Models of the Relationship between the Body and Soul

The thesis of this paper is that the Bi-Partite, Cartesian Dualist, Absolute Identity Model best fits the data from science and the Bible. First, will be a consideration of the ancient body-soul-spirit debate. Second will be a consideration of the modern mind-body debate. Finally, will be a consideration of the topic of final identity.

The ancient body-soul-spirit debate involved three different tri-partite models, a bi-partite model, and a whole person/monism model. The first tri-partite model is from ancient Greece and considered the spirit as bringing the body and soul into a relationship with one another. The second tri-partite model was the view of Apollinaris, who held the soul as the life force of the person but the intellect as the person’s rational mind. The third tri-partite model was that of Franz Delitzsch, in which humans and animals have a soul and only humans have a spirit. The bi-partite model only hold to body and soul. The monist model comes from John A. T. Robinson.

In the modern mind-body debate, there is first a discussion of mental properties and then a discussion of physicalism and substance dualism models. Four categories of mental properties are: traditional property dualism, mere property dualism, supervenience, and functional physicalism. The four kinds of physicalism models are: Animalism, the brain view, material constitution, and 4-dimensionalism. The three kinds of substance dualism are: cartesian dualism, Haskerian dualism, and Aristotelian/Thomistic dualism.

Final identity looks at the question of the ship of Theseus. One theory is the body-empirical-identity model which holds identity as maintaining a minimum percentage of the original body. The memory-empirical-identity model holds identity as having most of the same memories and preferences as before. The absolute-identity model holds to an irreducible person that remains despite changes in body or personality.

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