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Personal Identity

Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection)

(Text as at 28/09/2022 10:24:58)

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Abstract




Research Methodology


Chapter Introduction3
  1. While I wish in this chapter seriously to consider the religious hope of Resurrection, I do not want to get side-tracked onto matters of Scriptural exegesis, or into evidential matters of whether particular resurrections – specifically of Jesus – happened or not. In this regard, I’m interested only in what believers in resurrection take it to be, and whether they provide any detailed metaphysical account of how it is supposed to work.
  2. As in the chapter on Thought Experiments, this chapter is partly aimed at checking how (my version of) Animalism copes with the projected situations. As such, I may extend this to other posited versions of post-mortem survival, though most are ruled out by the essentially physical nature of the human person as proposed by Animalism.
  3. While not wanting to get too far off topic, especially at the end of the thesis, I want to consider some of the ethical consequences of adopting Animalism with – as I have argued – the lack of hope of post-mortem existence. The topic of “Death and Ethics” is already a bit tangential to my thesis, but there’s a set of questions in which I have an interest and on which I wonder whether my views on Personal Identity have anything to say. These two are the most important:-
    • Why is death bad (for the deceased)?, and
    • Can the dead be harmed (assuming they no longer exist)?
  4. So, we start off with a discussion of Death4, which – like Life (discussed in Chapter 6 – I take to be a biological event (or rather a Process). We touched on Brain Death in Chapter 2. Despite its pragmatic utility (which I suspect is the main motivator for accepting it as a criterion of Death) this idea is rather confused on any Biological View of What We Are.
  5. I will also discuss certain occasional events on the periphery of Death, namely Near Death Experiences5 and Out of Body Experiences6. Do these events have anything to say about “where we’re going”, in the first case, or what we are, in the second?
  6. Getting closer to Death, I need to discuss Persistent Vegetative States7. From an Animalist perspective, such persons are not dead – any more than the Brain-dead are Dead – but whether they should be kept alive is (I would claim) primarily a pragmatic issue to do with the use of resources, coupled with consideration of what life is like – if there is anything – for those in such a state.
  7. Then we get to the meat of the Chapter – discussion of Life after Death8. What is it supposed to involve, where is it enjoyed, and how do we get there? Clearly, there are many options. The question is are any of them possible – and, better – actual?
  8. The two options I consider are Resurrection9 and Reincarnation10. In both cases, the big question is what makes it the case that the individual Resurrected or Reincarnated the same individual as the one who died. I suspect ‘nothing’ in the absence of a Soul, though much argumentation is required to reach this conclusion in the face of objections and various suggestions for possible mechanisms.
  9. We discussed Uploading to a Computer as a (bare) possibility for Life after Death in the Previous Chapter.
  10. In this regard, we need to discuss the possible interim states between Death and putative post-mortem survival. I need to discuss Corpses11, which – in some of the easiest cases – are (supposed to be) the mediators of continuity of identity between Death and Resurrection. Corpses also cause philosophical worries – on many physicalist accounts of Personal Identity – about where they “come from” and whether “we” end up as Corpses.
  11. We need to discuss the possibility of Disembodied Existence12 (which I imagine is the Interregnum13 for Reincarnation) together with a reconsideration of Intermittent Objects discussed in Chapter 5.
  12. Finally, we need to reflect on the consequences of Life after Death, which is usually taken to be Immortality14 (though supporters of the ‘conditional immortality’ position in Christianity have Resurrection followed by destruction for those found unworthy of eternal life.
  13. Before doing so, I will reflect on the supposed difficulty – displayed by Tolstoy’s Ivan Ilych15 of accepting the inevitability of our own deaths.
  14. But, is Immortality really something to be desired? Reflection on the Makropulos Case16 suggests that an infinite life would be unbearably tedious, even though at each possible terminus we might want to live on.



Note Hierarchy
  1. Death17
    1. Near Death Experiences18
    2. Out of Body Experiences19
    3. Persistent Vegetative State20
  2. Life After Death21
    1. Resurrection22
    2. Reincarnation23
  3. Interim States
    1. Corpses24
    2. Disembodied Existence25
    3. Interregnum26
  4. Immortality27
    1. Ivan Ilych28
    2. Makropulos Case29




