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Body and Soul: Human Nature and the Crisis in Ethics
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Body and Soul: Human Nature and the Crisis in Ethics

4.37 of 5 stars 4.37  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  9 reviews
While most people throughout history have believed that we are both physical and spiritual beings, the rise of science has called into question the existence of the soul. Many now argue that neurophysiology demonstrates the radical dependence, indeed, identity, between mind and brain. Advances in genetics and in mapping human DNA, some say, show there is no need for the hy ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 24th 2000 by IVP Academic
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J.P. Moreland and Scott B. Rae offer a very thorough book defending a Thomistic version of substance dualism (part I) and then applying that version to contemporary ethical issues (part II). Not only will the reader obtain valuable information specifically dealing with substance dualism, but Moreland also provides the reader with a valuable introduction to many metaphysical (and epistemological, to a lesser extent) terms and subtleties required to engage or enter into the issues surrounding anth ...more
Jacob Aitken
It’s hard to put the book’s importance into words, which makes writing this review rather difficult. One has to start somewhere, I suppose. Moreland and Rae (hereafter MR) argue for a form of Thomistic substance dualism in their doctrine of human nature. Accordingly, the soul is an individuated essence that makes the body a human body (MR 202).

States and faculties of the soul: The soul has capacities. Capacities come in hierarchies. 1st order hierarchy: a capacity that is realized. 2nd order: c
John Martindale
Finishing a 380 page book feels like quite an accomplishment, especially when it is philosophical and difficult reading. Evidently Moreland was not writing this for regular folks like me, but yeah, I tried and i think I have walk away with something.
The book is primarily a philosophical defense of Thomistic Substance Dualism (Not to be confused with Cartesian Dualism) which is the idea that humans have a soul and that is what makes them persons, they are not only their brain and body (property-
The common belief that Darwinian evolution provides a complete materialistic explanation of human beings has led to the idea of the soul being completely dismissed in our culture. A growing number of Christian intellectuals are even joining their secular colleagues in this rejection of the soul in favor of an anthropology of monism or physicalism. Insofar as many Christians still talk of a soul, it has been stripped of almost all of its content, to consist of little more than that which goes to ...more
"What is needed is a Christian natural philosophy of living things, especially of human persons, that provides two things--a central role for philosophy and theology in contributing to the ontology of human persons and a proper ordering of science relative to philosophy and theology in the ontological task."

One of the things that makes "Body and Soul" interesting is that it brings two areas of philosophy (philosophy of mind and ethics) together in a single volume. The subtitle is important here,
Excellent! A perfect wedding of theoretical and practical philosophy. Part one is a rigorous argument for and defense of Thomistic Substance Dualism. Part two builds upon part one and argues for the various implications found in the arena of bioethics (abortion, stem stells, cloning, IVF, euthanasia, etc.). The chapter on the unborn and abortion is excellent in that the authors cogently demonstrate that advocates of abortion constantly set forth question-begging arguments that assume the fetus i ...more
I have read most of the bioethics portion of this book (main author of this section is Rea), but am now going back to re-read JP Moreland's portion which discusses dualism.

I actually skipped some of the technical philosophy. Mainly because I am on a deadline...but I would like to go back and look at it again.
Joe Kearns
Excellent, academic and philosophical. Not an easy read, but most works that consider such deep subjects honestly are not.
Nov 21, 2009 Jonathan added it
Shelves: philosophy, ethics
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J.P. Moreland is the Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University in La Mirada, California. He has four earned degrees: a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Missouri, a Th.M. in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, an M. A. in philosophy from the University of California-Riverside, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Southern Califor ...more
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