David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Can we conceive of a mind without body? Does, for example, the idea of the soul's immortality make sense? Certain versions of materialism deny such questions; I shall try to prove that these versions of materialism cannot be right. They fail because they cannot account for the mental vocabulary from the language of brains in the vat. Envatted expressions such as "I think", "I believe", etc., do not have to be reinterpreted when we translate them to our language; they are semantically stable. By contrast, physical expressions from the vat language are semantically instable; due to Putnam's externalism they cannot be transported to our language without change. This contrast opens the way to a new understanding of what the immortality of the soul might be like: A brain in a vat (and its mental life) might survive what the brain calls "my physical body's death".
|Keywords||Soul Immortality Materialism Matrix Brain in a Vat Externalism Philosophy of Mind Semantic Stability Metaphysics Hilary PUTNAM|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Mark Sprevak & Christina McLeish (2004). Magic, Semantics, and Putnam's Vat Brains. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 35 (2):227-236.
Joanna K. Forstrom (2010). John Locke and Personal Identity: Immortality and Bodily Resurrection in 17th-Century Philosophy. Continuum.
L. Nathan Oaklander (2001). Personal Identity, Immortality, and the Soul. Philo 4 (2):185-194.
Edwin M. Curley (2001). The Immortality of the Soul in Descartes and Spinoza. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 75 (27-41):27-41.
Michael W. Hickson (2011). The Moral Certainty of Immortality in Descartes. History of Philosophy Quarterly 28 (3):227-247.
Ausonio Marras (2001). On Putnam's Critique of Metaphysical Realism: Mind-Body Identity and Supervenience. Synthese 126 (3):407-426.
Marleen Rozemond (forthcoming). The Faces of Simplicity in Descartes’s Soul. In K. Corcilius, D. Perler & C. Helmig (eds.), The Parts of the Soul. De Gruyter.
Trenton Merricks (2001). How to Live Forever Without Saving Your Soul: Physicalism and Immortality. In Kevin J. Corcoran (ed.), Soul, Body, and Survival. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 183-201.
Marian David (1991). Neither Mentioning 'Brains in a Vat' nor Mentioning Brains in a Vat Will Prove That We Are Not Brains in a Vat. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (4):891-896.
Bredo C. Johnsen (2003). Of Brains in Vats, Whatever Brains in Vats May Be. Philosophical Studies 112 (3):225 - 249.
Anthony Brueckner (1992). If I Am a Brain in a Vat, Then I Am Not a Brain in a Vat. Mind 101 (401):123-128.
Martha C. Beck (1999). Plato's Self-Corrective Development of the Concepts of Soul, Forms, and Immortality in Three Arguments of the Phaedo. E. Mellen Press.
Richard Swinburne (2003). Body and Soul. Think 5 (5):31 - 35.
Added to index2012-10-23
Total downloads71 ( #22,098 of 1,102,060 )
Recent downloads (6 months)12 ( #19,531 of 1,102,060 )
How can I increase my downloads?