“Human Immortality” by William James was published in 1896. In this lecture James offers two arguments in support of human immortality. The excerpt
from this work selected for the next discussion group meeting contains the first of these two arguments.
Some questions to consider:
a) What does James mean by ‘functional dependence’? Which types of functional dependence does James describe?
b) What exactly is James’ ‘transmission-theory’?
c) James argues that not only is his transmission-theory just as plausible as the production-theory but that it also has certain advantages lacking in the other theory. What are these advantages?
d) James anticipates several possible objections to his theory and replies to them. How successful is he in addressing these objections? Can you think of any other objections to his theory that he has not addressed?
Please feel free to come up with more questions of your own for the discussion group meeting. I hope to see you there next Monday!