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The Evolution of the Soul Hardcover – 27 Feb 1997

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T he book is marked by Professor Swinburne's characteristic clarity, rigorous logic, and forceful argument, and demands close attention from the reader. Every key term is carefully defined, and the reader is never left in doubt as to the intended meaning of each sentence. (Expository Times)

one of the strongest defences of mind/body dualism and interactionism to have appeared in recent philosophy. The book exemplifies the same kind of rigour and pertinacity of argumentation that characterized his earlier philosophy of religion trilogy (Brian Hebblethwaite, Journal of Theological Studies)

Welcome indeed ... a clear and acute defense of mental substance seems especially important in a period in which that Cartesian notion has been, and remains, under heavy attack ... Swinburne's book is both clear and thorough, and reveals an admirable grasp on the part of its author of the current, mostly hostile, literature. And as a work which seriously challenges what many philosophers now believe about the mind, it deserves to be, not ignored, but seriously challenged in return. (John Knox Jr., Philosophy and Phenomenological Research)

carefully and lucidly written ... there is no mistaking the acumen and integrity of the author, and his courage in attempting to hold the difficult terrain which the dualist must occupy in the modern world (John Cottingham, New Blackfriars)

About the Author

Richard Swinburne is Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of Oriel College, since 1985. He was previously Professor of Philosophy at the University of Keele. He is the author of many notable books on the philosophy of religion in general and of the philosophy of Christianity in particular. Most recently, he offered general readers a powerful and lucid defence of religious belief in the modern world, in Is There a God? (Oxford University Press, 1996).

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42 of 50 people found the following review helpful
a major defense of primary mind body dualism 6 July 1998
By - Published on
Format: Paperback
Human beings have evolved from animals, and animals from inanimate matter; but what has evolved is qualitatively different from the inanimate matter from which it began. Both humans and the higher animals have a mental life of sensation, thought, purpose, desire, and belief. Although these mental states in part cause, and are caused by, brain states, they are distinct from them. Richard Swinburne argues that we can only make sense of this interaction by supposing that mental states are states of a soul, a mental substance in interaction with the body. Although both have a rich mental life, human souls, unlike animal souls, are capable of logical thought, have moral beliefs, have free will, and have an internal structure (so that their beliefs and desires are formed largely by other beliefs and desires inhering in the soul). Professor Swinburne concludes that there is no full scientific explanation available for the evolution of the soul, and almost certainly there never will be. For this revised edition Professor Swinburne has taken the opportunity to strengthen and expand his book to take account of developments in this area of philosophy since the first edition. He adds a prolegomenon and seven new appendixes, in addition to minor revisions of the main text. Richard Swinburne has been Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of Oriel College, since 1985. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
detailed 28 Feb. 2010
By M. OLSON - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very detailed (This is a book that spends 15 pages describing "sensations.")and fairly advanced description of dualism. Most people should be able to understand "The Evolution of the Soul" with some patience.
If you are new to the whole naturalism debate, I would recommend, in addition to this book, listening to J.P. Moreland's free MP3s available on the web. His book, "The Recalcitrant Imago Dei" is also a great resource on the subject.
Five Stars 18 Aug. 2014
By Stephen Gyabronka - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
No other book like this!!!
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