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11. Survival Theories and Speculations

Papers in this section discuss aspects of the philosophical and methodological problems involved in survival research and the possibility of proving survival scientifically. Discussions cover: the possible nature of afterlife and the surviving consciousness; the quality of the evidence from psychical phenomena; survival in the context of religious and other belief systems.

keywords: survival, theory


Stewart, Balfour. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS, Proceedings 4, 1886, pp. 262-7. Recommends caution in dealings with the spirit world, to be ‘certain that our advances will only be responded to by the good’ (265-6). survival/methodology 

Myers, Frederic W.H. REVIEW OF A. AKASAKOF’S ANIMISMUS AND SPIRITISMUS, Proceedings 6, 1889-90, pp. 665-74. Explores the arguments set out in books by rival German psychical researchers as to whether séance phenomena indicate an external intelligence or can be explained by telepathy between the medium and sitters. survival/telepathy/theory 

Joyce, Samuel. A THEORY OF HAUNTING, Journal 4, 1889-90, pp. 165-8. Attempts to extend to phantasms of the dead the theory of telepathy applied to those of the living. apparitions/survival/theory 

Lodge, Oliver. ON THE DIFFICULTY OF MAKING CRUCIAL EXPERIMENTS AS TO THE SOURCES OF THE EXTRA OR UNUSUAL INTELLIGENCE MANIFESTED IN TRANCE SPEECH, AUTOMATIC WRITING, AND OTHER STATES OF APPARENT MENTAL INACTIVITY, Proceedings 10, 1894, pp. 14-24. A brief discussion of certain problems posed by various types of experimental survival evidence, for instance those involving postmarked letters and photography. survival/psi/experiments/methodology/photography

James, William. PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS, Proceedings 12, 1896, pp. 2-10. Stresses some of the achievements of psychical research: the Census of Hallucinations, Mrs Piper, etc, and expresses relief at moving from ‘phenomena of the dark-sitting and rat-hole type’ involved with Eusapia Palladino and other physical mediums to the ‘calm air of delightful studies’ associated with Piper (6). survival/mental mediumship/physical mediumship/methodology

Crookes, William. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS, Journal 8, 1897, pp. 25-8. Report of an address in which the scientist reflects on the conception of matter and life after death. survival/consciousness/theory

Jay, Thomas. A SCIENTIFIC DEMONSTRATION OF THE FUTURE LIFE, reviewed by Harlow Gale, Proceedings 12, 1897, pp. 330-35. Attempts to apply scientific principles to the ‘powers, attributes, and destiny of the soul’, as well as point out facts suggestive of survival of death. book review/survival/theory

Crookes, William. ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT, Proceedings 12, 1897, pp. 338-55. The scientist and veteran psychical researcher engages in some thought experiments to illuminate issues of survival and scientific understanding. survival/theory

Schiller, F.C.S. ON SOME PHILOSOPHIC ASSUMPTIONS IN THE INVESTIGATION OF THE PROBLEM OF A FUTURE LIFE, Proceedings 15, 1900-01, pp. 53-64. Criticises common beliefs and assumptions about afterlife, including the lack of relevance of traditional ‘heaven and hell’ ideas to ordinary life and the paradoxical tendency of unbelievers to demand a more elevated afterlife than that offered by spiritualism. As part of a philosophical approach the author recommends avoiding describing afterlife as ‘supernatural’, which is to put it beyond investigation; accepting psychological continuity between life and afterlife; and recognising the potential difficulty of communicating experienced by the deceased. Other aspects are also considered. survival/theory

Lodge, Oliver. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS, Proceedings 17, 1901, pp. 37-57. The scientist assesses current theories of trance phenomena, and clairvoyance, looks briefly at physical phenomena, and discusses the nature of survival of death. He argues that only a portion of the greater, subliminal self is incarnated in the physical body and suggests that his hypothesis can be reconciled with the concept of reincarnation. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 10, 1902, pp. 253-6. survival/psi/theory

Anon. ASPR: [FUTURE LIFE QUESTIONNAIRE], Journal 10, 1901, pp. 109-111. Description of an inquiry in America into beliefs on survival of death. survival/beliefs/methodology

Anon. CORRESPONDENCE: ON THE ATTITUDE OF THE SOCIETY FOR PSYCHICAL RESEARCH TOWARDS THE SPIRITISTIC HYPOTHESIS, Journal 10, 1901-2, pp. 121-7. Also p. 144. Discussion of the conflict between the need for scientific objectivity and issues of faith arising out of the Society’s work on survival. survival/beliefs/methodology

