A Reply to Anders’ ‘Mind, Mortality and Material Being: van Inwagen and the Dilemma of Material Survival of Death’

In his paper ‘Mind, Mortality and Material Being’ Paul Anders attempts to show that Peter van Inwagen’s materialist metaphysics of the human person, combined with the belief that human persons survive death, faces a dilemma. Either, on the one hand, van Inwagen has to accept an account of the surviv...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Sophia
Main Author: Atkinson, Thomas
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Springer Netherlands [2015]
In: Sophia
Year: 2015, Volume: 54, Issue: 4, Pages: 577-592
IxTheo Classification:NBC Doctrine of God
NBE Anthropology
VA Philosophy
Further subjects:B van Inwagen
B Death
B Metaphysics
B Materialism
B Personal Identity
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
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Summary:In his paper ‘Mind, Mortality and Material Being’ Paul Anders attempts to show that Peter van Inwagen’s materialist metaphysics of the human person, combined with the belief that human persons survive death, faces a dilemma. Either, on the one hand, van Inwagen has to accept an account of the survival of human persons across death that cannot escape the duplication objection (§1.2), or, on the other hand, van Inwagen has to accept an account of the survival of human persons across death that entails the possibility of that which is logically impossible and, in consequence, renders his metaphysics necessarily false (§2). This paper is concerned with the second horn of the dilemma. In this paper, I will attempt to do two things. First, I will attempt to show that Anders’ description of van Inwagen’s ‘naked kernel’ (van Inwagen 2009, 329) account of the survival of human persons across death is, at times, unclear, before, second, attempting to demonstrate that there is a response that van Inwagen could give to Anders’ argument regardless of these unclarities. Consequently, I think that, at least until Anders’ description is made clearer, and until Anders tells us why van Inwagen can’t opt for the solution I propose, we should consider van Inwagen’s inclination that God can preserve a kernel that is sufficient for the survival of human persons across death to be unharmed by Anders’ argument.
ISSN:1873-930X
Contains:Enthalten in: Sophia
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1007/s11841-015-0508-7