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Henry Whitehead (bishop)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/17/20

Image
© National Portrait Gallery, London. Henry Whitehead, by Elliott & Fry. Albumen cabinet card, circa 1900. Given by Corporation of Church House, 1949. Sitter: Henry Whitehead (1863-1947), Bishop of Madras. Artist:
Elliott & Fry (active 1863-1962), Photographers. Portrait set: Photographs of Anglican Bishops, 1860s-1940s


Henry Whitehead (19 December 1853 – 14 April 1947) was an eminent Anglican bishop in the last decade of the 19th century[1] and the first quarter of the 20th.

Whitehead was educated at Sherborne and Trinity College, Oxford.[2] Ordained in 1879 his first post was as a preacher at St Nicholas, Abingdon.[3] He then emigrated to India where he was principal of Bishop’s College, Calcutta[4] from 1883 to 1899. On St Peter's Day (29 June) 1899, he was consecrated a bishop by Frederick Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, at St Paul's Cathedral,[5] to serve as the fifth Bishop of Madras,[6][7] an office he held for 23 years. In 1903 he married Isabel Duncan.[8] A noted author on his adopted country, he died on 14 April 1947.[9] He had become a Doctor of Divinity (DD).

Whitehead was the brother of the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead and the father of the mathematician J. H. C. Whitehead.

Publications

• Whitehead, Henry (1916). The Village Gods of South India. Humphrey Milford.
• Whitehead, Henry (1924). Indian Problems in Religion, Education, Politics. Constable.
• Anderson, George; Whitehead, Henry (1932). Christian Education in India. Macmillan.
References[edit]
1. The Clergy List, Clerical Guide and Ecclesiastical Directory London, John Phillips, 1900
2. "Who was Who"1897-1990 London, A & C Black, 1991 ISBN 0-7136-3457-X
3. "Church details". Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 15 March 2009.
4. Anglican History
5. "Consecration of bishops". Church Times (#1901). 30 June 1899. p. 783. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 30 October 2019 – via UK Press Online archives.
6. "Consecration Of Bishops". Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette. 8 July 1899. p. 7 col B. Retrieved 28 May 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive.
7. The Times, Monday, 13 February 1899; p. 12; Issue 35751; col A Ecclesiastical Intelligence New Bishop of Calcutta
8. "Marriage". Warminster & Westbury Journal, and Wilts County Advertiser. 18 July 1903. p. 8 col E. Retrieved 28 May 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive.
9. "Obituary Bishop Whitehead Forty Years In India" The Times Thursday, 17 April 1947; p. 7; Issue 50737; col E

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J. H. C. Whitehead [John Henry Constantine Whitehead]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/17/20

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J. H. C. Whitehead
Born: 11 November 1904, Madras (Chennai), India
Died: 8 May 1960 (aged 55), Princeton, New Jersey
Nationality: British
Alma mater: Oxford University; Princeton University
Known for: CW complex; Simple homotopy; Crossed module; Whitehead group; Whitehead manifold; Whitehead product
Awards: Senior Berwick Prize (1948); Fellow of the Royal Society[1]
Scientific career
Fields: Mathematics
Institutions: Oxford University
Doctoral advisor: Oswald Veblen
Doctoral students: Ronald Brown; Graham Higman; Peter Hilton; Ioan James

John Henry Constantine Whitehead FRS[1] (11 November 1904 – 8 May 1960), known as Henry, was a British mathematician and was one of the founders of homotopy theory. He was born in Chennai (then known as Madras), in India, and died in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1960.

Life

J. H. C. (Henry) Whitehead was the son of the Right Rev. Henry Whitehead, Bishop of Madras, who had studied mathematics at Oxford, and was the nephew of Alfred North Whitehead and Isobel Duncan. He was brought up in Oxford, went to Eton and read mathematics at Balliol College, Oxford. After a year working as a stockbroker, at Buckmaster & Moore, he started a PhD in 1929 at Princeton University. His thesis, titled The representation of projective spaces, was written under the direction of Oswald Veblen in 1930. While in Princeton, he also worked with Solomon Lefschetz.

