By Michael Sudduth

Sudduth offers a serious exploration of classical empirical arguments for survival arguments that purport to teach that information amassed from ostensibly paranormal phenomena represent solid proof for the survival of the self after loss of life. using the conceptual instruments of formal epistemology, he argues that classical arguments are unsuccessful.

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Extra resources for A Philosophical Critique of Empirical Arguments for Postmortem Survival

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So other survivalists propose instead that there be a particular kind of causal relation between the earlier and subsequent bodies, or they allow that persons may cease to exist and come back into existence at some later time (Corcoran 2001, 2006: 127–33; Zimmerman 1999). 2 Psychological survival An important common ground among those who affirm personal survival is what I will refer to as the psychological conception of survival. On this view, survival entails the postmortem persistence or continuation of our present stream of experience, together with many (if not most) of the memories, beliefs, desires, purposes, interests, skills, and other personality traits that characterized our antemortem existence.

So while Pr(e | h) will not have a well-defined value, Pr(e | h & a) will, either because h & a jointly entails e (or its negation) or makes probable e (or its negation) (Sober 2008: 144). Moreover, the strength of a hypothesis h’s Likelihood will depend on the specific auxiliaries one enlists for h. ” Consequently, the survival hypothesis will have a well-defined Likelihood only if auxiliary assumptions are introduced, and the strength of the Likelihood of the survival hypothesis will depend on the specific assumptions we introduce.

I focus on two features of models of survival that are of particular importance to the larger project. First, I examine the thesis of psychological survival, the view that our present psychology partly or completely survives bodily death. By “our present psychology,” I mean roughly our personal stream of experience, the firstperson perspective and its associated memories, beliefs, desires, interests, and intentions. Those who believe in personal survival usually affirm some version of the psychological survival thesis, even though they may differ on other points, such as whether psychological survival requires embodiment of some sort.

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