Dr Miller will be presenting at the upcoming Mountain-Pacific meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers

Title: Theistic Evolution and Emergent Personhood: Challenges from Moreland’s Thomistic-Like Dualism

Abstract: Advocates of Theistic Evolution (TE) regard personhood (a term often used to entail the mind and soul) as an emergent property tied fully to material biological systems. In 2018, William Hasker argued—based on what he considers the incontrovertible ‘fact’ of evolution—that the soul is not a creation of God, but an emergent property dependent on the development of the brain and “generated naturally as a result of the structure and functioning of the biological organism” (Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism, 130). Theistic evolutionists, like Hasker, approach metaphysics with a teleological worldview, yet accept teleonomic neo-Darwinian (ND) naturalism as the epistemological litmus test, and essential hermeneutic, for Christian theology and ontology. Building on this foundation, Hasker concludes that all iterations of Thomistic Dualism (TD) fail to explain personhood because they conflict with chemical and biological evolution. This paper will argue, contra Hasker, J.P. Moreland’s Thomistic-like Dualism (TLD) provides a coherent ontological basis for understanding personhood which is consistent in its teleology and consequently a more cogent hermeneutic for understanding both Christian theology and human biology

About the Meeting:

Theme: Mind and Persons

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Angus Menuge, Professor of Philosophy at Concordia University. Professor Menuge recently served as a co-editor of and contributor to The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism (Wiley-Blackwell, 2018) and contributor to Christian Physicalism? Philosophical Theological Criticisms (Lexington Books, 2018).The conference theme is inspired by these two anthologies.


College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas
Building K, 6375 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89146

Date: April 5-6, 2019


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