Tuesday 16 September 2008

Article: "The Metaphysics Of Near-Death Experience

On Sunday a small group of Itladians attended a meeting of the Manchester branch of the Scientific & Medical Network (SMN). These were Di (Woodsprite), Dr. Alan Roberts, Hephzi Yohannan and Keith Robbins. Indeed the excellent afternoon presentation was made by another Itladian, and member of this blog, Joanne (Persephone). Unfortunately Karl (A Dark Philosopher)would have been at the meeting but for a kindly errand of mercy that he had to make to a friend in need.

As you all may be aware I am a full member of the SMN and I have now done five presentations to various SMN groups across the UK and one in Switzerland (where I finally met fellow SMN member and Blog/Forum member Dr. Art Funkhouser)with more planned for the future.

Indeed this is the reason for this posting. At Sunday's meeting was a guy by the name of David Lawton. I recognised the name because David has written a fascinating article on the Near-Death Experience. This was published in the last edition of the SMN Journal.

David and I have both been invited to do presentations at the next Manchester SMN Meeting on 7th February 2009. The overall impression I have is that David himself, and some of the other SMN members, consider that our relative positions vis-a-vis the NDE phenomenon are at opposite ends of a spectrum. Indeed I was given the distinct feeling that the 7th February meeting has the potential to be slightly confrontational. I find this curious because I really enjoyed David's paper and saw some interesting parallels with regard to itlad ... particularly David's very philosophical approach to the phenomenon.

I would like you guys opinion with regard to David's paper. Do you feel that one viewpoint negates the other?

The article can be downloaded in a pdf format from:


(simply copy and paste the above link into your address bar or web search engine).

I look forward to your opinions (Susan Marie particularly).


SM Kovalinsky said...

TONY: I am simply aghast. I have downloaded Lawton's essay, and read the first part of it, but duty demands that I continue later. However, I am so disturbed that I posted a bit on forum, and will repeat my remarks here. I am stunned at the synchronicity! For the past month, I have been doing reading, blogging, and forum posts, and arguing with LeMarcs, over THIS VERY CONCEPT OF PEAKE AND SCHOPENHAUER. I have told LeMarcs that I increasingly view your Daemon and dyad as being in tune with the peculiar metaphysics of Schopenhauer, and with the latter's insistence on a "secret self" which "knows only memory from its secret willing". I had told KLLM that I planned to put together a paper on this, as I thought Peakian theory was so uniquely in tune with Schopenhauer - who is making a comeback in the US through the writings of Chris Hedges and various neo-conservatives - that "Tony constitutes a whole new dynamic and response to consciousness studies, through his alignment with Schopenhauer's refuting will". And now here this Lawton appears, suddenly at your side, having giving it a name which I myself had been using a part of ( I kept calling Peake "vital and dynamic" in his transcendence as opposed to static and non-response evoking)--It was THIS VERY TOPIC that I looked forward to speaking with you on OCT 11, and had planned to bring you a draft of my essay. And now he appears at your side, with Schopenhauer and "vitalism"!!! I am shocked, and do not know whether to laugh or cry now.

SM Kovalinsky said...

Just to add: I had very specific epistemic and phenomenological ideas as to precisely how your CTF was a new paradigm not only for NDE, but for consciousness and memory studies. Just as Peter Novak seems a strange shadow to you, so does this man. You have a peculiar genius for attracting doubles. But it may be wonderful, that you two will co-present, and if you find my own essay fit to enfold into your presentation ( just my general ideas) I would consider it a high honor indeed. I am simply stunned at this development, Tony!!!

SM Kovalinsky said...

addendum: Even Lawton's references to Kantian theory on space/time as "subject's form of representation" was what I myself was writing in terms of the Peakian dyad. I am stunned, stumped, flabegasted!!!

SM Kovalinsky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SM Kovalinsky said...

I had added something, but wanted to revise it, thusly: Lest I seem to be taking a stance toward Lawton which is ungracious or unfair, let me say that his paper is simply beautiful. What horrifies me is that so much of it - Schopenhauer's peculiar grasp of memory, his unique metaphysics, his idea of the realm of objects being the will's projection; and Kant and Wittgenstein on phenomenology -- was something I had been working on to show the unique place in consciousness studies of Anthony Peake. I am a bit perplexed. These ideas were going to be given to you in Liverpool as a sort of gift, and Lawton has taken all the words out of my mouth, as it were. I read Lawton, and I see my own recent writings on Peake. Most perplexing. What do you make of it , Tony? This is not so much Hegelian thesis/antithesis/synthesis, as it is "as for Lawton, so for Peake". Perplexing as all heck.

SM Kovalinsky said...

Thank you for your email, Tony; I do see a way in which Itlad overtakes some of Lawton's theory, and will write my ideas to show you in Oct. thank you again

Karl Le Marcs said...

Susan Marie: Hope you don't mind if I put in my two penneth!

Tony: I have downloaded the publication and have given David Lawton's article and the concept of Transcendental Vitalism (TV) a cursory speed read through.
(I will give it further consideration over the next few days)

I certainly do NOT see the article in ANY way as being antithetical to ITLAD. I also see a number of slight fallacies in the Kanterian and Schopenhauerian interpretations (notably within Kant's Antimonies) which I would seek the author's clarification upon, and I see no reason why the theories of David Lawton (and TV)cannot be synonymous with pure ITLAD theory, but especially with CtCw and BIGTOE.

It would be my favoured approach to introduce to the author some of the basic scientific tenets within ITLAD that adhere to the corresponding philosophical premises. I say this primarily as David Lawton himself acknowledges that he has no scientific knowledge (a priori or a posteriori) and one particularly disturbing sentence by the author in the "In Conclusion" summation of the article where he states:

"But what is Physics? Firstly Physics is purely Epistemic"

How a Science BASED on experimental evidence and observation can be viewed as 'purely epistemic' is beyond me, but is surely suggestive of the author's antipathy to the Scientific Method and its application to the Metaphysical aspects of Philosophy.

I hope to get across to see you shortly Tony so we can discuss this in detail, but we will certainly spend quite some time (over several ales and fine wines in the pub........., er, ITLADic Meeting House) well before the 'head to head' discussion in preparation.

It is my hope that once David Lawton has a) read ITLAD *waves at Cam* (if he has not done so already) and b) allowed an introdution to the basic Scientific elements that Quantum Mechanics can lend to Classical Philosophy then he should see ITLAD and TV are mutually sustainable and indeed complimentary, not antithetical.

I enjoyed David Lawton's article, and look forward to meeting him at SMN with you Tony and putting some of my questions to him (as I did to you when I first met you, and now look at us!!)