Date: Winter 2011
Creator: Alvarado, Carlos S.
Description: Abstract: Between 1889 and 1903, several authors published papers in the French journal "Revue Philosophique de la France et de l'Etranger" and in a few other publications in which they discussed panoramic memory, changes of affect, and a sense of detachment from the body in dying persons. With a few exceptions these publications have been ignored in modern discussion of the phenomena of the dying. Whereas philosopher Victor Egger postulated the psychological explanation that panoramic memory results from the dying person's thoughts of imminent death, physicians Paul Sollier and Charles Féré and psychologist Henri Piéron proposed that it, as well as changes in affect, result from physiological changes in the body sensibility and in the brain. Like many authors today who speculate about near-death experiences, the authors in question did not have much evidence for their explanations. These ideas, and their physiological aspects, were part of a general interest in unusual phenomena and states of consciousness during the 19th century.
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