Conceivability, possibility and the resurrection of material beings


Authors
Thomas Atkinson
University of Liverpool
Abstract
In his 1998 postscript to ‘The Possibility of Resurrection’ Peter van Inwagen argues that the scenario he describes by which God might resurrect a human organism, even though probably not true, is still conceivable and, consequently, ‘serves to establish a possibility’, namely, the metaphysical possibility of the resurrection of material beings. Van Inwagen, however, has also argued in favour of ‘modal scepticism’ [van Inwagen in, God, knowledge and mystery: essays in philosophical theology, Cornell University Press, Ithaca 1995b, pp. 11–12; van Inwagen in, Philos Stud 92:67–84, 1998a]. That is, he thinks that we should limit all our claims about what is possible to ‘ordinary propositions about everyday matters’, 1998a). In this paper I argue that van Inwagen’s modal argument as found in ‘The Possibility of Resurrection’ is inconsistent with his modal scepticism as found in ‘Modal Epistemology’. In consequence, I argue that, given his modal scepticism, the task van Inwagen set himself in ‘The Possibility of Resurrection’ has not been achieved.
Keywords Modality  Death  Survival  Animalism  Modal Epistemology
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DOI 10.1007/s11153-016-9573-2
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References found in this work BETA

Material Beings.Peter VAN INWAGEN - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Is Conceivability a Guide to Possibility?Stephen Yablo - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (1):1-42.
Material Beings.Peter VAN INWAGEN - 1990 - Philosophy 67 (259):126-127.
Persons, Animals, Ourselves.Paul F. Snowdon (ed.) - 2014 - Oxford University Press.

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