He became a fellow of Balliol in 1933. In 1934 he married the concert pianist Barbara Smyth [Barbara Sheila Carew Smyth] , great-great-granddaughter of Elizabeth Fry and a cousin of Peter Pears; they had two sons. In 1936, he co-founded The Invariant Society, the student mathematics society at Oxford.[2]

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During the Second World War he worked on operations research for submarine warfare. Later, he joined the codebreakers at Bletchley Park [with Alan Turing], and by 1945 was one of some fifteen mathematicians working in the "Newmanry", a section headed by Max Newman and responsible for breaking a German teleprinter cipher using machine methods.[3] Those methods included the Colossus machines, early digital electronic computers.[3]

Dead Ends and a Mysterious Disease

The first person to take a serious crack at the Poincare Conjecture was the Englishman John H. C. Whitehead, who usually went by his middle name Henry. Henry Whitehead's father was an Anglican minister; his mother was Isobel Duncan, one of the few female math scholars at Oxford at the time. Mathematics seemed to run in the family: Alfred North Whitehead, the famous philosopher and coauthor -- with Bertrand Russell -- of Principa Mathematica, was his father's brother.

Whitehead's life was quite unspectacular, with little for the biographer to chronicle, as a colleague would put it in an obituary. Henry was born in Madras (now Chennai) in India, where his father served as a bishop. Apparently the parents felt that India was not the ideal place to bring up an English child, and when he was one and a half years old, they brought him back to Britain. There he was raised by his maternal granndmother, who lived in Oxford. Later in life he would fondly remember the drives in her carriage, which shaped his lifelong attachment to the university town, Only after his father's retirement, fifteen years later, did the boy see his parents more than just occasionally.

Henry got the best education that the English school system had to offer. Even though he was of above average intelligence according to his teachers in primary school, he was no child prodigy. Somewhat careless in his work and not very good at mathematical manipulations, he nevertheless managed to pass the entrance examination to Eton, the most prestigious of England's boys' schools, After Eton he did his undergraduate studies at Balliol College at Oxford. Known for his high spirits and good humor, he was considered what the English would call a Jolly good fellow. Excelling above all at boxing, cricket, and billiards, he also did fairly well academically, winning first-class honors in Moderations (a first set of examinations) and Finals. But by no means was he an outstanding student. So upon graduation, it seemed natural for him to look for a job, and he moved to the City to become a stockbroker.

Financial markets did not provide the environment that Whitehead wished for in a career. He did not suffer life among the London banks and brokerage houses for long; after barely a year in the City, Whitehead returned to Oxford to do more work in mathematics. Fortunately, one of the world's foremost mathematicians, Oswald Veblen, from Princeton University, was then on a sabbatical visit to Oxford. Together the two men would produce some major works in differential geometry. When Veblen's year at Oxford was up, Whitehead -- who had just received a Commonwealth fellowship -- followed him back to Princeton. During the ensuing three years his interest in and talent for mathematics were firmly established. Together with Veblen he wrote The Foundations of Differential Geometry, which became a classic in Its field, before his interests started shifting toward topology.

Back at Oxford, Whitehead met and fell in love with Barbara Sheila Carew Smyth, a concert pianist with an interest in agriculture and husbandry. The two married in 1934 and had two sons. World War II found Whitehead at legendary Bletchley Park. Supervised by Alan Turing, one of the fathers of modern computing theory, he spent four years cracking German ciphers. During the night of the worst blitz on London, he took shelter in the wine cellar of a friend and passed the time working on a mathematical problem. Somewhat surprisingly, not a single bottle was opened that night. In 1947 he was named Waynflete professor of Pure Mathematics at Oxford's Magdalen College.

