By Michael Sudduth
Sudduth presents a severe exploration of classical empirical arguments for survival arguments that purport to teach that info gathered from ostensibly paranormal phenomena represent stable facts 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 info for A Philosophical Critique of Empirical Arguments for Postmortem Survival
First, Sober has recently drawn attention to statistician Richard Royall’s distinction between two kinds of questions concerning evidence: (i) what does the (present) evidence say? And (ii) what hypothesis should we accept? (Sober 2008: 3–4). To answer question (i), we need to consider the extent to which, if at all, our present evidence favors, supports, or confirms a particular hypothesis. Since we often do this by comparing or contrasting a particular hypothesis with some alternative hypothesis, we try to decide which of at least two hypotheses the evidence more strongly favors.
In this way, AAR facilitates a modification of the traditional explanatory competitor challenge that is not vulnerable to traditional survivalist rejoinders. 2 Overview of chapters The subsequent chapters move rather naturally from those focused on elaborating the survival hypothesis and the alleged evidence for it from various kinds of ostensibly paranormal phenomena (Chapter 2 through Chapter 5) to the presentation and critical analysis of the classical arguments (Chapter 6 through Chapter 11).
The inability to determine which set of auxiliaries is the correct one in effect entails that we really do not know how the world should look if survival is true, which of course undermines the widespread empirical survivalist belief that survival is an empirically testable hypothesis. In Chapter 10, I apply PoA to the traditional counter-explanation challenge and explore how the appeal to living-agent psi (LAP) poses a potential challenge to the classical arguments. I draw on contemporary philosopher Stephen Braude’s motivated-psi hypothesis to argue that there is a robust version of the LAP-hypothesis, which generates a competing Likelihood that undermines the survivalist contention that there is no rival hypothesis that leads us to expect the data as well as does the survival hypothesis.
A Philosophical Critique of Empirical Arguments for Postmortem Survival by Michael Sudduth