Review Of "The Human Person: Animal And Spirit" By D. Braine

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Braine's original and provocative study deals with that perennial concern of philosophy and theology, the body-mind problem. Its thesis is that the human person is best understood as an animal who is also spirit. By this Braine means that human beings are to be described neither dualistically as did Descartes and thinkers like him, nor materialistically as do behaviorists and people like D.M. Armstrong, but holistically as did Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas. Thoroughly familiar with the most recent thinking on this subject, Braine does not attempt to revive outmoded medieval conceptions, but builds his argument painstakingly from the resources of the best of contemporary philosophy in the British analytical and the Continental phenomenological perspectives. From his analysis of the use of language, he concludes that a measure of transcendence of soul over body must be recognized. A final chapter lays the ground for a doctrine of immortality. Highly recommended for faculty, graduate, and upper-level undergraduate readers. Braine (philosophy, Univ. of Aberdeen) is also author of The Reality of Time and the Existence of God (CH, Sep'88).


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