Immortality and Dualism
Someone who believes in immortality is not thereby committed, logically, to believing in dualism and in the possibility of disembodied existence. Nevertheless, any anti-dualist who believes in immortality is committed to believing things which most anti-dualists would find even less plausible than dualism. Observe that if at some future time I die and then undergo bodily resurrection, or if I arrange to have myself deep-frozen and then thawed a few millennia later,1 or if I have my brain transferred to a younger and healthier body, or if I have my brainstates transferred to a younger and healthier brain, or if I undergo rejuvenation at the hands of the micro-surgeons, then no matter how much my bodily existence will have been extended beyond three score years and ten, I will still have an eternity ahead of me. None of the imagined life-prolonging (or life-restoring) episodes would, by itself, bring one immortality, as opposed to mere increased longevity.
KeywordsMental State Material Substance Immaterial State Causal Connection Mental Attribute
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- 1.See Robert C. W. Ettinger, The Prospect of Immortality (New York, 1966).Google Scholar
- 3.See David M. Armstrong, A Materialist Theory of Mind (London, 1968) p. 19.Google Scholar
- 4.See my paper ‘Embodiment and Behaviour,’ in Amelie Rorty (ed.), The Identities of Persons (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1976).Google Scholar
- 9.See Saul Kripke, ‘Identity and Necessity’, in Milton Munitz (ed.), Identity and Individuation (New York, 1971), pp. 135–64.Google Scholar
- 10.See D. M. Armstrong, A Materialist Theory of Mind (London, 1968)Google Scholar
- David Lewis, ‘An Argument for the Identity Theory’, in D. M. Rosenthal (ed.), Materialism and the Mind-Body Problem (Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1971), and ‘Psychophysical and Theoretical Identifications’, in Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 50, No. 3 (December, 1972), pp. 249–57.Google Scholar