The Past Lives Podcast Ep196 – Sharon Rawlette

Evidence of an afterlife. This week I am talking to Sharon Rawlette about her book ‘Beyond Death: The Best Evidence for the Survival of Human Consciousness’.

Does consciousness continue after death? For 150 years, scientists, doctors, and other highly qualified investigators have carefully collected evidence in hopes of answering this question. In this award-winning essay, Sharon Hewitt Rawlette analyzes the best of that evidence to date.

Starting with third-person phenomena such as after-death apparitions, mediumship, and telephone calls from the dead and moving on to first-person phenomena like near-death experiences, memories of previous lives, and memories of the period between lives, Rawlette lays out the vast landscape of evidence for life beyond the grave. She argues that extensive cross-validation between first- and third-person evidence cripples the strongest skeptical arguments brought against each type considered alone. Ultimately, she concludes that the survival of consciousness is the best explanation for the evidence taken as a whole and considers what implications this has for our understanding of the world we live in, even while we are still on this side of death.

Both readable and rigorous, Beyond Death is a fascinating distillation of a century and a half of afterlife research.


Sharon is an analytically trained philosopher (PhD from New York University, 2008) who specializes in metaethics and the metaphysics and epistemology of paranormal experiences. My most recent scholarly publication is on the topic of the statistical significance of psychic coincidences and their implications for belief in psychic causation. Her past publications include The Feeling of Value (2016), a defense of analytic descriptivism in ethics, and “What do our intuitions about the experience machine really tell us about hedonism?” (2010).