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Rethinking Human Nature: A Christian Materialist Alternative to the Soul Paperback – June 1, 2006
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Corcoran presents a "Christian materialist" alternative to commonly held beliefs about human nature and the soul. He refers to his position as the "constitution view" (CV). Unlike other types of physicalism, CV maintains that the human body is not identical with the human person. Yet bodies constitute persons like marble or wood constitute tables. Another example that Corcoran gives regarding the CV is dollar bills: paper constitutes dollar bills, but is not identical with them.
The word "identical" is used as a technical term in order to reference things being numerically identical with one another and not replicas. Clark Kent is numerically identical with Superman because the former and latter are one and the same object. Other examples include books which are numerically identical or a car that remains identical (the same object) through time. What allows us to make identity claims of an object (X)? What justifies the belief that a thing (X) maintains its numerical identity year after year or second after second? Corcoran discusses the subject of numerical identity as well as the role that persistence conditions play in the belief that X is numerically identical within a spatio-temporal context. He points out that the relevant persistence conditions for X depend on exactly what X is. For example, the persistence conditions of a human body are not the same as those for a banana.
Corcoran also distinguishes between a) substance dualism; b) compound dualism or hylomorphism and c) emergent dualism. He perceives logical deficiencies in each type of dualism.Read more ›