Swinburne on Physicalism and Personal Identity

Keywords: Swinburne, physicalism, entailments, privileged access, personal identity, Simple View, Reductionist View


In chapter 2 Swinburne rejects physicalism for two reason. The first is that it is committed to entailments that do not exist. It is suggested that this reason is questionable both because there is no persuasive reason to deny there are such entailments, and also no reason to think that physicalism has such entailments. The second reason is that the mental involves privileged access by the subject and physical features do not allow privileged access. It is proposed that the physical does in fact permit privileged access. In chapter 3 Swinburne defends the Simple View of personal identity. The reasoning is very complex and rich, but it is proposed that Swinburne has not really shown that a reductionist account cannot be correct.


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