Main Text
  1. Death30
    1. Death is important to our study because we’re considering our persistence conditions31, whether we consider ourselves to be
      1. Human Persons32.
      2. Human Animals33 (members of the species homo sapiens34), or
      3. Human Beings35
      and death would seem to be the terminus of such existence36.
    2. That this is so has often been resisted, which is why we must consider such matters as:-
      1. Resurrection37,
      2. Reincarnation38, and
      3. Disembodied Existence39.
    3. Death should be considered a biological event, or maybe – better – a process40. It is the termination of life41, which is also a biological process, though usually a longer one.
    4. Other forms of – and terminations of – existence42 may be termed “life” or “death”, but these are metaphorical expressions used by analogy with biological life or death. So, is the resurrection43 life – if there is one – really “life” or a continued and enhanced form of existence44? Also, is the “second death” really “death”? I suppose we would allow alternative metabolisms to count as “life45”, so that an Android46 that maintained itself might be said to be “alive”; and, consequently, the destruction of such a being might be classified as “death”.
    5. A particular case of the above is Brain Death47. It’s a large question for Animalists48 – and for holders of the Psychological View49 – whether Brain50 Death is really death, or whether it is (for holders of the PV51) the death (or end) of the Person52.
    6. As a spin-off from the (alleged) Corpse Problem53 for animalism54, we need to discuss the process55 of dying – the transition from life56 to death. Just when does death occur (for human animals57)? No doubt there is a degree of vagueness58 here (though ascribing ‘vagueness’ to such a ‘terminal’ event as death seems counter-intuitive).
      → See "Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity, Rational Anticipation, and Self-Concern", p. 81 for this objection to animalism59.
    7. Consideration of whether we should fear death, or the process60 of dying, is probably beyond the bounds of this Thesis. However, for a comforting account of the normal process of dying in old age, see this “short” from the BBC: BBC: Dying is not as bad as you think. The author – a medical doctor (Kathryn Mannix – see With the End In Mind) – talks about the “good death” and the process of dying in your bed being not so scary. The dying drift in and out of consciousness61, and return from unconsciousness feeling much as after a refreshing sleep, so we know the coma doesn’t feel frightening and isn’t noticed when it happens. The “death rattle” shows just how relaxed you were. Normal dying is a really gentle process.
    8. Would that were the way for all, rather than as the result of a rather painful trauma62 when you’re not ready to go.
    1. Near Death Experiences63
      1. NDEs, if they are experiences of anything veridical:-
        1. Offer a serious challenge to those who deny the possibility or actuality of life after death64,
        2. Appear to offer support for non-physicalist accounts of the mind and
        3. Cause problems for animalists65 by lending support to alternative accounts of what we are66 – maybe souls67.
      2. Most of the phenomena – which I need to document and comment on (see Wikipedia: Near-death experience) – can probably be explained by the usual “dying brain” / anoxia / endorphins suggestions, though this can be rather facile – partly because not all NDEs are had by those near death68, but also because the dying brain69 might not be up to the job of having (and remembering70) scenes of such alleged clarity. However, see "Jarrett (Christian) - Ketamine trips are uncannily like near-death experiences", which reports on a study that makes a detailed connection between the experiences of Ketamine (and LSD) users and NDE-reports.
      3. I have my doubts about when such experiences actually occur – but the suggestion that they occur when the experiencer is “coming round” doesn’t seem to be popular.
      4. A difficult situation to “explain away” is where the NDE-experiencer claims to see something (while having an Out of Body Experience71) they could not have seen under normal circumstances.
      5. Further “awkward” cases to dispose of are where experiences analogous to the NDE are had by / shared with friends / relatives of the dying. I presume these accounts should be rejected out of hand, along with all other incredible reports of exotic parapsychological phenomena. The Fenwicks give a sympathetic hearing to (the then) recent results of parapsychological research – but in an undocumented way, and showing unawareness that the claims are of slight (though allegedly statistically significant) deviations from chance, not of the exotic phenomena exhibited in the accounts of NDEs. See "Fenwick (Peter) & Fenwick (Elizabeth) - The Truth in the Light: An Investigation of Over 300 Near-Death Experiences", which also rejects the “shoe” case, but for different reasons to that on the Infidels site: See OBEs72.
    2. Out of Body Experiences73
      1. As is the case with Near Death Experiences74, which sometimes include them, OBEs offer various challenges to physicalist75 accounts of the mind76, and to animalist77 accounts of what we are78.
      2. OBEs may or may not be a concomitant of an NDE. They seem sometimes to occur during other crisis times of illness.
      3. An example – see BBC: Why do we know so little about ME? – was given in March 2018 by a reporter suffering from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, also known as ME, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). He stated quite casually, without any self-consciousness about the prima facie absurdity of his account – “In the middle of a piece about maternity and paternity benefits, during the 6pm news programme, I had the most wonderful sensation. I left my body, was suddenly up in the studio ceiling, and was looking down on myself, the presenters, and all of the camera crew. I was having an out-of-body experience.
      4. The question is – of course – whether these experiences are of anything outside the mind79. Do they really prove that something like a soul80 can wander out of the body81?
      5. A difficult situation to “explain away” is where the NDE-experiencer claims – as in the example above – to see something (while having an Out of Body Experience) they could not have seen under normal circumstances. The difficulty with evaluating such reports is that they are either vague and unsurprising, or anecdotal and hard to verify – so the presumption is that they aren’t veridical.
      6. There’s a famous “shoe” case (see Augustine - Hallucinatory Near-Death Experiences - Maria's Shoe) where no follow-up seems to have been possible. There’s a (naturally sceptical) page on Infidels.org ("Augustine (Keith) - Hallucinatory Near-Death Experiences") which references the “shoe” case amongst others.
      7. The case of our reporter is surprisingly off-hand for such a surprising claim. "Blackmore (Susan) - Beyond the Body" asserts that 10% of people claim to have had OBEs. Maybe most also believe in immaterial souls82, and think that most other people do likewise. So, they may claim more than they strictly observed as a way of making their experience seem more important than those of rival accounts. Rather than thinking they are distorting the evidence-base for this phenomenon, they may simply take it as a fact, and want to share in the glamour associated with having experienced it. Much like alien abduction.
    3. Persistent Vegetative State83
      1. For information on what a Persistent Vegetative State (PVS) actually is, see for example Wikipedia: Persistent vegetative state. Note that the Wikipedia article uses the PVS acronym to stand for a Permanent Vegetative State.
      2. It’s never clear whether any such state is permanent, whereas it is clear that it is persistent. In the UK, the state becomes legally “permanent” after 12 months, and the term “continuous” is used in preference to “persistent”.
