Philosophical Psychology 28 (7):1001-1011 (2015)

Anil Gomes
Oxford University
Matthew Parrott
King's College London
In a recent paper, Gray, Knickman, and Wegner present three experiments which they take to show that people judge patients in a persistent vegetative state to have less mental capacity than the dead. They explain this result by claiming that people have implicit dualist or afterlife beliefs. This essay critically evaluates their experimental findings and their proposed explanation. We argue first that the experiments do not support the conclusion that people intuitively think PVS patients have less mentality than the dead. And second, we provide an alternative explanation of our ascriptions of mentality to the dead and PVS patients, one which turns on Epicurean considerations about the nature of death
Keywords Mind perception  Dualism  Non-existence  Persistent Vegetative State (PVS)
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Reprint years 2015
DOI 10.1080/09515089.2014.949653
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On Referring.P. F. Strawson - 1950 - Mind 59 (235):320-344.
Truth in Fiction.David K. Postscripts to Lewis - 1978 - American Philosophical Quarterly 15 (1):37--46.

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Dead-Survivors, the Living Dead, and Concepts of Death.K. Mitch Hodge - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (3):539-565.

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