Upon the death of his mother in 1953, Whitehead inherited some cattle from her estate, and he and his wife established Manor Farm in the village of Noke, eight kilometers north of Oxford. The couple liked to entertain friends and students in an informal atmosphere. Whitehead was universally liked, with everybody calling him by his first (actually middle) name, Henry. His habit of breaking into song at appropriate -- and sometimes inappropriate -- occasions made him the life of any party but proved to be somewhat disconcerting to his hosts at more formal events. Whitehead died on a sabbatical visit to Princeton quite unexpectedly from a heart attack. It happened at eight o'clock one morning while he was walking back from an all-night undergraduate poker game.

On both sides of the Atlantic he gained the reputation of a profound and deep thinker in mathematics. In the late 1950s he founded the journal Topology. (Recently the board of editors collectively resigned because the subscription price had become too high.) But he did not dismiss the lighter sides of intellectual exercise, and at one time or another he was fond of card puzzles and of palindromes -- "step on no pets" being one of the latter of his own making. By all accounts he was an inspiring teacher and a wonderful talker. As a writer he was less polished, since he had little time and not much taste for elegance. "He gave his readers a rough ride," one of his friends admitted. As a lecturer, he was even worse. There were many jokes about his style of lecturing. One of them claimed that the initials of his name, J.H.C., stood for "Jesus, he's confusing." It was his cheerful personality that most impressed colleagues and students alike. "The fact that the Mathematical Institute at Oxford ... is one of the happiest of all the university departments and laboratories anywhere, is largely a tribute to his gaiety and wholesomeness of spirit," the Times of London wrote in an obituary.  

Whitehead was eight when Poincare died, and about thirty when he turned his attention to the as yet not very famous conjecture. At that time it was just one of a host of open problems: nobody knew how fiendishly difficult the proof would be. Hence, Whitehead simply turned to the standard tools of algebraic topology in search of a proof....

-- Poincare's Prize: The Hundred-Year Quest to Solve One of Math's Greatest Puzzles, by George G. Szpiro


From 1947 to 1960 he was the Waynflete Professor of Pure Mathematics at Magdalen College, Oxford.

He became president of the London Mathematical Society (LMS) in 1953, a post he held until 1955.[4] The LMS established two prizes in memory of Whitehead. The first is the annually awarded, to multiple recipients, Whitehead Prize; the second a biennially awarded Senior Whitehead Prize.[5]

Joseph J. Rotman, in his book on algebraic topology, as a tribute to Whitehead's intellect, says, "There is a canard that every textbook of algebraic topology either ends with the definition of the Klein bottle or is a personal communication to J. H. C. Whitehead."[6]

Whitehead died from an asymptomatic heart attack during a visit to Princeton University in May 1960.[7]

In the late 1950s, Whitehead had approached Robert Maxwell, then chairman of Pergamon Press, to start a new journal, Topology, however Whitehead died before its first edition appeared in 1962.

Work

Whitehead's definition of CW complexes gave a setting for homotopy theory that became standard. He introduced the idea of simple homotopy theory, which was later much developed in connection with algebraic K-theory. The Whitehead product is an operation in homotopy theory. The Whitehead problem on abelian groups was solved (as an independence proof) by Saharon Shelah. His involvement with topology and the Poincaré conjecture led to the creation of the Whitehead manifold. The definition of crossed modules is due to him. He also made important contributions in differential topology, particularly on triangulations and their associated smooth structures.

Selected publications

• Whitehead, J. H. C. (October 1940). "On C1-Complexes". The Annals of Mathematics. Second Series. 41 (4): 809–824. doi:10.2307/1968861. JSTOR 1968861.
• J. H. C. Whitehead, On incidence matrices, nuclei and homotopy types, Ann. of Math. (2) 42 (1941), 1197–1239.
• J. H. C. Whitehead, Combinatorial homotopy. I., Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 55 (1949), 213–245
• J. H. C. Whitehead, Combinatorial homotopy. II., Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 55 (1949), 453–496
• J. H. C. Whitehead, A certain exact sequence, Ann. of Math. (2) 52 (1950), 51–110
• J. H. C. Whitehead, Simple homotopy types, Amer. J. Math. 72 (1950), 1–57.
• Saunders MacLane, J. H. C. Whitehead, On the 3-type of a complex, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 36 (1950), 41–48.
• Whitehead, J.H.C. (1961). "Manifolds with Transverse Fields in Euclidean Space". The Annals of Mathematics. 73 (1): 154–212. doi:10.2307/1970286. JSTOR 1970286. (published posthumously)

