<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Noonan (Harold) - The Possibility of Reincarnation (Theo Todman's Book Collection - Paper Abstracts) </title> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <BODY> <CENTER> <div id="header"><HR><h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Paper Abstracts</h1><HR></div><A name="Top"></A> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21964.htm">The Possibility of Reincarnation</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/N/Author_Noonan (Harold).htm">Noonan (Harold)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: Religious Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4 (Dec., 1990), pp. 483-491</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=600><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21964.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PapersToNotes_21964.htm">Notes Citing this Paper</A></td><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><u>Author s Introduction</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>Man has always hoped to survive his bodily death, and it is a central tenet of many religions that such survival is a reality. It has been supposed by many that one form such survival might take is reincarnation in another body. Subscribers to this view include Pythagoras, Plato sometimes, and a large number of Eastern thinkers. Other thinkers have, of course, disputed that reincarnation is a fact, and some have even denied that it is a possibility. But seldom has it been claimed by its opponents that reincarnation is a <em>logical</em> impossibility. </li><li>This, however, is the central contention of a recent article - <a name="7"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_21/Abstract_21963.htm">MacIntosh (J.J.) - Reincarnation and Relativized Identity</A>". Reincarnation, Macintosh maintains, is a logical impossibility because '[g]iven only two very simple necessary truths about identity, plus elementary first-order <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal logic</A><SUP>1</SUP>, we can show that reincarnation is impossible'. Anyone who denies this 'must reject one of the following: propositional logic, elementary <a name="2"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal logic</A><SUP>2</SUP>, the reflexivity of identity or <a name="3"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>3</SUP> substitution in <a name="4"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_81.htm">Leibniz's Law</A><SUP>4</SUP>'. </li><li>The particular logical truth with which, Macintosh claims, the possibility of reincarnation is in conflict is the principle of the <em>necessity of identity</em>, that if a = b then necessarily, a = b. Proofs of this principle are familiar to philosophers and logicians and Macintosh gives one in his article. </li><li>I shall not be disputing the necessity of identity in what follows. However, I <em>shall</em> be disputing Macintosh's claim that the necessity of identity rules out the possibility of reincarnation. As we shall see, there are broadly two lines of thought to follow for one who wishes to maintain, consistently with the necessity of identity, the possibility of reincarnation: <ol type="i"><li>One line is to develop a theory of personal identity in terms of <a name="5"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_16.htm">psychological continuity</A><SUP>5</SUP> and/or connectedness which takes a ' best candidate ' form and to reject a principle I shall refer to as 'the Only x and y principle'. </li><li>The other line is to accept the Only x and y principle, but still to maintain that <a name="6"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_16.htm">psychological continuity</A><SUP>6</SUP> provides a sufficient ground for identity. A proponent of this second line must endorse what I shall refer to as 'the multiple occupancy view' of certain situations described in the philosophical literature on personal identity. </ol></li><li>Both of these lines of thought have been well-developed in the philosophical literature on personal identity and each has eminent defenders. <ol type="i"><li>The first line of thought is defended by, for example, Shoemaker, Parfit and Nozick, whilst </li><li>The second is defended by David Lewis and John Perry. </ol>Each line has certain implausibilities attaching to it, but neither line requires its proponents to reject the necessity of identity. Macintosh's argument is thus mistaken. </li></ol></FONT><hr><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>Comment: </B><BR><BR>Reply to <a name="8"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_21/Abstract_21963.htm">MacIntosh (J.J.) - Reincarnation and Relativized Identity</A>".<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR></P><a name="ColourConventions"></a><p><b>Text Colour Conventions (see <A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</b></p><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-03T00:12" pubdate>03/08/2018 00:12:01</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>