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He might get there, but why 'base jump' when established paths metaphysics and epistemology are risky enough? Still, his research is thorough. He brings credibility to parapsychology. Given the importance of the issue, we best read along and listen to what mediums say about the dead. It could be the case that some of us will survive death at least for a time and that our pre mortem and post mortem states are connected in some fashion. If so, then, some individuals ought to be able to explain that connection to us.

These individuals, the mediums, must possess some qualifications to do this work. What standard do we use to determine the legitimacy of a reported connection with the dead? Clearly some mediums are crackpots. When if ever is communication from the dead genuine? Should we appeal to simplicity or complexity? It seems counter intuitive to suppose that a competent medium would seek to obfuscate things unnecessarily, though in some instances the dead are unclear, as Braude reports.

My main problem with this whole business is that the attempt to communicate with the dead puts us on a slippery slope towards the absurd.

Death is not something we can experience. So what the dead have to report about themselves if the dead survive their personal death moves beyond our point of view. Thus the communication cannot address the nature of death as such. The mistake the absurdity is to confound both states.


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  • For instance, we say that death is the loss of consciousness brain death. The dead do nothing. Are mediums reporting on what the dead do when they do nothing or on how it feels not to feel anything? The solution to this problem might be to suppose that we can establish an intuited connection with the dead. This views seems to make sense since it puts the dead outside of space and time and defuses the absurdity of asking where someone is when someone is nowhere.

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    Immortal Remains

    Why then do the dead generally report trivial matters, as Braude says? Communication with the dead should be an awesome opportunity for insight into the mysteries of existence, why there is something rather than nothing, what lies outside space and time, and why innocent victims suffer, if a loving God exists? Perhaps communication with the dead can be used to explain some of the problems raised in Chapter 9: the mind-body problem, and the issue of personal identity how the dead remain personal as disembodied spirit.

    Braude claims that his work in parapsychology prepares the way for a metaphysico-epistemological study of death, but I see it the other way around. We can use metaphysics as a firewall against some of these absurdities. The exciting thing about the field of parapsychology is that it is fraught with difficulties, paradoxes, contradictions, imprecisions, puzzles, unexamined assumptions, and non sequiturs.

    It is a wonderful teaching tool because the student soon learns to define terms, make distinctions, examine assumptions, maintain internal consistency, and take out the trash. I know of no branch of philosophy that offers more opportunity for a radical interrogation of reality. In that regard, Braude's work is a gem.

    Immortal Remains: The Evidence for Life After Death

    Once we get over contents, we can focus on the real goal of the book, to investigate the possibility of survival. His work suggests that death is not always the end of personal existence. In some instances, the data of parapsychology suggests the possibility of survival. This aspect is more promising than the contents side albeit difficult to separate one from the other.

    Philosophers will appreciate the fact that Braude opens his disciplined, analytical examination of the evidence by defining terms, making distinctions, reducing the complex to the simple, and otherwise setting the stage for a meticulous analysis of assumptions Chapter 1. We are introduced to the usual variety of issues, and some not so expected see the book's Index for a sampling of topics , but all designed to scrutinize the medium's message from the dead. Braude succeeds in raising doubts that the evidence can be explained by psychology alone. The case of Patience Worth Chapter 5 is striking in that regard.

    He gradually accumulates a stockpile of data, not all of it favourable to survival, but on the whole it provides him with a reasonable basis to conclude that some individuals seem to survive their personal death, even if only for a limited time.

    Immortal Remains: The Evidence for Life after Death [Book Review] - Semantic Scholar

    His book is fair, balanced, honest, and well written. I teach courses in death and dying and we cover a wide range of topics, including many that are raised in this book. I recommend this book. It's the best I've seen in parapsychology. Immortal Remains not only contains Braude's personal perspective, but also highlights the state of the debate thus far.

    Life after death

    Even one with just a slight interest in survival research would do well to get acquainted with Braude and the philosophers with whom he puts himself into conversation throughout the book. Finally, he tackles these difficult issues with clear language and suitable wit, making Immortal Remains both a thought-provoking and entertaining read. Gale, University of Pittsburgh [Braude's] research is thorough. He brings credibility to parapsychology.

    The book is worth close study. There are also touches of humor that lighten the seriousness of the topic.

    Reward Yourself

    Professor Braude has produced a prodigious and fascinating work for which we can only offer our thanks. Braude gives us a solid work of critical scholarship. He employs considerable philosophical and psychological sophistication. The author is a respected philosopher and parapsychologist whose works on psi, multiple personality, and other subjects are exemplars of scholarship Superlatives are in order. This is the best book on survival that I have read.

    Scholarly, carefully argued and elegantly written, I hope it achieves the success it so clearly deserves. Table of Contents.