Review of Nancy Murphy's 'Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies?'
Hershenov (David)
Source: Religious Studies, 43:2, June 2007, 237-242
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Introduction

  1. Nancey Murphy argues that Christians have nothing to fear from physicalism. We can reject dualism without contradicting biblical accounts of our nature, abandoning belief in our distinctiveness, denying that we are free and responsible, or giving up the hope for an afterlife1. The benefits are less mystery, more scientific respectability, a spirituality less absorbed with inwardness and otherworldliness, and a greater concern for community.
  2. As a Christian physicalist I hope that she is right; however, I am not as confident as she that soul theories are in such bad shape or that her favored physicalist account of embodiment, identity across time, and resurrection is free of major problems.


In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 2: These aren’t intended to be in any way complete.

Footnote 3: Hershenov – despite being a materialist – suggest that dualism may be in better shape than Murphy makes out.

Footnote 5: Footnote 6: I think this goes along the lines of not just wanting to do what we will, but will what we will.

Footnote 8: This is a general problem – much beloved of extreme pro-lifers like Hershenov – with any account of our identity that doesn’t insist we come into existence at conception.

Footnote 9: Footnote 14: Footnote 15: He says “construe … the relationship between persons and their animal bodies that might make sense of Murphy’s claims”.

Footnote 16: Which these two are isn’t very well signposted. The first is clear, but the second not.

Footnote 20: He deals with it at length in "Hershenov (David) - Problems with a Constitution Account of Persons".

Footnote 23: Footnote 24: In what sense of “life” is the “next life” life?

Footnote 29: This was the claim – probably false – against the first "CV" interpretation.

Footnote 32: Footnote 33: Footnote 35: Footnote 36: The fact that the term “replica” is used must mean that Murphy denies any identity-claims for the bodies, and must be adopting a constitution view (given that she’s a physicalist).

Footnote 38: Footnote 39: Several points here:- Footnote 40: So, Hershenov thinks that it’s this very body.

Footnote 42: This would seem to be rather “hands on”. It’s all pure speculation, of course, but if you go along with this essentially materialist and naturalist approach, you’d be better off positing a change in the laws of nature, rather than eternal tinkering (unless you think that’s what’s already happening).

Footnote 43: Indeed. How could it be otherwise, unless we wanted an eternal mess rather than only a temporary one

Footnote 48:

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