EVEN IF ’MIRACLE’ MEANS A VIOLATION OF A LAW OF NATURE, A CASE CAN BE MADE FOR THINKING THAT MIRACLES ARE POSSIBLE, DETECTABLE, AND COMPATIBLE WITH SCIENCE. THE CASE WORKS BY DEFINING A LAW-VIOLATION AS AN EVENT OF A KIND THAT IS EPISTEMICALLY IMPOSSIBLE UNLESS THERE IS GOOD EVIDENCE OF A GOD’S PRODUCING AN INSTANCE. HUMAN AND NON-HUMAN OBJECTIONS ARE CONSIDERED AND ANSWERED.
The word ‘dualism’ can be used to pick out at least four different theories concerning the relationship between mind and body. A mind and a body are two different entities and each is “had” by a man. A man is thus a composite being with two components, one “inner”, the other “outer”. You, for example, are a man and your mind is “inner” in the sense that you alone can reflectively experience yourself thinking, or feeling pain, or seeing colours . (...) I can in a sense observe you thinking, but only by observing you use your body in certain ways—e.g. to make certain sounds, write certain things, look at the pages of an open book and frown. My “experience” of you thinking is thus not a reflective experience. Your body is “outer”, on the other hand, in the sense that you cannot experience it or its properties in any exclusive way. That is, in whatever sense you can be said to experience your body, someone else can equally be said to experience it. (shrink)
The question ‘For Spinoza, what body is identical with the human mind?’ deserves more attention than it has received. On first view it looks plausible enough simply to answer ‘the human body’, using the latter expression in its ordinary sense. Yet a second look, prompted by the question What then are we to make of the human brain?’, can easily create dissatisfaction and send us searching for firmer guidelines in Spinoza’s philosophy. I want to unearth such guidelines here. My investigation (...) will be undertaken mainly from the viewpoint of someone familiar with issues of current interest in philosophy of mind. It will therefore be helpful to begin the discussion with a brief attempt to classify his general position on mind and body from a contemporary point of view. (shrink)