Podmore, Frank. MODERN SPIRITUALISM: A HISTORY AND A CRITICISM, reviewed by Alice Johnson, Proceedings 17, 1902, pp. 389-402. Major overview by one of the Society’s most experienced researchers, covering historical cases of witchcraft, reports of poltergeists, animal magnetism, early records of clairvoyance and thought-transference, mesmerism and trance mediums in America, the Fox sisters, mediums in England, physical phenomena, Home and Crookes, and Leonora Piper. The tone is perceptively critical throughout and the conclusion is that there is no substantive evidence to justify the claim that consciousness survives death, although telepathy may be admitted in the case of Piper. Johnson points to Myers’s argument that telepathy should be seen as reinforcing the case for survival, rather than as an alternative. book review/psi/consciousness/survival/methodology/theory

Schiller, F.C.S. THE ANSWERS TO THE AMERICAN BRANCH’S QUESTIONNAIRE REGARDING HUMAN SENTIMENT AS TO A FUTURE LIFE, Proceedings 18, 1903-4, pp. 416-53. A survey of attitudes to future life: do people want it and if so why? The author finds a surprising degree of indifference reflected in the answers to his questionnaire. SURVEY ANNOUNCEMENT, Journal 10, 1901-2, pp. 109-11. See also REVIEW, Journal 19, 1919-20, pp. 130-3. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 197-8. See also Proceedings 34, 1924, pp. 196-9 CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 21, 1923-24, pp. 322-4. survival/beliefs/methodology/theory

Myers, F.W.H. HUMAN PERSONALITY AND ITS SURVIVAL OF BODILY DEATH, reviewed by James, William, et al., Proceedings 18, 1903-4, pp. 22-61. Reviews of the landmark study by William James, Oliver Lodge, Theodore Flournoy (in French) and Walter Leaf. book review/survival/consciousness/personality/theory

Lang, Andrew. ‘THE NINETEENTH CENTURY’ AND MR FREDERIC MYERS, Proceedings 18, 1903, pp. 62-77. Lang replies to poorly-informed criticisms of Myers’s Human Personality published in the periodical The Nineteenth Century - and After. survival/consciousness/personality/theory

Richet, Charles. LA METAPSYCHIQUE, Proceedings 19, 1905, pp. 2-49. (hi French). Speculates on the nature of the physical forces involved in mediumistic and trance phenomena. psi/altered states/survival/theory

Balfour, Gerald W. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS, Proceedings 19, 1907, pp. 373-96. Metaphysical reflections and speculations. psi/survival/theory

Leaf, Walter. MR PETROVO-SOLOVOVO ON SPIRITISM, Proceedings 19, 1907, pp. 397-409. Reviews a book by the Russian researcher and SPR member, which was published as an appendix to his Russian translation of Podmore’s Modern Spiritualism. The book consists of a criticism of Podmore’s methods and a historical sketch of the spiritist movement in Russia. survival/spiritualism/beliefs/psi/methodology

Maeterlink, Maurice. LIFE AFTER DEATH, Journal 16, 1913, pp. 155-7. Brief abstract of an article investigating the ‘neotheosophical’ and ‘neospritualistic’ theories of survival. theosophy/survival/beliefs/theory

Schiller, F.C.S. COMMENT ON A CRITICISM OF PROF. HYSLOP, Journal 13, 1908, pp. 163-7. Takes to task the Harvard Professor Hugo Munsterberg for criticisms of Hyslop, writing on Piper, in particular the psychologist’s complaints that the afterlife revealed by mediums is insufficiently exalted to be acceptable. mental mediumship/survival/theory

Smith, H. Arthur. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS, Proceedings 24, 1910, pp. 330-50. Discusses problems of evidentiality in mediumistic communications. psi/survival/physical mediumship/mental mediumship/methodology

Carpenter, W. Boyd. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS, Proceedings 26, 1912, pp. 2-23. Reflects on the moral purpose of physical existence as a means for preparing for the next life. survival/theory

Anon. SIR W F BARRETT ON SWEDENBORG, Journal 16, 1913, p. 32. Brief report of a lecture to the Swedenborg Society, published in book form. psi/survival/theory

Constable, F.C. PERSONAL SURVIVAL: THE FORM OF EVIDENCE, Journal 16, 1913-14, pp. 157-9. Argues that to criticise memories of past incidents offered as evidence of survival on the grounds that they are ‘puerile, concrete, anthropomorphic’ is mistaken, as this is the only evidence available. survival/theory

Bergson, Henri. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS, Proceedings 27, 1914, pp. 157-75. Argues the case for a dualist approach to consciousness and the likelihood of its survival of the death of the body. The original French language version is published in the previous volume, Proceedings 26, 1913, pp. 462-79. consciousness/survival/theory

Schiller, F.C.S. PHILOSOPHY, SCIENCE, AND PSYCHICAL RESEARCH: A PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS, Proceedings 27, 1914, pp. 191-220. Discusses philosophical questions regarding the survival of consciousness after death. consciousness/survival/theory

Jacks, L.P. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS: THE THEORY OF SURVIVAL IN THE LIGHT OF ITS CONTEXT, Proceedings 29, 1917, pp. 287-305. Argues for new perspectives on conventional ideas about survival, that strip away commonly held assumptions about who communicators are and where they exist. survival/theory