      3. The medical definition is given there as “A wakeful unconscious state that lasts longer than a few weeks”. Despite the (occasional) wakefulness, there is a “complete lack of cognitive function”.
      4. The interest in the Persistent Vegetative State within the topic of Personal Identity is that when in a PVS the attributes of personhood84 are not in evidence – and maybe not capable of being evidenced – so that it is possible to argue that the individual85 in the PVS is no longer a person86. It thus provides the opportunity to pull apart such prima facie co-referential terms as Human Person87 and Human Being88 (or Human Animal89).
      5. One may wonder why PVS is used in philosophical Thought experiments90 rather than Coma (a more severe condition). I suppose the issue is that in a PVS the brain-stem91 is substantially intact (whatever other brain-damage has been incurred), so that no life-support is required other than feeding tubes. In irreversible comas, the brain-stem may be so severely damaged that the basic functions of the organism92 cannot be carried on without life93 support. Consequently, there’s no debate whether those in a PVS are animals94, whereas it might be argued that those on life support in an irreversible coma are not. Hence, while the PVS definitely distinguishes human animals95 from human persons96 (according to most definitions), irreversible coma might not.
      6. I had originally put “vegetative functions” (rather than simply “functions”) above, but I’m unconvinced that any activity above cellular level ought to be classed as “vegetative”; but I think the Aristotelian classification is often adopted, where “animal” functions are those involving locomotion and the like, rather than nutrition, respiration, etc.
  2. Life After Death97
    1. Here we must discuss possible ways in which post-mortem98 survival99 might be actualised, namely:-
      1. Resurrection100,
      2. Reincarnation101, or
      3. Immortality102 of the Soul103.
    2. To this list might be added the collection of hopeful possibilities expected by the Transhumanists104.
    3. We will discuss here broad issues rather than the specifics of the particular options.
    4. We need to discuss whether life105 after death106 – in the sense of eternal, or at least unending, life – is to be desired, though this can mostly be hived off to the Makropulos Case107.
    5. I’m not interested in cases of resuscitation, which are commonplace these days. The paradigm cases I’m interested in are after the total – or near-total – destruction of the body108.
    6. Resuscitation is probably best dealt with under the head of Near Death Experiences109, but see
      1. "Moody (Raymond A.) - Life After Life", and
      2. "Moody (Raymond A.) - The Light Beyond".
    7. Mark Johnston thinks (in "Johnston (Mark) - Surviving Death") that there’s a forensic110 need for post-mortem survival111 of some sort, as otherwise there’s no incentive to be good, and hopes to provide it by a radical redefinition of what the person112 is. But this strikes me as changing the subject.
    8. "Martin (L. Michael) & Augustine (Keith) - The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death" is a comprehensive sceptical attack on the possibility of post mortem survival.
    1. Resurrection113
      1. Belief in a resurrection to paradise has occasionally pernicious effects and is also important to millions of non-explosive Americans. Consequently, the metaphysical114 possibility115 of the resurrection of beings like us116 is very important.
      2. This Thesis will aim to prove that resurrection requires substance dualism117.
      3. I will need to ensure I understand just what is believed by intellectually-respectable Jews, Christians and Muslims (though the topical believers are not amongst the ranks of the intellectually-respectable).
      4. Some discussion will be had about the orthodox Christian view being that there is no continuity of matter118 (the conundrum about the person consumed by cannibals was early recognised), and that the resurrection body119 is said to be in some sense a “spiritual” body.
      5. A good place to start for an understanding of what resurrection meant to Christians prior to the modern era is "Bynum (Caroline) - Resurrection of the Body in Western Christianity, 200 - 1336".
      6. The best place to start evaluating contemporary Christian philosophical views on the metaphysical possibility of resurrection is "Gasser (Georg), Ed. - Personal Identity and Resurrection: How Do We Survive Our Death?".
      7. One thing that strikes me is that the resurrection of Christ, taken to be the guarantee of our own resurrection, is no such thing in the sense of “showing it can be done”. The physical120 and metaphysical issues in resurrecting Jesus (or Lazarus, or Jairus’s daughter, or any recently-deceased121 person whose body122 is substantially intact) are much less than in the case of those whose bodies have been destroyed. Indeed, it might one day be possible123 to resurrect the recently-deceased124 by way of microscopic repair; at least this seems conceivable, whereas the resurrection of a human being whose body has become dispersed and whose parts have been recycled doesn’t even seem to make sense (on a materialist125 account of what we human persons126 are).
    2. Reincarnation127
      1. "Perrett (Roy W.) - Rebirth" makes a case for the metaphysical coherence of the traditional Indian account of rebirth – preferring the term “Rebirth” to “Reincarnation” because Buddhists deny the existence of an eternal Soul128, which may be presupposed by the concept of Reincarnation.
      2. My intuition129 is that – as well as doubts about its actual occurrence – Reincarnation suffers from even more philosophical problems from the perspective of personal identity than does resurrection itself.
      3. However, I’m substantially ignorant of the detailed philosophy and theology underpinning these ideas, though have read the rebuttal "Edwards (Paul) - Reincarnation: A Critical Examination".
  3. Interim States
    1. Corpses130
      1. The “Corpse Problem”
        • Corpses are troublesome131 for animalism132, which alleges (correctly in my view) that corpses are not animals133.
        • The claim is that, at death134, something ontologically135 new comes on the scene – because a corpse has different persistence136 conditions137 (those of masses of matter138) to those of organisms139.
        • Some philosophers – eg. Fred Feldman, in "Feldman (Fred) - The Survival of Death" – disagree. Feldman claims that we survive140 death141, but – rather disappointingly – as a corpse, which solves the “corpse problem”, but at the cost – most likely – of saying that we are bodies142 rather than organisms143.
        • The problem if we don’t survive death as our corpses – it is said – is to answer the question where the corpse comes from, and to answer the objection that if it was there all along – as a “corpse-to-be” – then we have a situation where we have two things of different sorts144 in the same place145 at the same time.
        • If this is taken seriously, then it can be used against the form of the animalism’s “too many thinkers146” argument.
        • I’m willing to accept that this “thinking animal” argument is unsound. However, just how the analogy would work for the “corpse-to-be” needs to be spelled out. The corpse has the persistence conditions147 of a mass of matter148. What are the persistence conditions149 of the “corpse-to-be”? If they are those of an organism150, then then the corpse-to-be cannot be the same individual151 as the corpse, though the Constitution View152 might be happy with this situation.
      2. Resurrection
        • Corpses are probably also important for most Christian materialists153 who hope for some form of resurrection154.
        • If there is a corpse to be resurrected155, it is easier to see how identity is preserved than if we have total destruction. This is obviously so in the case of resuscitation, but even where we have a real case of death156 – not just clinical death, or brain death157, but real death with a bit of mouldering – there is some physical thing that is responsible for preserving identity.
