By Michael Sudduth
Sudduth presents a severe exploration of classical empirical arguments for survival arguments that purport to teach that information accrued from ostensibly paranormal phenomena represent sturdy 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 info for A Philosophical Critique of Empirical Arguments for Postmortem Survival
As already noted, the substance dualist view permits the idea that souls could become re-embodied in some manner after death, but it does not require such re-embodiment. However, a significant number of survivalists who believe in embodied survival reject substance dualism. On their view, human persons are essentially material beings, not souls, and so survival requires embodiment (Baker 1995, 2001; Corcoran 2006b; Van Inwagen 1978, 1995, 1997). ” For some survivalists, the appropriate relation is bodily continuity, either spatiotemporal continuity of a functioning body or the spatiotemporal continuity of various metabolic processes and life-sustaining organisms of the body.
Hence, a model of survival fills out and develops the content of the supposition of survival with varying 24 Exploring the Hypothesis of Personal Survival 25 degrees of detail. It thereby transforms a simple survival hypothesis into a more robust survival hypothesis. The exploration of theoretically possible or conceivable hypotheses of survival will prove particularly important given the main objective of the present work. 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 ...
Therefore, what classical survival arguments require is a robust survival hypothesis SR – a survival hypothesis plus auxiliaries – and more specifically one that produces a favorable Likelihood. Survivalists who wield Likelihood survival arguments will want to claim, for example, that f3 and f4 jointly favor or confirm the survival hypothesis over particular counter-explanations. Where SR = the survival hypothesis S plus the relevant auxiliaries A and where CR = the nearest explanatory competitor C and its relevant auxiliaries A’, we can express this formally as Pr(f3 & f4 | SR & K) > Pr(f3 & f4 | CR & K).
A Philosophical Critique of Empirical Arguments for Postmortem Survival by Michael Sudduth