Titel: The Recovery of the Soul. An Aristotelian ...
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In The Recovery of the Soul, Kenneth Rankin suggests that the current impasse over solutions to many philosophical problems is the result, in part, of a failure to consider how each of these problems bears on the rest. Rankin shows that a libertarian theory of free will, an A-theory of time, a corporealist theory of personal identity, and a non-relativist interpretation of the foundation of ethics all contribute to or are derived from a psychocentric form of physicalism. The proposed Modal Identity thesis identifies the mind, or that which ensouls the body, with a strictly physical power, the power to act intentionally from occasion to occasion in any one of several mutually exclusive ways. Rankin argues further that the non-arbitrary individuation of particular physical things derives from the causal powers they possess. The distinctive power that ensouls our bodies is identified as the primary causal power: all other powers derive their status as powers from it in so far as they are constitutive, or instruments, of it. Rankin demonstrates that many of our ontological preconceptions are Aristotelian in origin. The psychocentric physicalism of the central thesis is a response to Aristotle's question "What is being?" and in the earlier chapters of the book Aristotle's contributions to a theory of being are used as a preliminary study to suggest which parts of these preconceptions should be kept and which revised. Later chapters suggest that failure to resolve many philosophical problems results in part from the failure of Aristotle's philosophy to fulfil its promise.About the Author:
Kenneth Rankin is Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria.
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