Streeter, B.H. et al. IMMORTALITY, Journal 18, 1918, pp. 151-2. Essays on survival, covering religious and scientific subjects. survival/beliefs/theory

Sidgwick, Mrs Henry (Eleanor). ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF EVIDENCE FOR SURVIVAL IN THE WORK OF THE SOCIETY, Proceedings 29, 1918, pp. 245-59. A brief résumé of the evidence relating to survival so far collected by the Society and its implications briefly described. Topics include: the rival explanation provided by telepathy; the Piper material; sealed messages; cross-correspondences and literary puzzles; cautions about automatic writing. survival/theory/psi

Jung, C.G. THE PSYCHOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS OF BELIEF IN SPIRITS, Proceedings 31, 1921, pp. 75-93. Dreams, apparitional hallucinations and mental disturbances are put forward as main sources of the primitive tendency to believe in spirits, involving unconscious external projections of internal processes. An extreme example of a fragmented complex is provided by St Paul’s conversion (82). The causal relationship between human history and human psychological necessity is also discussed. apparitions/hallucinations/beliefs/survival/psi/theory

Barrett, W.F. THE GENESIS OF APPARITIONS, Journal 20, 1921-22, pp. 112-5. The author replies to criticisms of certain of his ideas regarding apparitions, made by James Hyslop and published in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research. apparitions/survival/theory

Richet, Charles. THE DIFFICULTY OF SURVIVAL FROM THE SCIENTIFIC POINT OF VIEW, Proceedings 34, 1924, pp. 107-112. In a brief paper the French psychical researcher acknowledges the reality of clairvoyance, precognition and materialisation but doubts whether they prove survival, in which he personally disbelieves. psi/survival/theory

Lodge, Oliver. THE POSSIBILITY OF SURVIVAL FROM THE SCIENTIFIC POINT OF VIEW, Proceedings 34, 1924, pp. 113-30. Lodge’s reply to Charles Richet (Richet, Charles. THE DIFFICULTY OF SURVIVAL FROM THE SCIENTIFIC POINT OF VIEW, Proceedings 34, 1924, pp. 107-112) approaches the problem from the point of view of contemporary physics and includes discussion of his belief in the ether of the universe. psi/survival/theory

Richet, Charles. METAPSYCHIC SCIENCE AND SURVIVAL, Journal 21, 1923-24, pp. 274-8. No summary given. psi/survival/theory

Palmer, C.G. FOR AND AGAINST SURVIVAL, Journal 21, 1923-24, pp. 330-33. No summary given. psi/survival/theory

Gow, David. HUMAN PERSONALITY AND THE PROOF OF SURVIVAL, Journal 24, 1927-28, pp. 200-204. The editor of the psychical periodical Light briefly explores questions of proof and metaphysics. psi/survival/personality

Lambert, G.W. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PLOTINUS, AND ITS INTEREST TO THE STUDENT OF PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Proceedings 36, 1928, pp. 393-413. Contains a summary of the neo-Platonist philosopher’s ideas about the survival of death. psi/beliefs/survival/theory

Sidgwick, Eleanor. MISS NEA WALKER’S ‘THE BRIDGE: A CASE FOR SURVIVAL’, Proceedings 38, 1928-9, pp. 10-16. In this review of a description of certain Leonard sittings a notably cautious commentator gives unusual first-hand indications of her sympathy to the idea of spirit survival. survival/theory

Besterman, Theodore. EVOCATION OF THE DEAD AND KINDRED PHENOMENA AMONG THE NATIVES OF MADAGASCAR, Proceedings 38, 1928-9, pp. 209-22. Describes Malagasy belief in spirits and shamanistic methods of communication. beliefs/survival/methodology/theory

Lodge, Oliver. ON THE ASSERTED DIFFICULTY OF THE SPIRITUALISTIC HYPOTHESIS FROM A SCIENTIFIC POINT OF VIEW, Proceedings 38, 1928-9, pp. 481-516. A physicist gives his insights into the question of survival, with reference to Einstein and Kepler (482), the breakdown of materialism (487), Whitehead (488, passim), the relationship of spirit and matter (497), conditions of afterlife (503), content of spirit communications (503), and difficulties of verification (508). survival/theory

Anon. CORRESPONDENCE: THE SPIRITUALISTIC HYPOTHESIS, Journal 25, 1929, pp. 162-3. See also pp. 176-9 and Journal 26, pp. 8-9, 68-9 for response to Lodge’s article (Lodge, Oliver. ON THE ASSERTED DIFFICULTY OF THE SPIRITUALISTIC HYPOTHESIS FROM A SCIENTIFIC POINT OF VIEW, Proceedings 38, 1928-9, pp. 481-516). survival/theory

Saltmarsh, H.F. IS PROOF OF SURVIVAL POSSIBLE?, Proceedings 40, 1931-2, pp. 105-122. The author analyses the evidence from mediums and, to a lesser extent, apparitions, and concludes that logical proof of survival is at present impossible; conviction will always be subjective and dependent on personal temperament. psi/apparitions/survival

