This presentation will begin with a sketch of the 15-year Esalen “Sursem” (from “survival seminar”) project that resulted in Irreducible Mind (2007) and Beyond Physicalism (2015). The former mainly sought to collect in one place a large amount of empirical evidence for various “rogue” psychological and physiological phenomena that resist or defy explanation in conventional physicalist terms, while the latter went on with a modest degree of success to the more difficult problem of identifying some more commodious sort of conceptual framework, or worldview, or metaphysical system potentially capable of accommodating those phenomena. I will then go on to a brief account of subsequent developments including recent advances in both research and theory, which will result early next year in a third book in this series, and end by attempting to state succinctly what I think the entire project adds up to, both intellectually and practically.
Peter Fenwick was a senior lecturer at King’s College, London, where he worked as a consultant at the Institute of Psychiatry. He was the Consultant Neuropsychologist at both the Maudsley and John Radcliffe hospitals, and also provided services for Broadmoor Hospital. He worked with the Mental Health Group at the University of Southampton, and held a visiting professorship at the Riken Neurosciences Institute in Japan.
Peter is the president of the Horizon Research Foundation, an organisation that supports research into end-of-life experiences. Before this he was the President of the British branch of the International Association for Near-Death Studies.
Peter has been part of the editorial board for a number of journals, including the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, the Journal of Consciousness Studies and the Journal of Epilepsy and Behaviour.