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پنجشنبه 31 فروردین 1396

The Evolution of the Soul by Richard Swinburne touch ipad apple reader online

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Swinburnes thesis is that the human person cannot be reduced to brain-states, and that this non-reducible entity is what we call the soul. The first part of the book analyses how perceptions, beliefs, thoughts, and desires are {probably} not reducible to mere brain-events. Structure of the SoulIf we say the person can continue if the body is destroyed, we mean it is logically possible (146). basic argument: knowledge of what happens to bodies and their parts will not necessarily give you knowledge of the persons within them (147). Cf., B. Williams, “Mad Surgeon Story.” Further, a man’s mental properties are not necessarily the same as his physical properties (155). At least, we have no reason for thinking so and those who hold to materialism have far more to prove. Origin and Life of the Soulproblem: can the soul function when it is not having conscious episodes (sleep, etc)? Swinburne makes the distinction that the soul cannot “function” without a properly functioning brain, but it can exist without the brain (176). I am not so sure Swinburne’s evolutionary narrative accounts for morality. He asserts with Darwin that those who evolved have well-marked social instincts which would eventually acquire morality (224). The only evidence he offers is that animals demonstrate altruism towards their kin (except for those animals who eat their young and eat their mates, no doubt). The universality of morality, therefore, can be attributed to some “core principles” (226).I am not persuaded and neither was T. H. Huxley. Swinburne admits with Huxley that the “practice of what is ethically best...is opposed to that which leads to success in the cosmic system” (quoted in Swinburne, 227). His argument for free will is along the lines that Quantum Mechanics has ruled out a universal physical determinism, which would be our wills aren’t determined by our brain-states. So far, so good. The rest of the chapter consisted of mathematical formulas before which even the mightiest reader would quail.The Structure of the SoulAgents have belief-desire sets. Per Quine, our beliefs “form a net which impinges on experience only at its edges” (see Quine, From a Logical Point of View, 42-46). Our beliefs have to “mesh” with other beliefs (though there can be inconsistencies that aren’t obvious). Swinburne takes Quine’s correct thesis and adds to it: desires interact with our belief network (Swinburne 263-264). Desires require beliefs. If a man desire heroin and knows the effects of heroin, and you inject him with heroin, then as the effects wear off he will desire more heroin. If you inject a sleeping man with heroin, as the effects wear off he will feel uneasy but won’t desire heroin (not knowing what to desire). There are three ways to change desires: bodily change, a belief change, and a change of other desires (270-271). Swinburne gives an extended and fascinating account of how our beliefs and desires function. The upshot of this is our beliefs can’t always be “changed” by neural procedures. If one did succeed in “switching” beliefs, my other beliefs in the “web,” themselves not changed, would “conspire to restore” that former belief which gave unity (281). Granted, this isn’t a powerful stand-alone argument for the existence of the soul, but it is a difficulty for materialist views. The Future of the SoulSwinburne discusses various dis-embodied scenarios and rejects most of them. He holds that Near-Death Experiences do not obtain because in all of these accounts it has not shown that the brain ceased to function. I disagree.His conclusion: the soul cannot survive the body simply on its own powers. I suppose that’s true, but Swinburne comes dangerously close to (if not actually affirming) “soul sleep.” He likens the soul to a light bulb and the brain to the socket. The light bulb still exists if the power is off, but it does not function.Pros:*Excellent discussion of belief-formation and how we change our desires. *Magnificent command of the secondary literature. I didnt know what John Searle (Intentionality) and Saul Kripke (Naming and Necessity) were talking about until Swinburne explained them.*The appendices were wonderful. Great discussion on Jaegwon Kim and supervenience. Lots of tantalizing suggestions for future constructions.Criticism:Swinburne holds to neo-Darwinian evolution. He claims, or appears to, that the soul evolved *separately* from the brain/body. Perhaps, but few people, whether non-Christian or Christian, will buy that. Further, given Swinburnes above agreement with Huxley, its not clear how evolution works with the idea of a moral soul.I reject Swinburnes rejection of near-death experiences for the same reason I reject his soul-sleep. However, those objections turn on biblical data, which isnt relevant to his thesis (so no point listing them here).

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نظرات() 
Can Pilates make you look taller?
سه شنبه 31 مرداد 1396 10:01 ق.ظ
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شنبه 14 مرداد 1396 08:35 ق.ظ
It's nearly impossible to find educated people for this topic, however,
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