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Intentionality Contra Physicalism: On the Mind’s Independence from the Body

With Dallas Willard, Forthcoming Philosophia Christi 20 (2) (2018): 497-515.


We argue for the mind’s independence from the body. We do so by making several moves. First, we analyze two popular kinds of reasons which have swayed many to adopt the independence of the mind from the body. Second, we advance an argument from the ontology of intentionality against the identity thesis, according to which the mind is identical to the brain. We try to show how intentionality is not reducible to or identical to the physical. Lastly, we argue that, contrary to what many materialists contend, the concept of a mind, understood as an immaterial substance, existing independently of the body is both coherent and empirically evidenced.

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