See also

• Simple homotopy
• Spanier–Whitehead duality
• Whitehead conjecture
• Whitehead problem
• Whitehead link
• Whitehead theorem
• Whitehead torsion
• Whitehead's lemma (Lie algebras)

References

1. Newman, M. H. A. (1961). "John Henry Constantine Whitehead. 1904-1960". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 7: 349–363. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1961.0025.
2. The Early History of the Invariant Society by Robin Wilson, printed in The Invariant (2010), Ben Hoskin
3. Paul Gannon, Colossus: Bletchley Park's Greatest Secret, 2006, Atlantic Books; ISBN 1-84354-330-3. p. 347
4. "MacTutor History of Mathematics archive". Retrieved 8 July 2007.
5. "List of LMS prize winners". Retrieved 27 July 2013.
6. https://www.springer.com/us/book/9780387966786
7. James, I. M. (1962). Mathematical Works of J. C. H. Whitehead. Oxford: Pergamon. p. xviii. ISBN 9781483164731. Retrieved 8 January 2015.

External links

• J. H. C. Whitehead at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
• O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "J. H. C. Whitehead", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.

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Oliver Whitehead
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/17/20

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Oliver Whitehead
Oliver Whitehead in 2013
Background information
Born: 29 August 1948 (age 71), Oxford, England, United Kingdom
Genres: Jazz, classical
Occupation(s): Guitarist, composer, teacher
Instruments: Guitar
Years active: 1968–present
Labels: Justin Time, IBS, Angel Air
Associated acts: Linda Hoyle, Mo Foster, The Antler River Project

Oliver Whitehead is a guitarist and composer, originally from England, who has worked mostly in Canada. He is an Associate Composer at the Canadian Music Centre.[1] His orchestral works include the oratorio We Shall be Changed (1993), Concerto For Oboe (1996) and Pissarro Landscapes (2000). His jazz album Free For Now was nominated for a Juno Award as Best Jazz Album of 1985.[2] He has composed for, and played with, many individual musicians and groups over the years, most recently world music/jazz group The Antler River Project,[3] the singer Linda Hoyle and the music producer and songwriter/composer Mo Foster. The Fetch, an album of original songs by Linda Hoyle, Mo Foster and Whitehead, was released in August 2015. In 2018, Whitehead’s first opera, Look! An Opera in 9 Paintings – about a couple on an awkward date at an art gallery – was debuted to sold-out performances[4] at Museum London, Canada. Whitehead collaborated with Hoyle on the libretto.

Early life and influences

Oliver's father Henry Whitehead was a mathematician at Balliol College, Oxford, and a codebreaker at Bletchley Park during World War II. His son knew almost nothing of the latter fact until 1995, three decades after his father's death, when the Official Secrets Act on WWII service expired. His mother Barbara began a career as a concert pianist (under her maiden name Smyth), but spent most of the 1950s and 60s running a farm that the family bought in the tiny village of Noke, near Oxford. Barbara's first cousin was the operatic tenor Peter Pears, partner of composer Benjamin Britten. Pears and Britten were close with the Whiteheads, often exchanging visits.

Oliver grew up in a home where classical music was highly valued—and jazz was little understood and rarely played. His parents tried to give him formal piano lessons. Instead, Oliver taught himself guitar and, by means of the radio and his wind-up 78 rpm gramophone, soon discovered all the British chart-toppers of the day, such as Tommy Steele, Lonnie Donegan and Cliff Richard, later finding more advanced models in Andres Segovia and Django Reinhardt.

After his father's early death in 1959, when Oliver was 11, his mother increasingly spent time in Donegal, Ireland, where she had holidayed as a child, eventually moving there permanently in 1970. Traditional Irish tunes became another ingredient in Oliver's mental music box.

The only guitar lesson Oliver ever took was from Julian Bream, who showed him a few blues and jazz licks, during a Christmas party with Britten and Pears in 1962.