Lodge, Oliver. ON THE DIFFICULTY OF PROVING INDIVIDUAL SURVIVAL, Proceedings 40, 1931-2, pp. 123-25. Oliver Lodge argues that psychical research has in fact established the existence of a spiritual world and that the problem is to establish personal identity in connection with it. However, he describes an imaginary case to argue that in certain cases no alternative to survival could reasonably be held (123-5). In reply, Saltmarsh comes up with more objections which would make unequivocal certainty impossible. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 27, 1931-32, pp. 222-4, 241-3, 254-7, 276-7. psi/apparitions/survival/theory

Dodds, E.R. ‘SUPERNORMAL’ OCCURRENCES IN CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY, Journal 27, 1931-32, pp. 216-21. Discussion of references to psychical phenomena by ancient Greek and Roman writers, including instances of mediumship and apparitions. Dodds draws attention to the to difference between modern spiritualists and early Neoplatonists, the former attributing mediumistic communications to the activity of discarnate human minds, the latter to gods or daemons (220). CORRESPONDENCE, p. 327, Journal 28, p. 75. psi/survival/beliefs/spiritualism/theory

Salter, W.F. THE RELATION BETWEEN PARAPSYCHICAL AND PARAPHYSICAL PHENOMENA, Journal 27, 1931-32, pp. 268-74. Compares two types of mediumship, as represented by Home and Eusapia Palladino on the one hand and Piper and Leonard on the other, and also poltergeists with apparitions. physical mediumship/mental mediumship/poltergeist/apparitions/survival/theory

Rhine, J.B. THE QUESTION OF THE POSSIBILITY OF PROVING SURVIVAL, Journal 28, 1933-34, pp. 35-45. The American parapsychologist argues that a closer study of the element of ‘purposiveness’ in survival evidence might offer clearer indications of the reality or otherwise of survival. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 86-9, 125-30, 175-9, 200. survival/methodology/theory

Dodds, E.R. WHY I DO NOT BELIEVE IN SURVIVAL, Proceedings 42, 1934, pp. 147-72. Much-quoted summary of arguments against survival by an Oxford University classics professor. Dodds takes issue with a claim that general philosophical and religious considerations are sufficient for an antecedent belief in survival and notes that the contrary is held by researchers and interested philosophers. Belief in survival, for Dodds, requires a corresponding belief in pre-existence; however since no evidence of adult maturity or of an operative factor in human personality, besides heredity and environment, have been noted by psychologists, this is unlikely, making survival equally so (150). Dodds agrees with Broad that no philosophical grounds exist for believing in human immortality (151). He points out that spiritualism is a recent phenomenon: earlier written records show a failure by communicators to give satisfactory evidence of identity (152); they were identified by mediums in classical times as gods or daemons and by late-medieval witches as demons (153). Biological continuity between mind and body, as evidenced by the ageing process, is noted (153), also Broad’s concept of a surviving ‘psychic factor’ as against personal survival (154). Objections to the hypothesis of telepathy as the explanation of much survival evidence are criticised, with reference to fictitious communicators (157), weaknesses and inconsistencies of much mediumistic material (158), French research showing clairvoyance to be an adequate explanation of seeming survival evidence (160); the Soal-Gordon Davis case (161); the disjointedness of trance material (163); psychometry (164); the lack of understanding of conditions favourable to telepathy (166). Evidence of design in the cross-correspondences is questioned or attributed to the minds of the living (167). CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 28, 1933-34, pp. 287-8. survival/theory

Grant, Malcolm. A NEW ARGUMENT FOR GOD AND SURVIVAL, Journal 28, 1934, p. 293. Argues that the existence of God and survival are the logical conclusions of evidence of the supernatural. survival/beliefs/theory

Baynes. Godwin, H. THE GHOST AS A PSYCHIC PHENOMENON, Journal 30, 1937-38, pp. 66-79. A physician approaches the subject of ghosts from the perspective of medical psychology, referring to anthropological accounts and to the problems of defining the unconscious. apparitions/hauntings/survival/theory

Price, H.H. ‘HAUNTING AND THE "PSYCHIC ETHER" HYPOTHESIS’, Proceedings 45, 1938-9, pp. 307-43. A major contribution to thinking on apparitions. Price, Professor of Logic at Oxford University, explores the possibility of ‘something intermediate between spirit and ordinary visible, or tangible matter’ (318), which he calls a ‘psychic ether’. He hypothesises that conscious images can be endowed with causal properties, dynamic rather than static entities with a force of their own, and that such images can interact by a process of telepathic affinity. He argues that this concept can be made to fit with the requirements of a psychometric theory of haunting. Price goes on to explore the possibility that this quasi-material substance, though not physical, is not so completely abstract that it cannot be said to have an objective quality. The theory can potentially explain hauntings, where the mind that gave birth to the image seen by the percipient is dead but the image itself is a fragment that continues to have a fleeting and temporary existence, possibly surviving for many years. Price also refers to philosophical theories, notably by Bertrand Russell (331), which hold that matter is not a single object but ‘a vast and complex group of sensibilia’. hauntings/apparitions/survival/theory