    2. Disembodied Existence158
      1. As an Animalist159, I don’t hold out much hope for disembodied existence for such beings as ourselves160.
      2. It is true that most people, most of the time, seem to have thought it possible – or even certain. Presumably it is closely related to the view that we are – or at least have – immortal161 souls162 that survive the death163 of our bodies164. Maybe there are alternative “possibilities” to explain the origins of the belief. But there are worries whether disembodied existence is even coherent for concrete particulars.
      3. Note that “disembodied” is sometimes used for “disembodied brains”. Since the brain165 is part of the body166, I cover such possibilities under Brains In Vats167.
      4. There is some overlap between this topic and at least one topic in Transhumanism168. The idea behind Uploading169 seems to be that we are “patterns in information170 space” (Andy Clark) and these “patterns” could – in principle – be uploaded171 to a computer172. The entities resulting from such uploads would appear to be disembodied, at least if their experience (assuming that they are conscious173) is of having simulated bodies174 they don’t really have, as in The Matrix. But, all this illusion aside, are these minds175 actually disembodied, or are their “bodies176” (parts of) the computer177 that “runs” them?
    3. Interregnum178
      1. This is a term of art for the (supposed) period between death179 and reincarnation180, of which this is a sub-topic. I think the term is due to Paul Edwards.
      2. The problem with this period – whatever it is called – is that it may seem to imply intermittent existence181.
      3. Alternatively, it has to rely on some alternative substrate for the existence182 of which there is little or no evidence.
      4. The obvious candidate is a substantial soul183. However, it seems that orthodox Hinduism thinks of a rather tenuous “astral body” as providing the link.
      5. That said, the same issue arises for any post-mortem survival184 that is alleged to follow the total destruction of the body185. At least reincarnation186 has some tenuous evidence in its favour, whereas there are – as far as I’m aware – no claimed occurrences of the resurrection187 of a totally-destroyed body188.
      6. I suppose that theists might claim that the information189 that constitutes190 a person191 is held in the mind of God during the interregnum.
  4. Immortality192
    1. In the Biblical Christian tradition, God is the only being with natural immortality (see 1 Timothy 6:16 “God … who alone is immortal”, NIV), but Plato (and his Platonising Christian followers) had it that the (human) soul193 is also naturally immortal. The Biblical view – at least on some interpretations – is rather that God gives or denies immortality to whoever he wishes (and there is consequently no need to eternally roast the immortal souls of the wicked).
    2. St. Paul has it that “the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:53, NIV). This is in the context of the resurrection194 of the just dead195 (or the metamorphosis196 of the just living) at the return of Christ.
    3. In the context of identity theory, it is doubtful whether the very same thing can at one time be perishable and at another time immortal, because a thing’s persistence conditions197 are taken to be essential198 properties199 of the sort200 it is, and a single thing cannot change sort201,202.
    4. As such, (as "Johnston (Mark) - Surviving Death" notes), natural immortality of the soul203 is the only hope for post-mortem survival204. But this hope is itself dashed by the lack of empirical evidence for the existence of the substantial205 soul206, immortal or otherwise.
    5. It does seem incongruous to talk about post-mortem immortality – how can something that has died be immortal? The idea, no doubt, is that it is the body207 that the soul208 occupied that was mortal. Hence, the soul209 needs a new immortal body210 to be clothed with. That seems to be the Pauline picture, though debated by the “Conditional Immortality” people.
    6. The Transhumanists211 hope that Uploading212 to a computer213 might lead to indefinitely extended life214, though this is hardly immortality. Indefinite identity-preserving life extensions might be possible using repair-microbots.
    7. In all this, I’m talking about the persistence of the individual215. I’m not talking about “immortality” in the sense of “undying fame”. As Woody Allen quipped (I’m not sure where this is from, but see Woody Allen: Immortality) – “I don't want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don't want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my apartment”.
    8. "Williams (Bernard) - The Makropulos Case: Reflections on the Tedium of Immortality" argues that we wouldn’t even want immortality, but I’m not convinced. However, a bad immortality – uploading216 to an evil computer217, for instance – would be worse than no immortality, though some (eg. Miguel De Unamuno) are not even convinced of that. This topic is covered further under the Makropulos Case218.
    9. Of course, if animalism219 is the correct account of personal identity, immortality is not on offer, though if the transhumanists220 succeed, and an alternative account of personal identity is correct, an indefinite extension of life might be possible.
    1. Ivan Ilych221
      1. Tolstoy’s short novella "Tolstoy (Leo) - The Death of Ivan Ilyich" tends to feature in discussions on the philosophy of death222.
      2. I first came upon it via "Kagan (Shelly) - The nature of death (continued); Believing you will die". The contention in Kagan’s lecture was that Tolstoy’s novella taught that no-one really expects to die, an idea Kagan rejects.
      3. My own view is that this isn’t really what the novella is about, but is rather about how we should live our lives – or at least how we should not live them.
      4. In this Note, I intend to consider two main questions:-
        1. Does Tolstoy suggest that no-one really expects to die?
        2. What is the aim of the novella?
      5. As I’m not a literary critic, I’ll be somewhat briefer with regards to the second question than Tolstoy’s work deserves.
      6. The explicit passage on the expectation of death is where Ivan – on hearing that he is about to die – observes that the syllogism beginning “all men are mortal” applies to “all men”, but not specifically to him.
      7. Of course, no-one really believes they are immortal223 (or, at least, that they are not going to die) but the reality of personal death224 is pushed so far into the background that it is hardly taken into account in our plans (other than in the making of rather impersonal provisions), until it is just around the corner. Our plans always extend infinitely on, without the explicit acknowledgement until the last possible minute that we – and more urgently our faculties – will not continue on for ever, and that we need to eke out our time more carefully.
      8. No doubt this is especially true of the young, but I can vouch for the fact that it’s still true of at least one person aged 62225.
    2. Makropulos Case226
      1. This Note will investigate the controversy started in 1973 by "Williams (Bernard) - The Makropulos Case: Reflections on the Tedium of Immortality".
      2. It is slightly off-topic, in that the focus isn’t on whether there is, in fact, any such thing as immortality227 (for human beings228).
      3. Rather, it is whether immortality – again for embodied human beings – would be desirable (or, indeed, tolerable).
      4. Williams’s conclusion – needless to say – is that it is not, though his reasoning is rather subtle.
      5. Thoughts on the value – or disvalue – of immortality229 tie in with the evil – or lack of evil – of death230. Some of the items in the reading list mention the Makropulos Case in that regard.
      6. All discussion of the evils of death231 will fall under this Note.
      7. Since animalism232 strongly implies that “death is the end of us”, this may be important.



