Thursday, June 24, 2021

Anderson versus Materialism, Part II: The Problem of Personal Identity over Time

Back in February this year I posted an entry in which I interacted with the first of several “daunting philosophical problems for materialists” culled together by James Anderson in a blog entry of his own titled Materialism and Mysteries. Anderson himself cited statements made by New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman in a blog post of his own about his relationship to materialism, where Ehrman states that he has been “more-or-less a complete materialist for about twenty years.”

In my own entry, I examined what Anderson dubs “the problem of the unity of consciousness,” which consists of a single question (mind you, not an argument): “How could a material object like the brain, extended across space and composed of billions of discrete physical parts, serve as the basis for the unity of our conscious experience?” The way Anderson frames this “problem,” I get the impression that he thinks the elements of each brain are scattered all over the universe.