Persons, Souls and Death: A Philosophical Investigation of an Afterlife

Persons, Souls and Death: A Philosophical Investigation of an Afterlife

by David H. Lund

Paperback

$29.95

Overview

Awareness of mortality is the price of intelligent consciousness. This book argues that a person is essentially an immaterial subject of conscious states who, though intimately linked by causal ties to the body, is nevertheless distinct from it. The book also examines apparently paranormal occurrences supporting the belief that some persons have survived bodily death. Cases of near-death experiences, apparitions, reincarnation experiences and mediumship phenomena are presented and discussed.
Though it might seem contrary to natural law for a person to exist apart from a body and properly functioning brain, these cases suggest otherwise. Critical evaluation of alternative interpretations is provided.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786434879
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 01/29/2009
Pages: 244
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

David H. Lund is professor emeritus of philosophy at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minnesota. He is enjoying his retirement on his farm in northern Minnesota.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



Preface 1

INTRODUCTION 3



The Perennial Question 3

A Philosophical Approach 6

The Influence and Scope of Science 9

The Coherence of the Idea of Post-Mortem Existence 11

The Relevance of the Case for Theism 16

The Nature of Persons and the Laws of Nature 19



Part I: Persons, Bodies, and the Possibility of Post-Mortem Existence



THE CASE AGAINST POST-MORTEM EXISTENCE 23

Antecedent Probability of Extinction 23

Empirically-Grounded Support of Extinction 23

Theory-Based Arguments for Extinction 25



MINDS, SOULS AND PERSONS 29

Materialist-Reductionist Accounts of the Mental 29

Materialist Theories of Personal Identity 32

The Immateriality of the Mental 35

Psychological Theories of the Person 45

The Person as Subject of Conscious States 47



MENTAL-PHYSICAL RELATIONS 63

The Causality Problem 63

Mind-Brain Interaction 65

Causation Conceived as Reducible 67

Causation Conceived as Irreducible 69

Deep Causation 70

The Directionality of Causation 71

Intentional Causation 71

Dualistic Causation and the Causal Closure Hypothesis 74

Mental-Mental Causation 76

Paranormal Causation 78

The Causal Independence of the Conscious Self 83



GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS SUPPORTIVE OF POST-MORTEM EXISTENCE 90

Theism and Revelation Accounts 90

The Deep Unity of the Self 92

Non-Intentional Consciousness and the Self 96



Part II. Ostensible Evidence of Post-Mortem Existence



OUR INVESTIGATION SO FAR 101



NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES 104

Death-Bed Visions 104

Non-Terminal Near-Death Experiences 108

Naturalistic Explanation of NDEs 112

Paranormal Theories: ESP and Super-ESP 118



APPARITIONS 129

Reciprocal Apparitions 132

The Naturalistic Interpretation 135

Paranormal Interpretations of Apparitions of the Dead 136

Collective and Iterative Apparitional Experiences 137

The Super-Psi Hypothesis 142

The Telepathic Theory 144

The Objectivist Theory 146

The Survivalist Explanation 151



REINCARNATION 153

Reincarnation vs. Possession Interpretations 154

Cases of Responsive Xenoglossy 156

Spontaneous Recall of Ostensible Former Lives 159

The Shanti Devi Case 161

The Case of Jasbir Jat 162

The Case of Swarnlata Mishra 163

Naturalistic Explanations 167

The Fraud Hypothesis 167

Cryptomnesia 168

Paramnesia 169

Inherited Memory 170

Paranormal Explanations 170

The Psi Hypothesis 171

ESP Plus Impersonation 173

Reincarnation and Survival 177

Reincarnation and the Subject of Conscious States 178



MENTAL MEDIUMSHIP 181

The Mediumship of Mrs. Piper 182

Mrs. Willett’s Mediumship 189

Proxy Sittings 194

“Drop-In” Communicators 195

The Cross-Correspondences 199



CONCLUSION: ASSESSMENT OF THE CASE FOR POST-MORTEM EXISTENCE 204

Overview of Our Investigation into the Essence of Persons 204

Dispositions and the Self 207

Sensory Experience in an Afterworld 208

Discarnate Communication 210

The Significance of the Ostensible Evidence of Survival 211

Super-Psi or Survival? 212

The Balance of Probabilities 215



Chapter Notes 219

Bibliography 227

Index 231

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