The Evolution of the Soul

The Evolution of the Soul

The Evolution of the Soul

The Evolution of the Soul

Synopsis

This is a revised and updated version of Swinburne's controversial treatment of the eternal philosophical problem of the relation between mind and body. He argues that we can only make sense of the interaction between the mental and the physical in terms of the soul, and that there is no scientific explanation of the evolution of the soul.

Excerpt

This book is based on two series of Gifford Lectures, delivered at the University of Aberdeen in the Spring Terms of 1983 and 1984. I have not included in the book the material of a few lectures of the second series, dealing mainly with the moral responsibility of men for their actions, and the theological consequences thereof. I hope that this latter material will be published subsequently in a different context. I am most grateful to the University of Aberdeen for the honour which they paid me in inviting me to give the Gifford Lectures, and for the friendly hospitality and critical interest in my ideas which colleagues at Aberdeen showed to me during the two terms of lectures.

Earlier versions of various parts of this book have been delivered as shorter series of lectures, or as individual lectures at many other universities over a number of years; and the book has, I hope, benefited by the wealth of helpful criticism which I received on these occasions. Part of Chapter 14 was delivered, under the title 'The Structure of the Soul', as my Inaugural Lecture as Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion in the University of Oxford. Versions of certain parts of the book have received prior publication in various forms. My contribution to a book co-authored with Sydney Shoemaker, Personal Identity (Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1984) was a fuller version of the ideas contained in Chapters 8 and 9 of the present book. Some passages of Chapter 7 are reprinted from my Faith and Reason (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1981). Recent articles which are earlier or fuller versions of other material are: 'Are Mental Events Identical with Brain Events?', American Philosophical Quarterly, 1982, 19, 173-81; and three articles being published in 1985-6, 'The Indeterminism of Human Actions' (in Midwest Studies in Philosophy, vol. 10), 'Thought' (in Philosophical Studies, © 1985 by D. Reidel Publishing Co.), and 'Desire' (in Philosophy). I am grateful to the publishers of the books and editors of the journals concerned for permission to reuse the various materials.

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