Matthews, W.R. PSYCHICAL RESEARCH AND THEOLOGY, Proceedings 46, 1940-41, pp. 1-15. An enlightened Christian view of psychical research by the Dean of St Paul’s. Matthews reveals that the Church Commission reporting on spiritualism, at this time still unpublished, was surprised by the number of people whose faith had been confirmed or even generated by psychical research. He follows with a discussion of the nature of religion, the relevance of telepathy and precognition, and the question of miracles. He concludes that theology should not ignore empirical evidence, although faith can be the only true basis for a belief in survival. survival/beliefs/theory

Saltmarsh, H.F. AMBIGUITY IN THE QUESTION OF SURVIVAL, Proceedings 46, 1940-41, pp. 345-60. A discussion of the metaphysical obstacles involved in survival. Saltmarsh finds serious difficulties in establishing what survives and on what terms. He finds trance communications from mediums unconvincing (358), and is unable to identify any evidence that could prove survival beyond reasonable doubt. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 32, 1941-2, pp. 120-23, 137-47, 154-6, 159-62. survival/theory

Collins, B. Abdy. IS PROOF OF SURVIVAL POSSIBLE?, Proceedings 46, 1940-41, pp. 361-76. Responding to Saltmarsh (Saltmarsh, H.F. AMBIGUITY IN THE QUESTION OF SURVIVAL, Proceedings 46, 1940-41, pp. 345-60), Collins criticises the approach that seeks a single crucial case rather against one that seeks a hypothesis to explain the various types of phenomena under investigation. He raises specific objections to Saltmarsh’s dismissal of physical mediums (363), mental mediums (366) and apparitions, discussing the Chaffin Will case (367), psychometry (368), and spontaneous cases (369), following with general criticisms. survival/theory

Nisbet, B. HAUNTING GHOSTS, Journal 33, 1943-6, pp. 222-4. Are ghosts the representation on this plane of existence a secondary aspect of the mind of a surviving spirit? A member offers a suggestion. apparitions/hauntings/survival/theory

Salter, W.H. DR GARDNER MURPHY ON SURVIVAL, Journal 33, 1943-6, pp. 256-63. Comments on the American psychologist’s contribution to the survival debate in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 39. 1945, pp, 66-94. survival/theory

Thouless, Robert H. A TEST OF SURVIVAL, Proceedings 48, 1946-49, pp. 253-63. A researcher proposes, following his death, to attempt to communicate the key-word that will decipher an encoded message, thereby demonstrating his survival. While clearly superior to the sealed envelope method unsuccessfully attempted by Frederic Myers, (but note W.H. Salter’s 1958 paper rehabilitating Myers’s posthumous message opened by Lodge in December 1904, F.W.H. MYERS’S POSTHUMOUS MESSSAGE, Proceedings 52, 1958-60, pp. 1-32) the method carries problems of its own: the possibility of the key-word being discovered by psi cognition during his lifetime; of retrocognition occurring after his death even though he had not survived; and of the key being discovered by a cipher expert. The possibility that following his decease he might not remember what he has to communicate is also considered. Following the publication of this article, one of the two encoded passages set by the author was deciphered (Thouless, Robert H. ADDITIONAL NOTE ON A TEST FOR SURVIVAL, pp. 342-43). Accordingly, the author replaced it with a new passage, using a system recommended by a cipher expert. survival/experiments/methodology/theory

Wood, T.E. A FURTHER TEST FOR SURVIVAL, Proceedings 49, 1949-52, pp. 105-6. A member follows Thouless in providing a coded message, with the intention of communicating the key to demonstrate his survival of death. HAS DR THOULESS SURVIVED DEATH? Journal 53, 1985, pp. 135-6. survival/experiments/methodology

Thomas, C. Drayton. PRECOGNITION AND HUMAN SURVIVAL, Journal 35, 1949, p. 69. An investigator of the medium Gladys Osborne Leonard reviews evidence for survival. survival/mental mediumship/theory

