“The Possibility of an Afterlife”: An Interpretation and Defense of D.H. Lund’s View of the Self as an Immaterial Center of Subjective States

Document Type : Original Article


PhD Student, Department of Philosophy of Religion, Faculty of Theology, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


The question of the probability of life after death has been of the highest importance throughout the ages for great numbers of people. The denial of its possibility is frequently based on a conception of a person as a completely material (or physical) being by appealing to both empirical evidence and philosophical argument. In this study, based on Lund’s view, we will present and defend a mind-body dualism in which the immaterial self does not consist in, and might not depend for its existence upon, the existence of the body and so might continue to exist after bodily death. The close association of these two distinct entities is due to a causal connection — a connection that fails to establish that the physical brings the mental into existence and is compatible with theories that the source of consciousness is not in the brain (e.g., the transceiver theory). In view of this, the continued existence of the self beyond the death of its body would be not only metaphysically possible but might be in accord with the laws of nature (i.e., naturally possible) as well. Arguments will be advanced in support of this form of dualism. They may be classified as follows: 1. the nature of the self (as known through acquaintance or phenomenology) and what it is to be a person, 2. Interactionist dualism and “transceiver” theory, 3. The self as an ontologically basic particular that experiences the world.