From Mental/Physical Identity to Substance Dualism
Swinburne (Richard)
Source: Van Inwagen (Peter) & Zimmerman (Dean) - Persons: Human and Divine
Paper - Abstract

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From "Zimmerman (Dean) - Persons: Human and Divine - Three Introductory Questions"

    Richard Swinburne's arguments for dualism are well known. Here, he offers a new support for dualism based upon the non-supervenience1 of the mental. He introduces a concept of an event according to which there is no more to the history of the world than all the events that have happened. All events can be described canonically as the instantiation of properties in substances (or events) at times. He then introduces a certain conception of the "names" of a property, a substance, and a time; anyone who knew the names of the properties, substances, and times involved in every event (in the sense of "name" he stipulates) would know (or could deduce) everything that happens in the history of the world. He defines the category of the mental (whether property, event, or substance) as that to which one subject has privileged access; the category of the physical as that to which there is no privileged access; and the category of the pure mental as that which contains no physical component. Using these categories, he argues that there are mental and pure mental properties, events, and substances; and that these are not identical with, and do not supervene2 on, physical properties, events, and substances. Human beings are, he concludes, pure mental substances. Consequences are drawn for the Christian doctrines of life after death3 and the resurrection of the body.

Comment:

Part 2: Dualism

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