Broad, C.D. IMMANUEL KANT AND PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Proceedings 49, 1950, pp. 79-104. An historical and philosophical analysis of Kant’s writings on Emanuel Swedenborg. Considers the two major documents in which Kant discusses Swedenborg: one, a letter to Charlotte von Knobloch written sometime in 1763; the other, a book entitled Traume Eines Geistersehers Erlautert Durch Die Traume Der Metaphysik (1766). Contrasts the generally respectful account of Swedenborg in the letter with the less than favourable account in the book. Suggests that the reason for the disparity may have been due to the nature of Swedenborg’s Arcana Coelestia (1749-1756), which Kant had purchased after writing the letter and found disappointing. Also considers Kant’s analysis of the problems raised by Swedenborg’s theories and claims. Examines his discussion of the nature of a spiritual substance, the problems raised by embodied spirits, the notion of a world of interrelated spirits, and the possible ways the spirit and temporal worlds may interact. Kant’s views on these matters are very close to those of Swedenborg, a fact which Kant appreciated but attributed to chance. Also includes a synopsis of Kant’s views on the psychophysiological conditions of waking sensory hallucinations. Concludes that although Kant speculated seriously on psychic matters, he did not envisage the careful and systematic study of ostensibly supernormal cognitive and active powers that is psychical research.   PsiLine [Reprinted, with an additional postscript, in C.D. Broad, RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY AND PSYCHICAL RESEARCH (pp. 147155). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1953.]. psi/survival/beliefs/theory

Price, H.H. SURVIVAL AND THE IDEA OF ‘ANOTHER WORLD’, Proceedings 50, 1953-6, pp. 1-25. A rare and frequently-quoted attempt to picture afterlife conditions. Price, Professor of Logic at Oxford University, suggests that survival is rejected by many because the concept is unimaginable, but argues that it reasonable to posit the existence of a mental world of images, which have the status of objective fact to those who experience it. Questions such as perception of self and of others, location in space, and of the sense of reality cease to apply where there is no longer any comparison with the physical state. He goes on to defend the spiritualistic conception of quasi-material images offered in mediumistic communications, in a world governed by desire and the principles of Freudian psychology. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 37, 1953-4, pp. 79-80, 109-12, 171-9, 217-8. See also Noyes, Ralph. THE CONCEPT OF A PSYCHOSPHERE, Journal 62, 1997-8, pp. 353-60. survival/theory

Broad, C.D. PHANTASMS OF THE LIVING AND OF THE DEAD, Proceedings 50, 1953-6, pp. 51-66. Analyses the type of evidence offered in the Society’s early research on apparitions, with particular reference to reciprocal cases and Edmund Gurney’s theory of ‘telepathic infection’. Various difficulties with this approach are noted. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 37, 1953-4, pp. 253-6. apparitions/hauntings/survival/theory

Hart, Hornell et al. SIX THEORIES ABOUT APPARITIONS, Proceedings 50, 1953-6, pp. 153-239. A two-part study of characteristics. Considered to be of particular significance is the suggestion in the first part that features reported in apparitions of the living are broadly similar to those of individuals known to be dead, implying that the dead continue to share the mental characteristics of the living and, by extension, that survival of death actually occurs. In the second part, five existing approaches to the nature of apparitions are noted and a sixth proposed. Rather than trying to determine whether an apparition is composed of physical matter, ‘psychic ether’ or is merely a mental hallucination, the new theory classifies and compares the factual characteristics reported. Various conflicts between the data and the arguments of Gurney, Tyrrell, Myers, H.H. Price and others are then noted and a revision proposed that combines their strengths and eliminates their shortcomings (229). The implications of the theories in regard to survival are considered separately (233). CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 38, 1955-6, pp. 380-89; Journal 39, pp. 97-101. apparitions/survival/theory

Hart, Hornell. TO WHAT EXTENT CAN THE ISSUES WITH REGARD TO SURVIVAL BE RECONCILED?, Journal 39, 1957-8, pp. 314-23. Proposes a ‘personal theory’ with the potential to account both for the claims made about mediumistic communications and for the objections made by critics. The author suggests that in sittings a personality structure may be created that may reflect veridical facts, or be entirely fictitious, or be used as a vehicle of expression by an ?-thinking spirit’. altered states/mental mediumship/survival/theory

Gauld, Alan. THE ‘SUPER-ESP’ HYPOTHESIS, Proceedings 53, 1960-62, pp. 226-46. A critique of the principle that evidence suggesting survival is better explained as an operation of the ‘subliminal selves’ of the living. Gauld argues that both the theory itself, and Myers’s conception of the subliminal self on which it is based, are untestable ‘tales’. He points out that it is impossible to give scientific reasons either for affirming or denying the sentience of personalities that communicate at séances. He distinguishes two approaches to survival evidence: the ‘ESP theory’ and the ‘subtle body theory’, and assesses the claims of each. survival/theory

Zorab, G. THE CASE OF MRS MATERS, Journal 41, 1961-62, pp. 47-9. A case of brain-damage leading to loss of memory in a patient suggests a material basis to mind that throws doubt on survival. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 101-6. Includes counter-arguments by Ian Stevenson, that memory loss may not depend on organic brain disease. Also pp. 330-32, 379-81; Journal 42, pp. 35-6. survival/consciousness/personality/theory