Concluding Remarks
  1. Having now discussed everything on our Agenda, we now in our next Chapter233 make our conclusions.
  2. This is work in progress234.


Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed235
  1. This section attempts to derive the readings lists automatically from those of the underlying Notes, but removing duplicated references. The list is divided into:-
  2. I have segregated those works on the core topic of Resurrection that are from a religio-philosophical perspective from those that are pure philosophy. In general, those written by professional philosophers are in the latter section, even if addressed to a religious audience.
  3. The motivation for some of the works is as follows:-
    • Gasser is the most important work I need to address.
    • Wright’s big book (hopefully) supplies all there is from the Christian side – even though the focus is on a specific – and theologically and metaphysically special – resurrection.
    • Bynum and Gillman provide background information from the Christian and Jewish perspectives, respectively.
    • Badham is a rather elementary Christian discussion, and may be rejected.
    • Corcoran is an important survey, already included in the reading for a couple of other Chapters.
    • Edwards, Flew and Penelhum are useful surveys of older material, which is useful just to read for the appropriate background. There is some considerable overlap in the selections.
    • I suppose I need to discuss death itself, hence Kagan, McMahan, Regan & Wyatt – though skipping the ethical bits.
    • Perrett and Tippler may be a little off-centre, and I may reject them on closer inspection.
    • The other individual papers – especially those by van Inwagen and Shoemaker – are probably important, but justification is to be supplied.
  4. Many aspects of these and other works will need to be either ignored or reserved for other chapters.



