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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 & 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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  8. 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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  9. Bernardo Carlos Bazan (1985). Questions on the Soul. Review of Metaphysics 38 (4):910-912.
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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. Harry Bracken (1960). Berkeley on the Immortality of the Soul. Modern Schoolman 37 (3):197-212.
  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. C. D. (1964). Monopsychism, Mysticism, Metaconsciousness. Review of Metaphysics 17 (4):630-631.
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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. Joy Laine (1992). Persons, Plants and Insects: On Surviving Reincarnation. The Personalist Forum 8 (Supplement):145-158.
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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. Jacqueline Mariña (1996). Schleiermacher's Christology Revisited: A Reply to His Critics. Scottish Journal of Theology 49 (2):177-200.
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  36. Gordon D. Marino (1985). I. Salvation: A Reply to Harrison Hall's Reading of Kierkegaard. Inquiry 28 (1-4):441-449.
    On Harrison Hall's reading, Kierkegaard uses the terms translated ?eternal happiness? and ?salvation? to refer to a quality of this?worldly life. As I understand him, the author denies that Kierkegaard believed in an afterlife. While acknowledging the vein of meanings that ?Love and Death . . .? point to, I argue that Kierkegaard did in fact look forward to an eternal life in the traditional, Biblical, and so?called common sense of the term. In connection with his views on the question (...)
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  37. Michael N. Marsh (2010). Out-of-Body and Near-Death Experiences: Brain-State Phenomena or Glimpses of Immortality? Oup Oxford.
    Discrediting 'mystical' or 'psychical' interpretations of out-of-body and near-death experiences, Michael Marsh demonstrates how these phenomena are explicable in terms of brain neurophysiology and its neuropathological disturbances, and discusses the theological and philosophical implications of his hypotheses.
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  38. Michael Martin (2015). Problems with Heaven. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield. 427-440.
    Belief in Heaven is an essential part of the great monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Famous theologians have written about it, and ordinary theists hope to go there after death. However, the concept of Heaven is neither clear nor unproblematic. There are three serious problems with the notion of Heaven. First, the concept of Heaven lacks coherence. Second, it is doubtful that theists can reconcile the heavenly character of Heaven with standard defenses against the argument from evil, such (...)
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  39. Nicholas Mowad (2013). Awakening to Madness and Habituation to Death in Hegel's Anthropology. In David Stern (ed.), Essays on Hegel's Philosophy of Subjective Spirit. State University of New York Press.
    Hegel argues that madness should not be understood as it had been traditionally, viz. ‘sleeping while awake,’ the intrusion of sleep or unconsciousness on waking, conscious life, but that rather madness must be understood as an inescapable possibility of waking life, and a constitutive part of consciousness itself.
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  40. Gregory Nixon (2011). Breaking Out of One's Head (& Awakening to the World). Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research 2 (7):1006-1022.
    Herein, I review the moment in my life when I awoke from the dream of self to find being as part of the living world. It was a sudden, momentous event that is difficult to explain since transcending the self ultimately requires transcending the language structures of which the self consists. Since awakening to the world took place beyond the enclosure of self-speech, it also took place outside our symbolic construction of time. It is strange to place this event and (...)
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  41. Kevin E. O'Reilly (2007). The Soul of the Person: A Contemporary Philosophical Psychology. Review of Metaphysics 61 (2):441-442.
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  42. L. Nathan Oaklander (2001). Personal Identity, Immortality, and the Soul. Philo 4 (2):185-194.
    The soul has played many different roles in philosophy and religion. Two of the primary functions of the soul are the bearer of personal identity and the foundation of immortality. In this paper I shall consider different interpretations of what the soul has been taken to be and argue that however we interpret the soul we cannot consistently maintain the soul is both what we are and what continues after our bodily death.
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  43. David Papineau (2015). There is No Trace of Any Soul Linked to the Body. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield. 369-376.
    This paper argues that all apparently special forces characteristically reduce to a few fundamental physical forces which conserve energy and operate throughout nature. Consequently, there are probably no special mental forces originating from souls and acting upon bodies and brains in addition to the basic, energy-conserving physical forces. Moreover, physiological and biochemical research have failed to uncover any evidence of forces over and above the basic physical forces acting on living bodies. It is as if all organic processes can be (...)
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  44. Gregory Paul (2007). Theodicy's Problem. Philosophy and Theology 19 (1/2):125-149.
    The full extent of the anguish and death suffered by immature humans is scientifically and statistically documented for the first time. Probably hundreds of billions of human conceptions and at least fifty billion children have died, the great majority from nonhuman causes, before reaching the age of mature consent. Adults who have heard the word of Christ number in the lower billions. If immature deceased humans are allowed into heaven, then the latter is inhabited predominantly by automatons. Because the Holocaust (...)
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  45. Gualtiero Piccinini & Sonya Bahar (2015). No Mental Life After Brain Death: The Argument From the Neural Localization of Mental Functions. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield. 135-170.
    This paper samples the large body of neuroscientific evidence suggesting that each mental function takes place within specific neural structures. For instance, vision appears to occur in the visual cortex, motor control in the motor cortex, spatial memory in the hippocampus, and cognitive control in the prefrontal cortex. Evidence comes from neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurochemistry, brain stimulation, neuroimaging, lesion studies, and behavioral genetics. If mental functions take place within neural structures, mental functions cannot survive brain death. Therefore, there is no mental (...)
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  46. Michael Potts (1998). Aquinas, Hell, and the Resurrection of the Damned. Faith and Philosophy 15 (3):341-351.
    Based on themes in Aquinas, this paper adds to the defense of the doctrine of an eternal hell, focusing on the state of those in hell after the resurrection. I first summarize the Thomistic doctrine of the human person as a body-soul unity, showing why existence as a separated soul is truncated and unnatural. Next, I discuss the soul-body reunion at the resurrection, which restores an essential aspect of human nature, even for the damned. This reveals the love of God (...)
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  47. Brian Prince (2012). The Form of Soul in the Phaedo. Plato 11 11.
    Although the Phaedo never mentions a Form of Soul explicitly, the dialogue implies this Form’s existence. First, a number of passages in which Socrates describes his views about Forms imply that there are very many Forms; thus, Socrates’ general description of his theory gives no ground for denying that there is a Form of Soul. Second, the final argument for immortality positively requires a Form of Soul.
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  48. Andrea Sauchelli (forthcoming). Buddhist Reductionism, Fictionalism About the Self, and Buddhist Fictionalism. Philosophy East and West 67 (2).
    I discuss an interpretation, recently proposed by Mark Siderits, of the claim that within the Buddhist tradition the self is a convenient fiction. I subsequently propose a novel approach to fictionalism in contemporary metaphysics, outline an application of such an approach to the case of the self and then specify one version of fictionalism combined with some basic tenets of Buddhism.
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  49. Ernest Sosa (1988). Symposium Papers, Comments and an Abstract: Neither Body nor Soul. Then What? And What Does It Matter? Noûs 22 (1):87-88.
    Are we souls, subjects of consciousness who exist and perdure fundamentally while unextended in space? Recent epistemological arguments for the negative leave me relatively cold; but other arguments are more moving, and we shall take note of them.
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  50. Steve Stewart-Williams (2015). On the Origin of Afterlife Beliefs by Means of Memetic Selection. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield.
    Somewhere in the mists of the past, we somehow picked up the idea of an afterlife from our culture. So, where did this idea come from in the first place? The problem is not that there aren’t any plausible theories to explain it; the problem is that there are too many. Some claim that the belief in an afterlife is wishful thinking; others that it’s a way of encouraging socially desirable behavior; and others still that it represents ancient people’s best (...)
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