Ducasse, C.J. & Flew, A.G.N. WHAT WOULD CONSTITUTE CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE OF SURVIVAL, Journal 41, 1961-62, pp. 401-6. See also Journal 42, pp. 56-61. Considers issues raised by the transmission of information tending to indicate survival, preferring to think in terms of surviving ‘minds’ rather than ‘spirits’. Flew questions the dualistic assumptions in this analysis and Ducasse responds. survival/theory

Brookes-Smith, Colin. A HUMANIST REACTION TO SPR LITERATURE, Journal 42, 1963-64, pp. 45-56. Rejects physical evidences of survival from spiritualist mediums, but finds the research on automatic writings more convincing. The author draws attention to the tendency of religions to mature from mythological and messianic beginnings towards ethically-based systems and suggests that communications from Myers and other communicators are intended to create a similar kind of transition. survival/beliefs/theory

Lambert, G.W. FAMILY DEATH WARNINGS, Journal 42, 1963-64, pp. 180-87. Normal causes, including geophysical ones, are sought for noises, knocks and crashes reported in earlier times as supposed ‘warnings’ from family ghosts. hauntings/survival/theory

Sidebottom, E.M. CORRESPONDENCE: ON NOTIONS OF THE ‘SOUL’, Journal 46, 1971-72, pp. 173-5. Brief discussion: aims to correct misconceptions about historical beliefs concerning survival of death. survival/beliefs/theory

Whitby, G. Stanley. [CHURCH’S FELLOWSHIP FOR PSYCHICAL AND SPIRITUAL STUDIES], Journal 47, 1973, p. 61. Recommends the SPR follow the example of Robert Crookall in selecting a range of phenomena [offering evidence of survival] and subjecting them to scientific analysis. survival/methodology

Spedding, Frank. CONCEPTS OF SURVIVAL, Journal 48, 1975-6, pp. 1-18. This discussion of survival evidence touches on reincarnation, out-of-body experiences, a typical spirit communicator, and mystical experiences. survival/psi/theory

Thouless, Robert H. THEORIES ABOUT SURVIVAL, Journal 50, 1979-80, pp. 1-8. Attempts to identify the various approaches to survival held by some psychical researchers and the religions, that include reincarnation and resurrection. survival/beliefs/theory

Parker-Rhodes, Frederick. BODY, MIND AND SOUL, Journal 50, 1979-80, pp. 238-43. Attempts to find an alternative to conventional monist-or-dualist philosophical approaches to the mind-body problem. consciousness/survival/theory

Johnson, Martin. A TECHNIQUE FOR TESTING OF THE PSI-FIELD THEORY WITH SOME IMPLICATIONS FOR SURVIVAL RESEARCH - PARTS 1 & 2, Journal 52, 1983-84, pp. 177-88. See also pp. 245-52. An experiment appears to support the hypothesis of a psi-field hypothesised by W.G.Roll. In the second part the obstacle of the super-psi hypothesis is briefly described, and the experimental method of overcoming it compared with existing methods such as the cipher and combination lock tests. survival/experiments/methodology

Thouless, Robert. DO WE SURVIVE BODILY DEATH?, Proceedings 57, 1984-93, pp. 1-52. A sympathetic overview of survival evidence. Subjects discussed include: religious and parapsychological approaches; the importance of real evidence; mediums (Oliver Lodge’s ‘Raymond’, Mrs Willett, dubious communicators, ‘Philip’, Carington’s word association tests, cross-correspondences); sealed envelope tests; reincarnation; the nature of survival; the existence of a soul; out-of-body experiences; apparitions; near-death experiences. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 53, 1985-86, pp. 121-2. survival/theory

Carlton, Eric. PARAPSYCHOLOGY AS A RELIGIOUS SURROGATE, Journal 54, 1987, pp. 130-38. Argues that parapsychology has taken over from religion the role of understanding life’s meaning. References to Koestler, Durkheim, Peter Berger, etc. psi/survival/beliefs/theory

Lawden, D.F. SOME THOUGHTS ON BIRTH AND DEATH, Journal 56, 1989-91, pp. 39-42. Reflections on the afterlife state, with reference to physics and Eastern mysticism. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 183-5. survival/beliefs/theory

Alvarado, Carlos S. PARAPSYCHOLOGY AND RELIGION: RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS FROM ITALY, Journal 56, 1989-91, pp. 221-4. Parapsychological perspectives on miraculous phenomena are briefly described. psi/survival/beliefs/theory

Dinnage, Rosemary. PSI AND RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE, Journal 56, 1989-91, pp. 355-8. This small sample from personal accounts of mystical experiences collected by Alister Hardy includes descriptions of a sense of a post-mortem world and the continuation of personal relationships. psi/survival/beliefs

Clarke, Dave. BELIEF IN THE PARANORMAL, Journal 56, 1989-91, pp. 412-25. This poll of New Zealand students includes data on belief in life after death. survival/beliefs

Nash, Carroll B. PERSONAL SURVIVAL OF DEATH BY WORLDLINES, Journal 60, 1994-5, pp. 317-21. Discussion of multi-dimensional ideas of matter and consciousness, in relation to survival of death. survival/physics/consciousness/theory