Works on this topic that I’ve actually read238, include the following:-
  1. Death
    1. Death239
    2. Near Death Experiences244
    3. Out of Body Experiences245
    4. Persistent Vegetative State247
  2. Life After Death
    1. Life After Death253
    2. Resurrection255
    3. Reincarnation259
  3. Interim States
    1. Corpses260
    2. Disembodied Existence263
    3. Interregnum264
  4. Immortality
    1. Immortality265
    2. Ivan Ilych267
    3. Makropulos Case269


A further reading list might start with:-
  1. Death
    1. Death270
    2. Near Death Experiences275
    3. Out of Body Experiences277
    4. Persistent Vegetative State280
  2. Life After Death
    1. Life After Death282
    2. Resurrection286
    3. Reincarnation289
  3. Interim States
    1. Corpses290
    2. Disembodied Existence291
    3. Interregnum294
  4. Immortality
    1. Immortality295
    2. Ivan Ilych296
    3. Makropulos Case297



In-Page Footnotes:

Footnote 3: Footnote 62:
  1. Consider Wikipedia: Ray Wilkins & Wikipedia: Eric Bristow dying of cardiac arrest “before their time”, plus loads of young blacks (and those mistaken for being young blacks) dying from puncture wounds.
Footnote 225:
  1. When I originally wrote this in February 2016.
Footnote 235: Footnote 241: Footnote 242: Footnote 246: Footnote 249: Footnote 271: Footnotes 272, 274: Footnote 273: Footnote 278: Footnote 281: Footnote 283: Footnote 284: Footnote 287: Footnote 288: Footnote 292: Footnote 293: Footnote 298:


Table of the Previous 12 Versions of this Note: (of 16)

Date Length Title
16/05/2022 21:18:43 63358 Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection)
11/04/2022 00:01:26 31827 Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection)
01/10/2021 13:17:46 30597 Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection)
29/03/2021 19:23:31 21607 Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection)
22/03/2021 00:28:48 17715 Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection)
08/02/2021 18:10:05 9890 Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection)
29/12/2019 12:57:36 10132 Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection)
18/04/2019 18:18:43 10126 Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection)
05/04/2016 23:19:41 9859 Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection)
07/10/2015 00:27:22 9636 Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection)
04/04/2015 00:17:17 9534 Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection)
13/01/2015 19:07:41 9461 Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection)



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28/09/2022 10:24:58 None available Thesis - Introduction


Summary of Notes Referenced by This Note

2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal Androids Animalism Animalism - Objections Animals
Awaiting Attention (Personal Identity) Baillie - What Am I? Body Brain Brain Death
Brain Transplants Brains in Vats Bynum - Resurrection of the Body (Preface + Introduction) Christian Materialism Coincidence
Computers Consciousness Constitution Constitution View Continuity
Corpses Daniel Dennett – Conditions of Personhood Death Disembodied Existence Dualism
Existence Fine - The Non-Identity of a Material Thing and Its Matter Forensic Property Homo Sapiens Human Animals
Human Beings Human Persons Immortality Individual Information
Intermittent Objects Interregnum Intuition Ivan Ilych Jen_080204 (Brandom, Chisholm, Baillie)
Life Life After Death Makropulos Case Matter Memory
Metamorphosis Metaphysics Mind Modality Near Death Experiences
Olson - Immanent Causation and Life After Death Olson - Persons and Bodies - Response Olson - The Human Animal (Precis) Ontology Organisms
Out of Body Experiences Persistence Persistence Criteria Persistent Vegetative State Person
Physical Continuity Physicalism Process Metaphysics Properties Psychological View
Reincarnation Resurrection Rosenberg - Thinking Clearly About Death: Prefaces & Prelude Russell - Do We Survive Death? Sortals
Souls Status: Thesis Dashboard (2022: November) Strawson - Why I Have No Future Substance Survival
Thesis - Chapter 08 (Arguments against Animalism) Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection) Thesis - Chapter 12 (Conclusion) Thesis - Method & Form Thinking Animal Argument
Thought Experiments Transhumanism Uploading Vagueness What are We?
Works Read - Explanation        

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Summary of Notes Citing This Note

Existence PID Note, Book & Paper Usage, 2 Reincarnation Resurrection Status: Thesis Dashboard (2022: November), 2
Thesis - Chapter 04 (Basic Metaphysical Issues) Thesis - Chapter 10 (Thought Experiments) Thesis - Introduction Website Generator Documentation - Functors, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16  

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Authors, Books & Papers Citing this Note

Author Title Medium Extra Links Read?
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Chapter 04 (Basic Metaphysical Issues) Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Chapter 10 (Thought Experiments) Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Existence Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Introduction & Chapter Outlines Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Reincarnation Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Resurrection Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes



