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 (2015)
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Abstract

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 organism—especially its brain—are configured in certain sorts of ways. A view of reality that is both conceptually coherent and scientifically comprehensive makes the very idea of surviving one’s bodily death literally absurd. 1. The Cheshire Cat Fallacy: “A Grin Without a Cat” -- 2. Two Main Arguments for Substance Dualism - 2.1 An Appeal to the Logic of Identity and Difference - 2.2 An Appeal to the Noncogitative Nature of Matter -- 3. A Host of Problems for Substance Dualism - 3.1 The Inexplicability of Mind-Brain Dependence - 3.2 The Inexplicability of Mental Causation - 3.3 The Violation of Scientific Laws - 3.4 Minds as Miracle-Workers - 3.5 Problems about Our Embryological and Developmental Histories - 3.6 Problems about our Evolutionary Histories - 3.7 Which Stage of the Soul or Mind Survives? - 3.8 Where are our Disembodied Souls Supposed to Survive? -- 4. The Argument from Leibniz’s Law Presupposes a Category Misallocation - 4.1 The Fallacy of Reification - 4.2 Resisting the Reifying Lure of Language - 4.3 Dualistic Consequences of Reifying Mentalistic Terms - 4.4 Allocation to Ontological Categories - 4.5 Locke’s Partial Solution to the Category Misallocation - 4.6 Ryle on Category Mistakes and “the Ghost in the Machine” - 4.7 Ryle’s Important Insight: To Have a Mind is to have a Set of Mental Properties - 4.8 Interim Summary -- 5. The Emergence of “Minds” from Incogitative Matter - 5.1 Locke’s A Priori Argument - 5.2 Locke’s Argument Refuted by Counterexamples - 5.3 The Concept of Emergence Defined - 5.4 Rival Concepts of Emergence - 5.5 The Ubiquitousness of Emergent Properties - 5.6 The Metaphysics of Emergent Materialism - 5.6.1 Substance Monism - 5.6.2 The Doctrine of Property Dualism is Misconceived - 5.6.3 Emergent Properties of Different Kinds - 5.6.4 The “Hierarchy” of Sciences - 5.6.5 The Broad Spectrum of “Mental” Properties -- 6. The Metaphysical Impossibility of Survival - 6.1 Mind-Brain Dependence - 6.2 The Issue of Mental Causation - 6.2.1 The Bogeyman of Epiphenomenalism - 6.3 The Violation of Scientific Laws - 6.4 Minds as Miracle-Workers - 6.5 Our Embryological and Developmental Histories - 6.6 Our Evolutionary Histories -- 7. Conclusion

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From a Logical Point of View.W. V. O. Quine - 1953 - Harvard University Press.
The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1950 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 1 (4):328-332.

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