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 physicalism1. 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 afterlife2. 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 physicalist3 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 physicalist4 account of embodiment, identity across time, and resurrection is free of major problems.

Notes5
Comment:



In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 5: These aren’t intended to be in any way complete.

Footnote 7: Hershenov – despite being a materialist – suggest that dualism may be in better shape than Murphy makes out.

Footnote 9: Footnote 11: I think this goes along the lines of not just wanting to do what we will, but will what we will.

Footnote 13: 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 14: Footnote 19: Footnote 20: He says “construe … the relationship between persons and their animal bodies that might make sense of Murphy’s claims”.

Footnote 21: Which these two are isn’t very well signposted. The first is clear, but the second not.

Footnote 25: He deals with it at length in "Hershenov (David) - Problems with a Constitution Account of Persons".

Footnote 29: Footnote 30: In what sense of “life” is the “next life” life?

Footnote 35: This was the claim – probably false – against the first "CV" interpretation.

Footnote 38: Footnote 39: Footnote 41: Footnote 42: 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 45: Footnote 46: Several points here:- Footnote 47: So, Hershenov thinks that it’s this very body.

Footnote 49: 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 50: Indeed. How could it be otherwise, unless we wanted an eternal mess rather than only a temporary one

Footnote 55:

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2021
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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