Dismantling Bodily Resurrection Arguments Against Mind-Body Dualism

In R. Keith Loftin & Joshua Farris (eds.), Christian Physicalism? Philosophical Theological Criticisms. Lanham: Lexington Books. pp. 295-317 (2018)
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According to the Christian doctrine of bodily resurrection, human persons will have an embodied existence in eternity. Many Christian materialists, especially Lynne Rudder Baker, Trenton Merricks, and Kevin Corcoran, argue that the doctrine of bodily resurrection creates serious problems for substance dualism (dualism). These critiques argued that bodily resurrection is made trivial by dualism, that dualism makes it difficult if not impossible to explain why we need to be embodied, or that dualism should be rejected as bodily resurrection is better accounted for by a materialist view. As of yet, there has been no systematic analysis of these arguments in the literature. This paper fills that gap and argues that each of these objections to dualism fail. In making these arguments I make use of neo-Aristotelian metaphysics to provide a theory of embodiment for substance dualism. Accordingly, the body is a complex structural mode of the soul. The essence of the soul is the internal efficient cause and teleological guide of the functions and structure of the body. As such, the body is an ensouled physical structure, not a mere physical machine, but has both physical and non-physical aspects.

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Brandon Rickabaugh
Palm Beach Atlantic University


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