Body and Soul

Richard Swinburne

in The Evolution of the Soul

Published in print February 1997 | ISBN: 9780198236986
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598593 | DOI:
Body and Soul

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Personal identity cannot be analysed either in terms of a continuity of mental life, or in terms of continuity of bodily matter. Continuing personal identity in the short term is a datum of experience, not merely known by inference from other experiences. To express this fact within an integrated system of thought, we must think of human persons as substances that consist of two parts – soul (the essential part) and body (non‐essential). Part 2 of this book (Chs. 8–10) develops this view more fully. The argument of this chapter is put in precise logical form in New Appendix C. New Appendix D claims that souls have thisness; that is, the indiscernibility of identicals does not apply to souls.

Keywords: body; Descartes; Hume; indiscernibility of identicals; Leibniz; Parfit; personal identity; soul; thisness; Bernard Williams

Chapter.  7193 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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