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A Defence of the Concept of the Soul

  • Paul Badham
Part of the Library of Philosophy and Religion book series

Abstract

What is it that constitutes my personal identity? That is the major question facing any speculation about a possible future life. If my selfhood is necessarily dependent on bodily continuity, then there seems no sense in which my conscious personal self could exist after the cremation and scattering of my corpse. On the other hand if Descartes was right in arguing that ‘This I, that is to say, the mind, by which I am what I am, is entirely distinct from the body’,1 then this fundamental objection to belief in life after death is removed. Let us therefore examine the arguments which led Descartes to this conclusion.

Keywords

Personal Identity Body Schema Bodily Continuity Christian Belief Unfamiliar Face 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    René Descartes, Discourse on Method (Penguin, 1968) p. 54.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    A. J. Ayer, Language, Truth and Logic (Gollancz, 1964 ) pp. 46–7.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy (Unwin, 1961) p. 550.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    F. C. Copleston, A History of Philosophy (Image, 1963 ) IV 106.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    A. Flew, Body, Mind and Death (Macmillan, 1964 ) p. 189.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    P. F. Strawson, Individuals (Methuen, 1965 ) p. 95.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    Walpola Rahula, What the Buddha Taught (Gordon Fraser, 1967) p. 26.Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    A. J. Ayer, The Problem of Knowledge (Penguin, 1964) pp. 46–7.Google Scholar
  9. 13.
    William Kneale, On having a Mind (CUP, 1962) p. 50.Google Scholar
  10. 17.
    Terrence Penelhum, Survival and Disembodied Existence (RKP, 1970) p. 86.Google Scholar
  11. 18.
    Peter Geach, God and the Soul (RKP, 1969) p. 27.Google Scholar
  12. 19.
    John Hick, The Resurrection of the Body (an unpublished paper, 1973).Google Scholar
  13. 23.
    Gilbert Ryle, The Concept of Mind (Penguin, 1966) pp. 47–8.Google Scholar
  14. 25.
    H. D. Lewis, The Elusive Mind (Unwin, 1969 ) pp. 50–1, 34–5.Google Scholar
  15. 30.
    John Hick, Biology and the Soul (CUP, 1972) p. 25.Google Scholar
  16. 32.
    J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines (Black, 1960) p. 345; Augustine, City of God II 22/4 II 22/4.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Paul Badham 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Badham
    • 1
  1. 1.Lecturer in TheologySt David’s University CollegeLampeter, WalesUK

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