For decades, materialism has dominated the philosophical conversation. Before the 19th and 20th centuries, however, such a worldview was largely untenable. Most thinkers accepted the reality of both the body and the soul, the physical and the immaterial. What happened? And why do we see the resurgence of a fascination with consciousness and panpsychism, and a renewal of belief in the soul?
Philosopher J. P. Moreland, a Fellow of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture and the author of dozens of books, has an upcoming book dealing with exactly these questions. It is The Substance of Consciousness: A Comprehensive Defense of Contemporary Substance Dualism (Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2023). Dr. Moreland, a professor at Biola University, is co-author with Brandon Rickabaugh, who is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Research Scholar of Philosophy of Technology and Culture at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Together, these respected scholars provide over 600 pages in defense of the idea that human beings have both a body and soul, pushing back against the materialistic worldview which has so colored philosophical inquiry.
Comprehensive and Up-to-Date
According to the description from the publisher:
The authors present the most comprehensive, up-to-date, and rigorous non-edited work on substance dualism in the field, as well as a detailed history of how property and substance dualism have been presented and evaluated over the last 150 years. Alongside developing new and updated positive arguments for substance dualism, they also discuss key metaphysical notions and distinctions that inform the examination of substance dualism and its alternatives.
Endorsements are already flooding in ahead of the book’s September release. Here’s what analytic Thomist philosopher Robert Koons at the University of Texas said:
Moreland and Rickabaugh have written the most comprehensive, up-to-date, and sophisticated defense of substance dualism available today. They tackle quite successfully every anti-dualist argument in the literature, demonstrating both the variety of options available to dualists and the fruitfulness of the dualist framework for future research, both scientific and philosophical. Especially impressive is their skill in drawing on Aristotelian, scholastic, and 19th-century sources (Brentano, Husserl) to develop an attractive synthesis of dualism with hylomorphism. They bring to philosophy of mind theoretical resources, including the metaphysics of mereology, that are badly needed in today’s debates.
Moreland has written prolifically on the soul and the mind/body issue in the past. In this great volume, his views are cogently articulated and defended. With respect and charity to his opponents, Moreland patiently dismantles the erroneous view that man is no more than matter. You can pre-order now at Amazon. You won’t want to miss it.
Cross-posted at Evolution News.