At school, Oliver and his friends (including blues singer-guitarist Giles Hedley[5]) shared a passionate love of blues and folk, mostly American. He came to the US at age 17, to study literature at Princeton University, where his father had worked for many years at the Institute For Advanced Study. In 1970 he moved to Canada to pursue post-graduate studies at the University of Toronto.

Musical career

In 1978,Oliver moved to London, Ontario to take up an academic post at Western University. With the encouragement of some new friends there, he began to play and compose jazz for the first time, and formed the Oliver Whitehead Quintet (1983–1990), fronted by sax player Chris Robinson, to play original compositions by him and pianist Patrick Dubois. Their first LP was encouragingly nominated for Best Jazz Album in Canada's Juno Award of 1985. The quintet played twice at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, as well as other jazz fests in Detroit, Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton and Vancouver.

By 1997, Whitehead was incorporating more world music elements in his compositions, beginning with The Mass For All Creatures, a full length mass commissioned for a Blessing of the Animals ceremony, for child and adult choirs, and instrumentation that included African percussion and Celtic harp. The key players in that work went on to form The Antler River Project, which continues to play original jazz/world music compositions by Whitehead and pianist Steve Holowitz.

Whitehead wrote his first classical / art music piece—the oratorio We Shall Be Changed—in 1993, on commission from Pro Musica and Orchestra London Canada. That oratorio is based on the book Cosmic Consciousness by Richard Maurice Bucke, an early 20th-century psychiatrist and mystic who lived in London, Ontario. Other classical commissions followed, described in the list below.

Teaching

Whitehead has never taught music. After completing a PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto, under Northrop Frye, he began in 1978 to teach English and Comparative Literature and Culture, at Western University in London, Ontario, and continued for the next 35 years. Although he started as a full-timer, he resigned in 1988, to take up year-to-year, part-time contracts at the university, to devote more time to music. Over the years, his teaching course load focused on Shakespeare, Foundations of Literature (Homer, Virgil the Bible, Renaissance) and Literature and Music; as well as general survey courses. The field of Comparative Literature allowed him the freedom to break traditional academic boundaries by incorporating all the art forms, especially music, in his courses.

Personal life

Whitehead has been married since 1984 to Mary Malone, a journalist and communications project manager from Montreal. They have two daughters, Anne and Claire. He is a cryptic crossword addict.

Discography

Compositions performed by his musical ensembles

Year / Album / Performers & notes / Label


1984 / Free For Now / The Oliver Whitehead Quintet, nominated for the 1985 Juno award – Best Jazz Album / Justin Time

1985 / Pulse/Impulse / The Oliver Whitehead Quintet / Justin Time

1998 / The Mass For All Creatures / The St. Francis Ensemble / --

1998 / Resonance / Oliver Whitehead and Marg Stowe / --

2011 / Latitude 43 / The Antler River Project / --


Compositions performed by other musicians

Year / Album / Whitehead tracks / Performers / Notes / Label


1995 / Transformations / "We Shall Be Changed" (6 tracks) / London Pro Musica and Orchestra London Canada / An oratorio about Richard Maurice Bucke / IBS

1998 / Home Suite Home / "Home Suite Home" (3 tracks) / The Aeolian Winds / A three movement suite for woodwinds / IBS

2007 / The Nightingale's Rhapsody / "Pissarro Landscapes" (4 tracks) / Jerome Summers, clarinet / A suite for clarinet, piano and strings, inspired by paintings by Camille Pissarro / Cambria

2015 / The Fetch / (6 of 12 tracks) "The Fetch," "Confessional," "Brighton Pier," "It's The World," "Maida Vale," "So Simple," "Acknowledgements" / All lyrics by Linda Hoyle / Sung by Linda Hoyle / Angel Air

