|Persons as Emergent Substances|
|Source: Corcoran - Soul, Body and Survival, Chapter 7|
|Paper - Abstract|
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In "Persons as Emergent Substances" William Hasker argues for what might be called "ambitious emergent dualism." For according to Hasker not only is it the case that novel properties or capacities emerge at certain complex levels of physical organization (a la O'Connor2), but sometimes whole new substances emerge. Hasker contends that human souls or minds are just such emergent substances and that they stand to human brains as [say] an electromagnetic field stands to its generating source. A magnetic field, for example, is an emergent individual; it normally occupies an area larger than that of its generating magnet and enters into causal commerce with it. So too with human persons. Human persons emerge when biological systems reach the complex level of organization we normally associate with mature human brains in mature human bodies. One of the things that makes Hasker's emergent dualism especially ambitious is the suggestion that it is at least logically possible for human souls to outlive their source of generation and thus at least logically possible for a human person to survive into an afterlife3.
Section II: Alternatives to Cartesian Dualism
Footnote 1: Taken from "Corcoran (Kevin) - Soul, Body and Survival: Introduction - Soul or Body?", p. 6.
Footnote 2: In "O'Connor (Timothy) - Causality, Mind, and Free Will".
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