To clarify death further, we will need to say a bit about the nature of life, and ask whether life can be suspended or restored, and how it relates to our continued existence. We can also distinguish between the concept of death and criteria by which death can be detected. Suppose we could construct a machine, the HAL 1. It seems that being conscious does not entail being alive.
References and Further Reading 1. Dualism The most basic form of dualism is substance dualism, which requires that mind and body be composed of two ontologically distinct substances. The term "substance" may be variously understood, but for our initial purposes we may subscribe to the account of a substance, associated with D.
Armstrong, as what is logically capable of independent existence.
According to the dualist, the mind or the soul is comprised of a non-physical substance, while the body is constituted of the physical substance known as matter. According to most substance dualists, mind and body are capable of causally affecting each other. This form of substance dualism is known as interactionism.
Two other forms of substance dualism are occasionalism and parallelism. These theories are largely relics of history. The occasionalist holds that mind and body do not interact. They may seem to when, for example, we hit our thumb with a hammer and a painful and distressing sensation occurs.
Occassionalists, like Malebranche, assert that the sensation is not caused by the hammer and nerves, but instead by God. God uses the occasion of environmental happenings to create appropriate experiences. According to the parallelist, our mental and physical histories are coordinated so that mental events appear to cause physical events and vice versa by virtue of their temporal conjunction, but mind and body no more interact than two clocks that are synchronized so that the one chimes when hands of the other point out the new hour.
Since this fantastic series of harmonies could not possibly be due to mere coincidence, a religious explanation is advanced. God does not intervene continuously in creation, as the occasionalist holds, but builds into creation a pre-established harmony that largely eliminates the need for future interference.
Another form of dualism is property dualism.
Property dualists claim that mental phenomena are non-physical properties of physical phenomena, but not properties of non-physical substances. Some forms of epiphenomenalism fall into this category. According to epiphenomenalism, bodily events or processes can generate mental events or processes, but mental phenomena do not cause bodily events or processes or, on some accounts, anything at all, including other mental states.
Still other dualists hold not that mind and body are distinct ontologically, but our mentalistic vocabulary cannot be reduced to a physicalistic vocabulary. In this sort of dualism, mind and body are conceptually distinct, though the phenomena referred to by mentalistic and physicalistic terminology are coextensive.
The following sections first discuss dualism as expounded by two of its primary defenders, Plato and Descartes.
This is followed by additional arguments for and against dualism, with special emphasis on substance dualism, the historically most important and influential version of dualism. Platonic Dualism in the Phaedo The primary source for Plato 's views on the metaphysical status of the soul is the Phaedo, set on the final day of Socrates' life before his self-administered execution.
Plato through the mouth of Socrates, his dramatic persona likens the body to a prison in which the soul is confined. While imprisoned, the mind is compelled to investigate the truth by means of the body and is incapable or severely hindered of acquiring knowledge of the highest, eternal, unchanging, and non-perceptible objects of knowledge, the Forms.
Forms are universals and represent the essences of sensible particulars. While encumbered by the body, the soul is forced to seek truth via the organs of perception, but this results in an inability to comprehend that which is most real. We perceive equal things, but not Equality itself. We perceive beautiful things but not Beauty itself.
To achieve knowledge or insight into the pure essences of things, the soul must itself become pure through the practice of philosophy or, as Plato has Socrates provocatively put it in the dialogue, through practicing dying while still alive.
The soul must struggle to disassociate itself from the body as far as possible and turn its attention toward the contemplation of intelligible but invisible things.
Though perfect understanding of the Forms is likely to elude us in this life if only because the needs of the body and its infirmities are a constant distractionknowledge is available to pure souls before and after death, which is defined as the separation of the soul from the body.
The Argument From Opposites Plato's Phaedo contains several arguments in support of his contention that the soul can exist without the body.
According to the first of the Phaedo's arguments, the Argument from Opposites, things that have an opposite come to be from their opposite. For example, if something comes to be taller, it must come to be taller from having been shorter; if something comes to be heavier, it must come to be so by first having been lighter.Of particular interest here is a dispute between Thomas Nagel, who says that death is always an evil, since continued life always makes good things accessible, and Bernard Williams, who argues that, while premature death is a misfortune, it is a good thing that we are not immortal, since we cannot continue to be who we are now and remain.
Quite often negative energies pose as angels and misguide people and create illusory forms of angels with wings. In this way quite often ghosts (demons, devils, negative energies, etc.) try to mislead people who have psychic ability. Nagel discusses the problem of free will only indirectly, in the context of autonomy and responsibility, given the hypothesis of determinism.
What I shall discuss are two aspects of the problem of free will, corresponding to the two ways in which objectivity threatens ordinary assumptions about human freedom. Ethical egoism is the normative ethical position that moral agents ought to do what is in their own self-interest.
It differs from psychological egoism, which claims that people can only act in their self-interest. Dualism and Mind. Dualists in the philosophy of mind emphasize the radical difference between mind and matter.
They all deny that the mind is the same as the brain, and some deny that the mind is wholly a product of the brain. He thinks they are not good within itself because in order to be good w/in itself would be to never be used for evil and the goodness cant be dependent on something else.