By Michael Sudduth
Sudduth presents a severe exploration of classical empirical arguments for survival arguments that purport to teach that information gathered from ostensibly paranormal phenomena represent stable facts for the survival of the self after dying. 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
This would also be important for models of personal survival since personal survival requires that a postmortem person be numerically identical to some formerly living person, not merely that a survivor be some postmortem human person or other. Survivalists typically introduce some particular criterion of personal identity to explicate the idea of personal survival, but there are three considerations that plausibly reinforce and strengthen the idea of psychological survival. First, as noted above, many people assume that their identity is constituted by or essentially tied to their psychological life – the “psychological criterion” of identity, as it is called, historically associated with John Locke.
Jones’ body is Mr. Jones himself; or, in the language of philosophers, 26 A Philosophical Critique of Empirical Arguments what survives the death of Mr. Jones’ body is an individual who is numerically identical with Mr. Jones” (Moore 1981: 9). So personal survival means I – this individual self – will survive death. 1 Personal identity: soul survival vs. embodied survival To speak of personal survival, of course, entails that whatever properties are essential to persons in general will survive death.
J. Ducasse once observed: so long as one does not know just what one means by the phrase “the personality’s survival after death,” one cannot tell what kinds of observable facts would or would not constitute evidence of such survival ... The variety of possibilities concerning “the human personality’s survival after death” will, it is hoped, have made evident how imperative is the need to state which particular one of those possibilities is that whose reality one is seeking to test. (Ducasse 1957: 30, 35) I agree with Ducasse here, so in this chapter I lay a conceptual foundation for the project to be undertaken in subsequent chapters.
A Philosophical Critique of Empirical Arguments for Postmortem Survival by Michael Sudduth