Comments on John Haldane’s “The Soul”


Alexander R. Pruss


Premise 3: “No materially instantiated property is universal.” 


Reading I: “No property that has a material instantiation is universal.”

Reading II: “No material instantiation of a property is universal.”

An equivalent of reading II: “No material thing is universal.”


A reading of the argument

(1) Thinking is essentially constituted by the exercise of concepts. 

(2) Concepts are universal things. 

(3a) No material thing is universal. 

(4a) Therefore, concepts are immaterial. 

(4.5) Hence, thinking is essentially constituted by the exercise of immaterial things.


An argument against both dualism and materialism

(A) Our minds are present throughout our bodies.

(B) No materially constituted object is present throughout our bodies.

(C) Our minds are not materially constituted objects.


An alternative to (A)?

(A*) We are our bodies.



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