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In The Emergent Self, William Hasker joins one of the most heated debates in analytic philosophy, that over the nature of mind. His provocative and clearly written book challenges physicalist views of human mental functioning and advances the concept of mind as an emergent individual.Hasker begins by mounting a compelling critique of the dominant paradigm in philosophy of mind, showing that contemporary forms of materialism are seriously deficient in confronting crucial aspects of experience. He further holds that popular attempts to explain the workings of mind in terms of mechanistic physics cannot succeed. He then criticizes the two versions of substance dualism most widely accepted today—Cartesian and Thomistic—and presents his own theory of emergent dualism. Unlike traditional substance dualisms, Hasker's theory recognizes the critical role of the brain and nervous system for mental processes. It also avoids the mechanistic reductionism characteristic of recent materialism.Hasker concludes by addressing the topic of survival following bodily death. After demonstrating the failure of materialist views to offer a plausible and coherent account of that possibility, he considers the implications of emergentism for notions of resurrection and the afterlife.
Arguments concerning the existence and nature of God have been a staple of western philosophy for over 2,000 years. Philosophy of Religion: The Key Thinkers offers a comprehensive historical overview of this fascinating field. Nine specially commissioned essays introduce and explore the contributions of those philosophers who have shaped the subject and the central� issues and arguments therein. The book reconstructs the history of the philosophy of religion, clearly illustrating the most important attempts to address such crucial issues as the ontological argument, the cosmological argument, the problem of evil, miracles, the moral argument, the design argument, religious experience and the idea of god. Thinkers covered include Anselm, Aquinas, Pascal, Hume, Kant, Paley and James.� Crucially the book demonstrates why the ideas and arguments these key thinkers developed are still relevant in contemporary thought. Ideal for undergraduate students, the book lays the necessary foundations for a complete and thorough understanding of this fascinating subject.
03 According to Peter van Inwagen, visible inanimate objects do not, strictly speaking, exist. In defending this controversial thesis, he offers fresh insights on such topics as personal identity, commonsense belief, existence over time, the phenomenon of vagueness, and the relation between metaphysics and ordinary language
Are humans composed of a body and a nonmaterial mind or soul, or are we purely physical beings? Opinion is sharply divided over this issue. In this clear and concise book, Nancey Murphy argues for a physicalist account, but one that does not diminish traditional views of humans as rational, moral, and capable of relating to God. This position is motivated not only by developments in science and philosophy, but also by biblical studies and Christian theology. The reader is invited to appreciate the ways in which organisms are more than the sum of their parts. That higher human capacities such as morality, free will, and religious awareness emerge from our neurobiological complexity and develop through our relation to others, to our cultural inheritance, and, most importantly, to God. Murphy addresses the questions of human uniqueness, religious experience, and personal identity before and after bodily resurrection.
Almost a decade ago, Alvin Plantinga articulated his bold and controversial evolutionary argument against naturalism. This intriguing line of argument raises issues of importance to epistemologists and to philosophers of mind, of religion, and of science. In this, the first book to address the ongoing debate, Plantinga presents his influential thesis and responds to critiques by distinguished philosophers from a variety of subfields. Plantinga's argument is aimed at metaphysical naturalism or roughly the view that no supernatural beings exist. Naturalism is typically conjoined with evolution as an explanation of the existence and diversity of life. Plantinga's claim is that one who holds to the truth of both naturalism and evolution is irrational in doing so. More specifically, because the probability that unguided evolution would have produced reliable cognitive faculties is either low or inscrutable, one who holds both naturalism and evolution acquires a "defeater" for every belief he/she holds, including the beliefs associated with naturalism and evolution. Following Plantinga's brief summary of his thesis are eleven original pieces by his critics. The book concludes with a new essay by Plantinga in which he defends and extends his view that metaphysical naturalism is self-defeating.
Philosophy of religion has experienced a renaissance in recent times, paralleling the resurgence in public debate about the place and value of religion in contemporary Western societies. The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy of Religion is an outstanding reference source to the key topics, problems and debates in this exciting subject. Comprising over thirty chapters by a team of international contributors, the Handbook is divided into seven parts: theoretical orientations conceptions of divinity epistemology of religious belief metaphysics and religious language religion and politics religion and ethics religion and scientific scrutiny. Within these sections central issues, debates and problems are examined, including: religious experience, religion and superstition, realism and anti-realism, scientific interpretation of religious texts, feminist approaches to religion, religion in the public square, tolerance, religion and meta-ethics, religion and cognitive science, and the meaning of life. Together, they offer readers an informed understanding of the current state of play in the liveliest areas of contemporary philosophy of religion. The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy of Religion is essential reading for students and researchers of philosophy of religion from across the Humanities and Social Sciences.
A groundbreaking collection of contemporary essays from leading international scholars that provides a balanced and expert account of the resurgent debate about substance dualism and its physicalist alternatives. Substance dualism has for some time been dismissed as an archaic and defeated position in philosophy of mind, but in recent years, the topic has experienced a resurgence of scholarly interest and has been restored to contemporary prominence by a growing minority of philosophers prepared to interrogate the core principles upon which past objections and misunderstandings rest. As the first book of its kind to bring together a collection of contemporary writing from top proponents and critics in a pro-contra format, The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism captures this ongoing dialogue and sets the stage for rigorous and lively discourse around dualist and physicalist accounts of human persons in philosophy. Chapters explore emergent, Thomistic, Cartesian, and other forms of substance dualism—broadly conceived—in dialogue with leading varieties of physicalism, including animalism, non-reductive physicalism, and constitution theory. Loose, Menuge, and Moreland pair essays from dualist advocates with astute criticism from physicalist opponents and vice versa, highlighting points of contrast for readers in thematic sections while showcasing today’s leading minds engaged in direct debate. Taken together, essays provide nuanced paths of introduction for students, and capture the imagination of professional philosophers looking to expand their understanding of the subject. Skillfully curated and in touch with contemporary science as well as analytic theology, The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism strikes a measured balanced between advocacy and criticism, and is a first-rate resource for researchers, scholars, and students of philosophy, theology, and neuroscience.

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