The Evolution of the Soul

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Men have evolved from animals, and animals from inanimate matter, but what has evolved is qualitatively different from the inanimate matter from which it began. Both men and the higher animals have a mental life of sensation, thought, purpose, desire, and belief. Although these mental states in part cause, and are caused by, brain states, they are distinct from them. Richard Swinburne argues that we can only make sense of this interaction by supposing that mentalstates are states of a soul, a mental substance in interaction with the body. Although both have a rich mental life, human souls, unlike animal souls, are capable of logical thought, have moral beliefs, have free will, and have an internal structure (so that their beliefs and desires are formed largelyby other beliefs and desires inherent in the soul). Professor Swinburne concludes that there is no full scientific explanation available for the evolution of the soul, and almost certainly there never will be.For this revised edition Professor Swinburne has taken the opportunity to strengthen or expand the argument in various places, to take account of certain developments in philosophy and cognitive science in the intervening years, and to add new discussion of important matters relating to the themes of the book, including connectionism and quantum theory.
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ISBN-13: 9780198236986
ISBN-10: 0198236980
Pagini: 376
Ilustrații: black & white illustrations
Dimensiuni: 138 x 215 x 21 mm
Greutate: 0.46 kg
Ediția: Revizuită
Editura: Clarendon Press
Colecția Clarendon Press
Locul publicării: Oxford, United Kingdom


For this revised edition Professor Swinburne has taken the opportunity to strengthen and expand his book to take account of developments in this area of philosophy since the first edition.
The book is marked by Professor Swinburne's characteristic clarity, rigorous logic, and forceful argument, and demands close attention from the reader. Every key term is carefully defined, and the reader is never left in doubt as to the intended meaning of each sentence.
one of the strongest defences of mind/body dualism and interactionism to have appeared in recent philosophy. The book exemplifies the same kind of rigour and pertinacity of argumentation that characterized his earlier philosophy of religion trilogy
Welcome indeed ... a clear and acute defense of mental substance seems especially important in a period in which that Cartesian notion has been, and remains, under heavy attack ... Swinburne's book is both clear and thorough, and reveals an admirable grasp on the part of its author of the current, mostly hostile, literature. And as a work which seriously challenges what many philosophers now believe about the mind, it deserves to be, not ignored, but seriouslychallenged in return.
carefully and lucidly written ... there is no mistaking the acumen and integrity of the author, and his courage in attempting to hold the difficult terrain which the dualist must occupy in the modern world

Notă biografică

Richard Swinburne is Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of Oriel College, since 1985. He was previously Professor of Philosophy at the University of Keele. He is the author of many notable books on the philosophy of religion in general and of the philosophy of Christianity in particular. Most recently, he offered general readers a powerful and lucid defence of religious belief in the modernworld, in Is There a God? (Oxford University Press, 1996).