Clarke, Dave. EXPERIENCE AND OTHER REASONS GIVEN FOR BELIEF AND DISBELIEF IN PARANORMAL AND RELIGIOUS PHENOMENA, Journal 60, 1994-5, pp. 371-84. This survey of 385 mature psychology students contains figures on belief in religious doctrine and life after death. survival/beliefs/theory

Alvarado, Carlos S. PROOF AND PROCESS APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF SPONTANEOUS PARAPSYCHOLOGICAL PHENOMENA, Journal 61, 1996-7, pp. 221-4. Summarises and discusses the Society’s approaches to presenting evidences of psychism and survival. psi/survival/methodology

Noyes, Ralph. THE CONCEPT OF A PSYCHOSPHERE, Journal 62, 1997-8, pp. 353-60. Draws attention to the paper ‘Survival and the Idea of "Another World" ‘ by the philosopher H.H. Price (1953), that hypothesizes the existence of a world of mental images. Noyes briefly reviews Price’s arguments, the debt he acknowledged to other thinkers, including the psychical researcher Whately Carington and the philosopher Schopenhauer, and his influence on contemporary researchers. He goes on to suggest that phenomena such as poltergeists and physical séance effects should also be directly included in this world, arguing from the common premise of both ordinary magic and philosophical idealism that holds that images can exert physical influences. He proposes the existence of a separate ‘psychosphere’ which gives rise to such effects, but which is imperceptible to humans, drawing parallels to recent discoveries in orthodox science and describing it as a ‘vast and complex cauldron of ideas, memories, volitions, desires and all the other furniture of conscious experience and unconscious mental functioning’ (357). psi/survival/theory

Fontana, David. EVIDENCE INCONSISTENT WITH THE SUPER-ESP HYPOTHESIS, Journal 63, 1998-9, pp. 175-7. Author’s abstract: The so-called Super-ESP hypothesis is sometimes advanced as an alternative explanation for material suggestive of Survival. The present note details a case from the literature which appears to defy this hypothesis. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 63, 1998, p. 253. survival/theory

Gauld, Alan. SURVIVAL AND PERSONAL IDENTITY: AN ESSAY REVIEW OF R.W.K. PATERSON’S PHILOSOPHY AND THE BELIEF IN A LIFE AFTER DEATH, Journal 62, 1998, pp. 453-62. Detailed description and critique of a sympathetic study of survival by a University of Hull philosophy lecturer. Gauld starts by describing the contents of the book, which include: examination of ontological problems of personal identity; the mind-brain problem, from the perspective of interactionist dualism; philosophical, theological and moral arguments that have been advanced for believing in survival, most of which are dismissed; a brief survey of experience suggestive of survival, such as near-death experiences, veridical apparitions of the dead, mediumistic communications and memories of past lives; and a discussion of what an afterlife might be like, in which descriptions made through mediums are set aside in favour of H.H. Price’s hypothesis of a dream life, but one ‘perhaps influenced by other surviving persons with whom we may be in telepathic rapport’. Gauld argues that despite the moderation of Paterson’s tone and arguments he gives the survival hypothesis ‘too easy a ride,’ in that he quotes relatively weak evidential examples, fails to give adequate weight to the alternative of ‘super-ESP’, and attacks mind-brain positions such as epiphenomenalism and type-type identity theories that are already discredited among philosophers. Gauld’s main concern is with difficulties of establishing personal identity, which he argues the author fails sufficiently to acknowledge as a challenge to the survival hypothesis. He discusses this at some length, suggesting developments that might strengthen a literal interpretation of the ostensible evidence for post-mortem identity. Despite his criticisms, Gauld concludes by recommending the book to philosophers and the general reader. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 63, 1998, p. 178. survival/consciousness/theory

Whiteman, J.H.M. DREAM AND DREAMLIKE STATES SEEN AS KINDS OF POSSESSION: IMPLICATIONS FOR MEDIUMSHIP, ESP AND SURVIVAL, Journal 62, 1998, pp. 407-16. Author’s abstract: An ostensive definition of ‘possession’ is presented in terms of ‘perception or well-supported inference of a controlling power.. .being exercised by a meaningfully intentional force or non-physical being’. It is then deduced that ‘strict’ dream is a possession state. Dreamlike states are also possession states, but the individualist ‘core identity’ (Freud’s ‘Ich’) has some control. Six features of the structuring of dreams and dreamlike states are accounted for if the personality is conceived of as like an orchestra playing under a conductor (‘contributory minds’, with an ‘individual in charge’). The implied world-view, thus confirmed, serves also for explanation of the ‘mental phenomena’ of psychical research and for clarification of problems in regard to ‘survival’. Psychical Research and Depth Psychology, being thus provided, together, with an integral explanatory system, can be said to acquire the full status of ‘sciences’. consciousness/personality/altered states/survival/theory