Theism, Dualism, and the Scientific Image of Humanity

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Recently, some philosophers of religion have suggested that a reduction of the classical image of humanity may jeopardize classical theism. To obstruct reductionism, some theologians have argued for dualism on the basis of the argument of consciousness. In this essay, I argue that even consciousness must be considered a brain-based phenomenon. This does not commit one to reductionism, however. Nonreductive physicalism appears to offer a promising alternative to either dualism or reductionism, without necessarily compromising more traditional views of humanity. I do suggest that a modification of the classical image of God may be inevitable.

Keywords: consciousness; dualism; naturalism; physicalism; reductionism; theism

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Vrije Universiteit

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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