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Don A. Merrell
Northwest Arkansas Community College
  1. On the (Near) Impossibility of Studying Intercessory Prayers for Healing.Don A. Merrell - manuscript
    The most recent and, arguably, the most scientifically rigorous study of the healing power of intercessory prayer, the so-called “STEP” (“Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Prayer”) study involved over 1,800 subjects and roughly a decade of study. Though the results did little, if anything, to lend support to the idea that prayers really can heal the sick, religious believers might remain optimistic. Two main reasons for this optimism stem from, first, a crucial missing (though practically unavoidable) study control and, (...)
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  2.  99
    The Atheological Argument From Geography.Don A. Merrell - 2019 - Southwest Philosophy Review 35 (1):229-235.
    Occasionally, in the introductory philosophy courses I teach, a student will give an interesting argument for non-belief in God. Though I have never seen this argument in print, it seems familiar. Basically, the argument goes like this. Religious belief is largely determined by geography – where you are born and raised largely determines your religious beliefs. But believing something just because of where you are born and raised is not a reliable indication of whether that belief turns out to be (...)
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  3. Erring on the Side of Life: The Case of Terri Schiavo.Don A. Merrell - 2009 - Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (5):323-325.
    In debates over life and death it is often said that one should err on the side of caution—that is, on the side of life. In light of the recent case of Terri Schiavo, it is explained how the “err-on-the-side-of-life” argument proceeds, and an objection to it is offered.
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  4. Token Physicalism is Not Immune to Kripke's Essentialist Anti-Physicalist Argument.Don A. Merrell - 2005 - Philosophia 32 (1-4):383-388.
    In his (1977) "Anomalous Monism and Kripke's Cartesian Intuitions," Colin McGinn argues that Donald Davidson's anomalous monism is untouched by Kripke's (1980) argument against the identity theory. The type-identity of the physical with the mental may very well fall at the feet of Kripke's powerful arguments, but a token identification, argues McGinn, is left standing due to the simple fact that token physicalism countenances a kind of imagined separation of token mental states with their corresponding token physical states. If McGinn (...)
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  5.  26
    Ghosts and Ion Counters.Don A. Merrell - 2008 - Skeptical Inquirer 32 (6).
  6. Contemporary Conceivability Arguments in the Philosophy of Mind: A Critique.Don A. Merrell - 2001 - Dissertation, University of Arkansas
    This dissertation assesses the value of Cartesian conceivability arguments, with particular attention given to three contemporary debates surrounding the mind-body problem. Saul Kripke's separability argument utilized new developments surrounding the nature of necessity and the reference of proper names. For all its merit, the Kripkean separability argument is open to serious criticisms. I examine several standard objections to Kripke's arguments and maintain that none are successful. I also maintain, however, that it is possible to show, contrary to what Kripke presupposes, (...)
     
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