deprive them and possibly potential mothers of their opportunities to decrease their negative karma and increase their positive (...)
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  40. Noriaki Iwasa, Problems of Rawls's Natural Lottery Assumption.
    John Rawls's A Theory of Justice rests on an assumption that our circumstances and natural stature are accidental. But the law of karma explains that we are responsible for them. Rawls tries to exclude metaphysics from his theory, and ground his theory on "the public culture of a constitutional democracy." However, the natural lottery assumption is metaphysical in his scheme. Although the assumption seems less controversial than karma in a political sphere, adopting it contradicts Rawls's appeal for political neutrality. Also, (...)
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  41. Vijay K. Jain (2011). Tattvarthsutra. Vikalp Printers.
    A special feature of Acharya Umasvami’s Tattvarthsutra is that it is the first Jaina scripture written in the Sanskrit language. The work is of great value for the beginner as well as for the learned. Its composition has great charm. Each Sutra is composed in least possible words and can easily be memorized. Many Jains recite these Sutras. -/- Tattvarthsutra is invaluable for understanding life, and pursuit of happiness. The hardships and afflictions that we have to endure are of our (...)
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  42. Ludger Jansen & Niko Strobach (1999). Die Unzulänglichkeit von Richard Swinburnes Versuch, die Existenz einer Seele modallogisch zu beweisen. Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 53 (2):268 - 277.
    Die Zeiten, in denen der Leib-Seele-Dualismus als Ansatz der Philosophie des Geistes durch ein herrschendes Dogma als diskussionsunwürdig galt, sind vorbei. Der Dualismus darf wieder diskutiert werden. Er muß diskutiert werden, wenn in diskussionswürdiger Strenge für ihn argumentiert wird – auch wenn das, wie sich zeigen wird, manchmal ein ziemlich technisches Geschäft ist. In diesem Sinne soll im folgenden Richard Swinburnes Versuch behandelt werden, die Existenz einer Seele und damit die Wahrheit des Substanzdualismus aus einigen zunächst recht unspektakulär aussehenden Prämissen (...)
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  43. Jaegwon Kim (2015). What Could Pair a Nonphysical Soul to a Physical Body? In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 335-347.
    This paper argues that since nonphysical souls lack a position in space, they cannot have the pairing relations that would allow them to interact with physical bodies. For example, if two rifles (A and B) are fired at the same time, and consequently Andy and Buddy are killed, we can only say that rifle A killed Andy while rifle B killed Buddy, rather than the other way around, if there are appropriate spatial relations (such as distance and orientation) that pair (...)
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  44. Susan Krantz (1989). Brentano's Argument Against Aristotle for the Immateriality of the Soul. Brentano Studien 1:63-74.
    The Aristotelian conception of the soul as Brentano understood it is examined, with respect to the nature of the soul and mainly to what Aristotle called the sensitive soul, since this is where the issue of the soul's corporeity becomes important. Secondly the difficulties are discussed which Brentano saw in the Aristotelian semi-materialistic conception concerning the intellectual, as distinct from the sensitive soul from Brentano's reistic point of view which and that it is an immaterial substance. Finally there follows a (...)
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  45. Joy Laine (1992). Persons, Plants and Insects: On Surviving Reincarnation. The Personalist Forum 8 (Supplement):145-158.
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  46. Rense Lange & James Houran (2015). Giving Up the Ghost to Psychology. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 503-518.
    This paper explores why people report haunting and poltergeist outbreaks, which have been traditionally interpreted as direct and dramatic evidence of spirits. Deliberate deceit and psychopathology can explain some cases, but a more complex process is often at work. Synthesizing qualitative and quantitative research, we conclude that most reports do not offer evidence of survival, but rather represent the predictable human tendency to interpret ambiguous psychological and physical phenomena as paranormal due to contextual factors that influence normal processes underlying imagination, (...)
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  47. Claus Flodin Larsen (2015). Conjecturing Up Spirits in the Improvisations of Mediums. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 585-614.
    This paper provides an analysis of the “Arizona experiments” conducted by experimental mediumship researcher Gary E. Schwartz, a psychology professor at the University of Arizona, in 1999. During the experiments, a number of “psychics” were tested for their ability to communicate with the dead, and afterward Schwartz concluded that his results produced strong scientific support for the existence of an afterlife. This paper critically evaluates Schwartz’s arguments for this claim.
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  48. David Lester (2015). Is There Life After Death? A Review of the Supporting Evidence. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 631-649.
    This paper reviews recent empirical research into the possibility of life after death. First, it focuses on inconsistencies in accounts of the afterlife from different sources of supposed evidence for survival. Next, it reviews problematic aspects of survival research on apparitions, near-death experiences, and reincarnation claims, among other things. Finally, it examines whether any recent near-death research has addressed previous methodological criticisms, concluding that such research has not in fact advanced.
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  49. Jacqueline Mariña (2010). Holiness. In Charles Taliaferro, Paul Draper & Phil Quinn (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Religion. Wiley-Blackwell
    This essay analyzes the category of “the holy” as developed by Rudolf Otto, examining his division of the holy into rational and non-rational elements. While rational elements of the holy are closely tied to ethics, another aspect of the holy can only be apprehended through sui generis feelings irreducible to other mental states. But how do non-rational elements relate to rational, ethical categories? I trace the distinction between rational and non-rational elements in Otto’s analysis to Kant’s two faculty psychology: the (...)
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  50. Jacqueline Marina (2005). Introduction. In Jacqueline Mariña (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Friedrich Schleiermacher. Cambridge
    This is my introduction as editor to The Cambridge Companion to Schleiermacher.
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