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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. pp. 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. pp. 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. pp. 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. -/- 1. Introduction -- 2. Suitable Restrictions in Physical Theories -- 3. Evidence that Physical Formulas are not Violated -- 4. How (...)
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  7. James B. Ashbrook (1989). The Human Brain and Human Destiny: A Pattern for Old Brain Empathy with the Emergence of Mind. Zygon 24 (3):335-356.
    . The human brain combines empathy and imagination via the old brain which sets our destiny in the evolutionary scheme of things. This new understanding of cognition is an emergent phenomenon—basically an expressive ordering of reality as part of “a single natural system.” The holographic and subsymbolic paradigms suggest that we live in a contextual universe, one which we create and yet one in which we are required to adapt. The inadequacy of the new brain—specially the left hemisphere's rational view (...)
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  8. Keith Augustine (2015). Introduction. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 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 Considerations -- 7. Alternative Paranormal (...)
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  9. 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. pp. 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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  10. 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. pp. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. C. M. Bakewell (1904). Why the Mind has a Body: A Rejoinder. Philosophical Review 13 (3):342-346.
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  14. Patrick K. Bastable (1972). Survival and Disembodied Existence. Philosophical Studies 21:282-283.
  15. 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. pp. 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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  16. Bernardo Carlos Bazan (1985). Questions on the Soul. Review of Metaphysics 38 (4):910-912.
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  17. 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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  18. 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. pp. 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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  19. 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. pp. 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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  20. 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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  21. Harry M. Bracken (1960). Berkeley on the Immortality of the Soul. Modern Schoolman 37 (3):197-212.
  22. 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. pp. 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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  23. 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. pp. 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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  24. Andrew Brenner (forthcoming). Mereological Nihilism and Personal Ontology. Philosophical Quarterly.
    Mereological nihilists hold that composition never occurs, so that nothing is ever a proper part of anything else. Substance dualists generally hold that we are each identical with an immaterial soul. In this paper, I argue that every popular objection to substance dualism has a parallel objection to composition. This thesis has some interesting implications. First, many of those who reject composition, but accept substance dualism, or who reject substance dualism and accept composition, have some explaining to do. Secondly, one (...)
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  25. Ralph Wendell Burhoe (1973). The Concepts of God and Soul in a Scientific View of Human Purpose. Zygon 8 (3-4):412-442.
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  26. D. C. (1964). Monopsychism, Mysticism, Metaconsciousness. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 17 (4):630-631.
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  27. 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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  28. Chris Cherry (1986). Near-Death Experiences and the Problem of Evidence for Survival After Death. Religious Studies 22 (3-4):397.
    Many people believe it absurd to seek evidence for - or against - personal survival of death. Some do so because they think, for a variety of reasons, that the idea of personal post-mortem survival makes no sense. Whether or not they are right they are at any rate consistent: nothing can be evidence for or against a nonsense. However, there are others who also believe that looking for evidence is absurd and yet do not similarly dismiss the idea as (...)
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  29. Stephen R. L. Clark (1990). A Parliament of Souls. Oxford University Press.
    This second volume in the Limits and Renewals trilogy is an attempt to restate a traditional philosophy of mind, drawing on philosophical and poetical resources that are often neglected in modern and postmodern thought, and emphasizing the moral and political implications of differing philosophies of mind and value. Clark argues that without the traditional concept of the soul, we have little reason to believe that rational thought and individual autonomy are either possible or desirable. The particular topics covered include the (...)
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  30. 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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  31. Jonathan Dancy (2005). Berkeley's Active Self. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 1 (1):5-20.
    The Author considers the strengths and weaknesses of Berkeley’s account of what he calls indifferently the soul, mind, spirit or self. Such an account deserves far more credit than he has standardly been awarded for a significantly modern position, most of which has mistakenly been credited to Schopenhauer. The Aauthor relates Berkeley’s views to those recently expressed by Bill Brewer and attempts to isolate the crucial difference between Berkeley and Schopenhauer.
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  32. Terrence W. Deacon (1996). Why a Brain Capable of Language Evolved Only Once: Prefrontal Cortex and Symbol Learning. Zygon 31 (4):635-670.
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  33. Frank B. Dilley (2002). Kevin Corcoran (Ed.), Soul, Body and Survival. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 52 (3):195-197.
  34. 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. pp. 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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  35. Theodore M. Drange (2015). Conceptual Problems Confronting a Totally Disembodied Afterlife. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 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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  36. 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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  37. C. Stephen Evans & Brandon L. Rickabaugh (2015). What Does It Mean to Be a Bodily Soul? Philosophia Christi 17 (2):315-330.
    Evangelical scholars have recently offered criticisms of mind-body dualism from the disciplines of theology, philosophy, and neuroscience. We offer several arguments as to why these reasons for abandoning mind-body dualism fail. Additionally, we offer a positive thesis, a dualism that brings together the best aspects of the Cartesian view and the Thomistic view of human persons. The result is a substance dualism that treats the nature of embodiment quite seriously. This view explains why we, as souls, require a resurrected body (...)
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  38. Nicholas Everitt (2000). Substance Dualism and Disembodied Existence. Faith and Philosophy 17 (3):333-347.
    In a number of places, Richard Swinburne has defended the logical possibility of perception without a body; and has inferred from this logical possibility that substance dualism is true. I challenge his defence of disembodied perception by arguing that a disembodied perceiver would not be able to distinguish between perceptions and hallucinations. I then claim that even if disembodied perception were possible, this could not be used to support substance dualism: such an inference would be either invalid or question-begging.
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  39. 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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  40. Alexey R. Fokin (2009). The Relationship Between Soul and Spirit in Greek and Latin Patristic Thought. Faith and Philosophy 26 (5):599-614.
    Some biblical texts suggest that man consists of two parts—body and soul—whereas others seem to indicate instead three parts—body, soul, and spirit. This paper examines how the Church Fathers dealt with this apparent contradiction. It finds that although they generally favor the body-soul dichotomy, they did not see it as contradicting a trichotomous view, for “spirit” can be interpreted in a number of ways: as another term for the soul, or as the lowest imaginative part of the soul, or as (...)
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  41. Robin Fox (1986). The Passionate Mind: Brain, Dreams, Memory, and Social Categories. Zygon 21 (1):31-46.
  42. 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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  43. 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. pp. 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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  44. 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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  45. Grant R. Gillett (1985). Brain, Mind and Soul. Zygon 20 (December):425-434.
  46. L. Givens Terryl (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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  47. Peter S. Groff (1996). Composing the Soul. Review of Metaphysics 49 (4):939-941.
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  48. 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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  49. WIlliam Hasker (2010). 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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  50. David B. Hershenov (2011). Soulless Organisms?: Hylomorphism Vs. Animalism. 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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