Avicenna’s and Mullā Ṣadrā’s Arguments for Immateriality of the Soul from the Viewpoint of Physicalism

Angelicum 97 (3):367-390 (2020)
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Abstract

I seek to explicate the ways in which the soul is deemed immaterial in two main strands of Islamic philosophy, and then consider some arguments for the immateriality of the soul. To do so, I first overview Avicenna’s theory of the spiritual incipience (al-ḥudūth al-rūḥānī) of the soul and his version of substance dualism. I will then discuss Mullā Ṣadrā’s view of the physical incipience (al-ḥudūth al-jismānī) of the soul and how the soul emerges and develops towards immateriality on his account. I then overview and discuss five of the most important arguments presented by these two great Muslim philosophers in favor of the immateriality of the soul. To do so, I will also point out some of the main contemporary physicalistic views of the nature of mind and mental states. I will then argue that arguments for the immateriality of the soul – dealt with here – do not indeed target or challenge any significant versions of contemporary physicalism. Moreover, these arguments involve conflations of epistemological or ontological issues.

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Mahdi Homazadeh
Iranian Institute of Philosophy

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References found in this work

Individualism and the mental.Tyler Burge - 1979 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4 (1):73-122.
Individualism and the Mental.Tyler Burge - 1979 - In John Heil (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
Other bodies.Tyler Burge - 1982 - In Andrew Woodfield (ed.), Thought And Object: Essays On Intentionality. New York: Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Multiple Realization and the Metaphysics of Reduction.Jaegwon Kim - 1992 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1):1-26.

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