References & Reading List

Author Title Medium Source Read?
Aeon Video - By the river Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Aeon, 30 June 2021 Yes
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Alter (Michael J.) The Resurrection & Christian Apologetics: A Critical Inquiry Volume 2 Book - Cited Low Quality Abstract Alter (Michael J.) - The Resurrection & Christian Apologetics: A Critical Inquiry Volume 2 15%
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Antony (Louise M.) Philosophers without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life Book - Cited (via Paper Cited) High Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied 26%
Atkinson (Basil F.C.) Life and Immortality: An Examination of the Nature and Meaning of Life and Death as they are revealed in the Scriptures Book - Cited Atkinson (Basil F.C.) - Life and Immortality: An Examination of the Nature and Meaning of Life and Death as they are revealed in the Scriptures Yes
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Badham (Paul) & Badham (Linda) Immortality or Extinction: Introduction Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Badham (Paul) & Badham (Linda) - Immortality or Extinction, Introduction Yes
Baillie (James) Problems in Personal Identity Book - Cited (via Paper Cited) Medium Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied 45%
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Belshaw (Christopher) Asymmetry and Non-Existence Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Philosophical Studies, Vol. 70, No. 1 (Apr., 1993), pp. 103-116 No
Bering (Jesse) Life after Death Paper - Cited Aeon, 13 November, 2013 Yes
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Bradley (Ben), Feldman (Fred) & Johansson (Jens) The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death Book - Cited Low Quality Abstract Bradley (Ben), Feldman (Fred) & Johansson (Jens) - The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death 7%
Brandon (Ed) Review of David Lund's 'Persons, Souls and Death' Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Metapsychology Online Reviews, Jul 28th 2009 (Volume 13, Issue 31) Yes
Bullinger (E.W.) The Resurrection of the Body Book - Cited Bullinger (E.W.) - The Resurrection of the Body Yes
Burak (Jacob) Is philanthropy driven by the human desire to cheat death? Paper - Cited Aeon, 24 October, 2017 Yes
Buzzi (Giorgio) Correspondence: Near-Death Experiences Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Lancet. Vol. 359, Issue 9323 (June 15, 2002): 2116-2117 Yes
Bynum (Caroline) Resurrection of the Body in Western Christianity, 200 - 1336 Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Bynum (Caroline) - Resurrection of the Body in Western Christianity, 200 - 1336 4%
Carter (William) Will I Be a Dead Person? Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Mar99, Vol. 59 Issue 1, p167, 5p; Yes
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Corcoran (Kevin) Soul, Body and Survival: Introduction - Soul or Body? Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Corcoran - Soul, Body and Survival, Introduction Yes
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Dennett (Daniel) Brainstorms - Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology Book - Cited (via Paper Cited) Low Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied 43%
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Dunne (John S.) City of the Gods: A Study in Myth and Mortality Book - Cited Low Quality Abstract Dunne (John S.) - City of the Gods: A Study in Myth and Mortality 13%
Edwards (Paul) Dr. Kubler-Ross, Dr. Moody, and the New Immortality Movement Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Edwards - Reincarnation: A Critical Examination, 2002, Chapter 11 Yes
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Edwards (Paul) The Astral Body Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Edwards - Reincarnation: A Critical Examination, 2002, Chapter 9 Yes
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Emslie (Karen) Hallucinogenic nights Paper - Cited Aeon, 27 June, 2014 Yes
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Feldman (Fred) Confrontations with the Reaper: A Philosophical Study of the Nature and Value of Death Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Feldman (Fred) - Confrontations with the Reaper: A Philosophical Study of the Nature and Value of Death Yes
Feldman (Fred) Introduction: Confronting the Reaper Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Feldman - Confrontations with the Reaper, Introduction Yes
Feldman (Fred) The Survival of Death Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Feldman - Confrontations with the Reaper, Chapter 6 Yes
Feldman (Fred) The Termination Thesis Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Midwest Studies In Philosophy, 2000, Vol. XXIV Issue 1, p98, 18p Yes
Fenwick (Peter) & Fenwick (Elizabeth) The Truth in the Light: An Investigation of Over 300 Near-Death Experiences Book - Cited High Quality Abstract Fenwick (Peter) & Fenwick (Elizabeth) - The Truth in the Light: An Investigation of Over 300 Near-Death Experiences Yes
Fine (Kit) The Non-Identity of a Material Thing and Its Matter Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Mind - 112/446 (April 2003) Yes
Fischer (John Martin) Death, Metaphysics, and Morality Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Fischer - The Metaphysics of Death, 1993, Introduction Yes
Fischer (John Martin) & Speak (Daniel) Death and the Psychological Conception of Personal Identity Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Midwest Studies In Philosophy, 2000, Vol. XXIV Issue 1, p84, 10p; Yes
Fischer (John Martin), Ed. The Metaphysics of Death Book - Cited Low Quality Abstract Fischer (John Martin), Ed. - The Metaphysics of Death 4%
Flew (Antony), Ed. Body, Mind and Death Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Flew (Antony), Ed. - Body, Mind and Death No
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Gawande (Atul) Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End Book - Cited Low Quality Abstract Gawande (Atul) - Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End Yes
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Gillman (Neil) The Death Of Death: Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Gillman (Neil) - The Death Of Death: Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought 1%
Godelek (Kamuran) Review of Thomas Metzinger's 'The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self' Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Metapsychology Online Reviews, Oct 6th 2009 (Volume 13, Issue 41) Yes
Graziano (Michael) Endless fun Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Aeon, 18 December, 2013 Yes
