Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Beetle Body

Are we identical with our bodies or are we beings which have bodies? Philosopher Alvin Plantinga makes an argument, borrowing from Franz Kafka's novel Metamorphosis, for the latter view:
If we just are our bodies then it would be incoherent to think that we could exist apart from our bodies, that is, there would be a contradiction involved in trying to imagine such a state of affairs. It would be like trying to imagine a triangle that doesn't have three sides.

Here's a thought experiment: Imagine yourself having an out-of-the-body experience where you're looking down from above on an operating table upon which your body is lying. Whether or not you believe OBEs happen, such a scenario doesn't seem to be incoherent, like trying to imagine a table with no surface, but if it is coherent to imagine our selves being separated from our bodies then our selves can't be identical to our bodies.