Dualists Needn’t Be Anti-Criterialists (Nor Should They Be)
Duncan (Matt)
Source: Philosophical Studies, April 2017, Volume 174, Issue 4, pp 945–963
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. Sometimes in philosophy one view engenders another. If you hold the first, chances are you hold the second. But it’s not always because the first entails the second. Sometimes the tie is less clear, less clean.
  2. One such tie is between substance dualism and anti-criterialism. Substance dualism is the view that people are, at least in part, immaterial mental substances. Anti-criterialism is the view that there is no criterion of personal identity through time. Most philosophers who hold the first view also hold the second. In fact, many philosophers just assume that substance dualists ought to, perhaps even have to, accept anti-criterialism.
  3. But I aim to show that this assumption is baseless. Substance dualism doesn’t entail, suggest, support, or in any way motivate anti-criterialism, and anti-criterialism confers no benefit on dualism. Substance dualists have no special reason — and, indeed, no good reason at all — to accept anti-criterialism. Or so I shall argue.
  4. My aim isn’t to defend substance dualism, nor is it to attack anti-criterialism. My aim is to show that, contrary to a long-standing trend, dualists needn’t be anti-criterialists. Nor, as it will turn out, should they be.


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