The Varieties of Afterlife Experience: Epistemological and Cultural Implications

Everton de Oliveira Maraldi, D'Or Institute for Research and Education, Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, Brazil


When parapsychologists talk about survival, they are usually implying personal survival, that is, a process in which memories, motivations, and personality characteristics of a given person somehow persist after bodily death. Are there other conceptions of survival (and of personal identity) that deserve further scientific examination? My purpose with this brief commentary is to expand on Rock et al’s approach by urging survivalists to discuss and investigate further the many different conceptions of (and explanations for) survival. I propose we critically reflect on our theoretical assumptions and their epistemological and cultural consequences.