Green (James W.) Beyond the Good Death: The Anthropology of Modern Dying Book - Cited High Quality Abstract Green (James W.) - Beyond the Good Death: The Anthropology of Modern Dying 2%
Greenberg (Jeff) This mortal coil Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Aeon, 2020 Yes
Greinacher (Norbert) & Muller (Alois), Eds. The Experience of Dying Book - Cited Greinacher (Norbert) & Muller (Alois), Eds. - The Experience of Dying No
Guillebaud (Harold E.) The Righteous Judge: A Study of the Biblical Doctrine of Everlasting Punishment Book - Cited Guillebaud (Harold E.) - The Righteous Judge: A Study of the Biblical Doctrine of Everlasting Punishment Yes
Hains (Brigid) & Hains (Paul) Aeon: A-B (& General) Book - Cited (via Paper Cited) Low Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied 100%
Hains (Brigid) & Hains (Paul) Aeon: C-F Book - Cited (via Paper Cited) Low Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied 51%
Hains (Brigid) & Hains (Paul) Aeon: G-K Book - Cited (via Paper Cited) Low Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied 31%
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Hick (John) Death and Eternal Life Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Hick (John) - Death and Eternal Life 1%
Hinton (John) Dying Book - Cited Low Quality Abstract Hinton (John) - Dying No
Ho (Anita) No patient is an island Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Aeon, 2020 Yes
Holloway (Richard) Waiting for the Last Bus: Reflections on Life and Death Book - Cited Low Quality Abstract Holloway (Richard) - Waiting for the Last Bus: Reflections on Life and Death Yes
Jarrett (Christian) Ketamine trips are uncannily like near-death experiences Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Aeon, 20 June, 2019 Yes
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Kagan (Shelly) Arguments for the existence of the soul, Part III: Free will and near-death experiences Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Open Yale Courses, 2007 Yes
Kagan (Shelly) Death Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Kagan (Shelly) - Death Yes
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Kagan (Shelly) Fear of death Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Open Yale Courses, 2007 Yes
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Kagan (Shelly) Suicide, Part I: The rationality of suicide Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Open Yale Courses, 2007 Yes
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Kamm (F.M.) Morality, Mortality (Vol. 1) - Death and Whom to Save from It Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Kamm (F.M.) - Morality, Mortality (Vol. 1) - Death and Whom to Save from It 0%
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Lam (Barry) Is it moral to respect the wishes of the dead, above the living? Paper - Cited Aeon, 16 June, 2017 Yes
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Levy (Neil) Final thoughts Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Aeon, 2021 Yes
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Li (Jack) Can Death Be a Harm to the Person Who Dies Book - Cited Li (Jack) - Can Death Be a Harm to the Person Who Dies No
Liao (S. Matthew) The Organism View Defended Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract The Monist, Vol. 89, No. 3, Coming into Being and Passing Away (July 2006), pp. 334-350 Yes
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Lockwood (Michael) When Does a Life Begin? Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Lockwood - Moral Dilemmas in Modern Medicine, 1987 Yes
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Luper (Steven) The Philosophy of Death Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Luper (Steven) - The Philosophy of Death 2%
Luper (Steven), Ed. The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Luper (Steven), Ed. - The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death 5%
Mackie (David) Personal Identity and Dead People Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Philosophical Studies 95, Number 3, September 1999, pp. 219-242(24). Yes
Macquarrie (John) Christian Hope Book - Cited Macquarrie (John) - Christian Hope No
Madison (Paige) Who first buried the dead? Paper - Cited Aeon, 14 November, 2017 Yes
Martin (L. Michael) & Augustine (Keith) The Myth of an Afterlife: Preface Paper - Cited Martin & Augustine - The Myth of an Afterlife, Preface Yes
Martin (L. Michael) & Augustine (Keith) The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Martin (L. Michael) & Augustine (Keith) - The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death 15%
Martin (Michael G.F.), Ed. Mind - 112/446 (April 2003) Book - Cited (via Paper Cited) Bibliographical details to be supplied 50%
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Moshakis (Alex) What do near-death experiences mean, and why do they fascinate us? Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Guardian On-Line, 7 March 2021 Yes
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Newman (Sandra) Infanticide Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Aeon, 29 November, 2017 Yes
Olberding (Amy) Is the death of an elder worse than the death of a young person? Paper - Cited Aeon, 20 November, 2017 Yes
Olson (Eric) Animalism and the Remnant-Person Problem Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract J. Fonseca and J. Gonçalves, eds., Philosophical Perspectives on the Self, Peter Lang 2015: 21-40 Yes
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Olson (Eric) The Human Animal: Introduction Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract The Human Animal, September 1999, Introduction, pp. 3-7 Yes
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Williams (Bernard) The Makropulos Case: Reflections on the Tedium of Immortality Paper - Cited High Quality Abstract Williams - Problems of the Self Yes
Wright (N.T.) The Resurrection of the Son of God Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Wright (N.T.) - The Resurrection of the Son of God 7%
Wyatt (John) Matters of Life and Death Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Wyatt (John) - Matters of Life and Death 7%
Yourgrau (Palle) Can the Dead Really Be Buried? Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Midwest Studies In Philosophy, 2000, Vol. XXIV Issue 1, p46, 23p Yes
Zaleski (Carole) Otherworld Journeys: Accounts of Near Death Experience in Mediaeval and Modern Times Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Zaleski (Carole) - Otherworld Journeys: Accounts of Near Death Experience in Mediaeval and Modern Times 3%



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