"The failure of Richard Swinburne's attempt to prove the existence of a soul by means of modal logic"


In this article, written together with Ludger Jansen, Richard Swinburne's modal argument for the existence of a soul is considered together with criticisms by Stump / Kretzmann and by Alston / Smythe.

A formal reconstruction shows that the argument relies on at least one implausible premiss which has been rightly criticized by Alston / Smythe. This criticism is defended against Swinburne's reply that it implies dogmatic anti-dualism.

In addition to existing criticism concerning soundness, it is argued that the argument is not even valid in the form in which it is presented by Swinburne, but that the validity can be repaired.

The conclusion is that even if dualism is true it is not as easily demonstrated as Swinburne thinks.


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