Review of Paul Edwards. Reincarnation: A Critical Examination
Martin (Raymond)
Source: Religious Studies, 33, Issue 03, September 1997, pp 349-352
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  1. In this hard-hitting book Paul Edwards dons the mantle of a warrior in the battle against what he considers to be a dangerous and often immoral irrationality, much of it encouraged by ‘Eastern religions’. His adversaries are those who espouse reincarnation1 and related doctrines, such as karma. Typically Edwards directs his attacks at credulous non-philosophers who have embedded their beliefs in elaborate world-views, which they explain incautiously. Edwards takes advantage to inflict some heavy blows, often delivered with great bravado. As the chapters roll by, battle after battle is won, foe after foe vanquished. All good fun, no doubt, and one is tempted to accept it in that spirit. Many who share Edwards' point of view will find his critiques more than sufficient. However, since Edwards rarely considers ways in which the views under examination could be reformulated so as to avoid his objections, some may be left wondering how he would have fared had he done so.
  2. …. Long discussion of Edwards’s discussion of Astral Bodies.
  3. Whether or not Edwards’ critique of the views he considers is sufficient, he has surveyed many of the major arguments and sources of evidence for reincarnation2 and related doctrines, much of it in obscure places, and, thus, has made the task of people who want to think philosophically about reincarnation3 a great deal easier. He has provided clear, uncompromising arguments from a point of view that, while it may (or may not) be overly dismissive, is quite prevalent among contemporary philosophers, particularly in the analytic tradition. And, finally, because he writes so clearly and engagingly, and even partly because he tends sometimes to be so outrageously smug, many, such as myself, will find that his book is not only useful but also enjoyable.


Review of "Edwards (Paul) - Reincarnation: A Critical Examination".

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