Identity, Composition, and the Simplicity of the Self
Lowe (E.J.)
Source: Corcoran - Soul, Body and Survival, Chapter 9
Paper - Abstract

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    Let us suppose, for example, if only for the sake of discussion, that all persons are embodied as a matter of natural or metaphysical necessity. Would it follow that human persons are identical with physical organisms? In "Identity, Composition, and the Simplicity of the Self" E. J. Lowe answers no. He claims that human persons cannot be identified with their bodies because human persons and human bodies have different persistence conditions2. There are also reasons of a more Cartesian flavor for denying that persons are bodies. For example, Lowe believes that there are compelling reasons for believing that persons are simple rather than composite substances. What is so surprising about Lowe's alternative to Cartesian dualism is just that he refuses to draw the conclusion that persons are unextended Cartesian egos3, somehow mysteriously attached to their physical bodies. Instead, he argues for the provocative claim that the non-composite or simple nature of persons is consistent with their possessing such physical characteristics as shape and weight. And, what is more surprising, Lowe argues that it is at least conceptually possible for persons to survive disembodiment.


Section II: Alternatives to Cartesian Dualism

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Taken from "Corcoran (Kevin) - Soul, Body and Survival: Introduction - Soul or Body?", p. 7.

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