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Substance Dualism Fortified

  • N. M. L. Nathan (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031819111000039
  • Published online: 25 March 2011
Abstract

You have a body, but you are a soul or self. Without your body, you could still exist. Your body could be and perhaps is outlasted by the immaterial substance which is your soul or self. Thus the substance dualist. Most substance dualists are Cartesians. The self, they suppose, is essentially conscious: it cannot exist unless it thinks or wills or has experiences. In this paper I sketch out a different form of substance dualism. I suggest that it is not consciousness but another immaterial feature which is essential to the self, a feature in one way analogous to a non-dispositional taste. Each self has moreover a different feature of this general kind. If this is right then simple and straightforward answers are available to some questions which prove troublesome to the Cartesian, consciousness-requiring type of substance dualist. I mean the questions, How can the self exist in dreamless sleep?, What distinguishes two simultaneously existing selves, and What makes a self the same self as a self which exists at some other time?

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Corresponding author
N.M.L.Nathan@liverpool.ac.uk
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Justin Broackes points out (‘Substance’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 106 (2006), 158 n.30)

Galen Strawson , ‘What is the relation between an experience, the subject of the experience, and the content of the experience?Philosophical Issues, 13 (2003)

Irving Thalberg , ‘Freud's anatomies of the self’, in Richard Wollheim and James Hopkins (eds.) Philosophical Essays on Freud (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982)

Richard Swinburne , The Evolution of the Soul (Oxford: Clarendon Press, rev. ed. 1997)

Swinburne, The Christian God (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994)

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Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0031-8191
  • EISSN: 1469-817X
  • URL: /core/journals/philosophy
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