Michael Sudduth (D.Phil., University of Oxford) is a philosopher of religion with a background in analytic philosophy, Christian theology, and eastern philosophy and religion. His spiritual journey has led him from the Christian tradition to the Vaishnava bhakti traditions of India, the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta, and Zen Buddhism, each of which informs his approach to spirituality. He is a professor in the Philosophy Department at San Francisco State University and former resident at Jikoji Zen Meditation Retreat Center. His interests include the philosophy of theism, the nature of religious experience, religious diversity, the philosophical and empirical dimensions to belief in life after death, Advaita Vedanta and Zen Buddhism, and the interface between eastern spiritual practices and western psychotherapeutic modalities.
Sudduth’s Cup of Nirvana blog features analytical-style reflections on philosophical topics at the center of his current research and publications, as well as contemplative explorations in eastern philosophy and spiritual practice. In “In Defense of Sam Harris on Near-Death Experiences” and “What’s Wrong with Survival Literature?,” Sudduth critically discusses contemporary empirical research into the possibility of life after death. He provides a personal narrative related to survival in “Personal Reflections on Life after Death.” By contrast, “The Naked Journey into Now” and “Standing in the Center of the Fire” are contemplative spiritual explorations in the genre of his book Truth is Dancing (in progress), an excerpt of which is provided in “The Invitation”. In a recent Interview, Sudduth discusses the relationship between his spiritual practice and work as a philosopher. Subscribe to Cup of Nirvana.
A Philosophical Critique of Empirical Arguments for Postmortem Survival (Palgrave Macmillan – Palgrave Frontiers in Philosophy of Religion) Now available at Amazon and through Palgrave Macmillan. Read sample chapter.
Michael Sudduth provides a critical exploration of classical empirical arguments for post-mortem survival—arguments that purport to show that data collected from ostensibly paranormal phenomena constitute good evidence for the survival of the self or individual consciousness after death. Focusing specifically on arguments based on the data of out-of-body/near-death experiences, mediumship, and cases of the reincarnation type, he aims to revive the tradition of empirical inquiry into life after death associated with philosophers William James, C.D. Broad, H.H. Price, and C.J. Ducasse. Sudduth proposes to advance the debate with a novel approach. For the first time, the traditional arguments are formalized using the tools of formal epistemology. Sudduth shows that this procedure exposes the Achilles Heel of the classical arguments, a self-defeating dependence on auxiliary assumptions. He further argues that when reformulated in the light of the “problem of auxiliaries,” long-standing skeptical objections to survival arguments are immune to traditional survivalist counter-arguments. For further details, visit Facebook – Philosophy of Postmortem Survival, or read Book Overview or sample chapter.
“Michael Sudduth has produced a ground-breaking work – original, nuanced, empirically comprehensive, and conceptually sophisticated. It sheds new light on the confusions and superficiality dominating the literature on postmortem survival, and is a major contribution to survival research.” – Stephen Braude
Rachael Yamagata – Horizon