Descartes' Mistake: How Afterlife Beliefs Challenge the Assumption that Humans are Intuitive Cartesian Substance Dualists

in Journal of Cognition and Culture
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.

Help

 

Have Institutional Access?

Login with your institution. Any other coaching guidance?

Connect

Abstract

This article presents arguments and evidence that run counter to the widespread assumption among scholars that humans are intuitive Cartesian substance dualists. With regard to afterlife beliefs, the hypothesis of Cartesian substance dualism as the intuitive folk position fails to have the explanatory power with which its proponents endow it. It is argued that the embedded corollary assumptions of the intuitive Cartesian substance dualist position (that the mind and body are different substances, that the mind and soul are intensionally identical, and that the mind is the sole source of identity) are not compatible with cultural representations such as mythologies, funerary rites, iconography and doctrine as well as empirical evidence concerning intuitive folk reasoning about the mind and body concerning the afterlife. Finally, the article suggests an alternative and more parsimonious explanation for understanding intuitive folk representations of the afterlife.

Sections
Index Card
Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 339 336 35
Full Text Views 217 217 4
PDF Downloads 45 45 4
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0