2018 / Look! An Opera in 9 Paintings / “Arriving,” ”Elmwood Avenue,” “The London Six,” “The White Painting,” “Every Summer.” “Sky Woman,” “Rain,” “Olga and Mary,” “Wheel,” “Dairy Queen,” “Leaving” / Paul Grambo, Sonja Gustafson, Steve Holowitz, Christine Newland / A nine movement opera, with visual projections, about paintings by artists in London, Ontario / Museum London (view opera online)


Arrangements for other artists

Year / Album / Whitehead tracks / Performers


2001 / The World Awaits: Songs for a winter's night / "River" (by Joni Mitchell) "Huron Carol" (by Jean de Brebeuf) "Riu Riu Chiu" (traditional)) / Project Sing; Eleven Eleven Productions

2003 / Goode Cheare: Christmas celebrations old and new / "Carol of The Birds," "Fum Fum Fum," "All Hail to the Dayes," "Gaudete," "Huron Carol," "Patapan," "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day," "Carol of the Bells" (all traditional) "In The Bleak Midwinter" (by Gustav Holst) / Guelph Chamber Choir

2008 / Songs of the Land / "All The Diamonds in The World" (by Bruce Cockburn) "Early Morning Rain" (co-arranger: Steve Holowitz), If I Could Read Your Mind (both by Gordon Lightfoot) "Night Ride Home," "Big Yellow Taxi" (both by Joni Mitchell) "Sisters of Mercy," "Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye" (both by Leonard Cohen) "Helpless" (by Neil Young) / London Pro Musica


Compositions

Jazz


• Latitude 43 (2011): Played by The Antler River Project (guitar, keyboards, flute, bass, drums, percussion). Whitehead compositions include: "Altitude," "Early Snow," "The River Suite" (movements 1 and 2) "Dusty Feet," "Whirlpool," "African Galliard," "El Jefe" (with co-composer Steve Holowitz).
• Resonance (1985): Played by Oliver Whitehead and Marg Stowe (two guitars). Whitehead compositions include: "Seen Through Green;" "Life Won't Stand Still;" "Plain and Simple;" "By The Sea;" and these titles, co-composed with Marg Stowe: "Openings," "Folie A Deux," "The House of the Spirits."
• Pulse/Impulse[6] (1985): Played by the Oliver Whitehead Quintet (guitar, keyboards, saxophone, bass, drums). Whitehead compositions include: "The Leopard Hunts," "Street Level," "Green Shade," "Touch The Heart" (with co-composer Patrick Dubois).
• Free For Now (1984): Played by the Oliver Whitehead Quintet (guitar, keyboards, saxophone, bass, drums). Whitehead compositions include: "Free For Now," "Six String Waltz," "Excuses, Excuses," "Woman In Blue," "Crazy Season." Liner notes by Katie Malloch of CBC Radio.

Pop / Rock

• The Fetch (2015) : All songs include lyrics written and sung by Linda Hoyle. Whitehead compositions: “The Fetch,” “Confessional,” “Brighton Pier,” “It’s The World,” “Maida Vale,” “So Simple,” “Acknowledgements.” Played by several musicians in Canada and England. Instrumentation includes: guitars, bass (acoustic, electric and fretless), drums, percussion, cello, piano, keyboards, church organ, mandolin, accordion, electric sitar, soprano sax.

Classical and art music

• Look! An Opera in 9 Paintings (2018): A 60 minute chamber opera for soprano and baritone, with piano and cello accompaniment; music and libretto by Oliver Whitehead, with co-lyricist Linda Hoyle and additional lyrics by Claire Whitehead. Supported by the London Arts Council and the Good Foundation Inc. Premiere: 3 June 2018 at Museum London, Canada.
• Excitations (2012) : A three-movement work for flute and piano. Premièred 9 November 2012. with Fiona Wilkinson,[7] flute, and Mark Payne, piano. Von Kuster Hall, Western University.
• Brushstrokes Decorating A Fan (2008): A song-cycle of seven settings of short poems by James Reaney for Soprano voice, flute, piano and guitar; co-composed with Steven Holowitz. Premiere, 15 February 2008 at First St. Andrew's United Church, London, ON, with Sonja Gustafson, soprano.
• Uhuru Peak (2008): A 15-minute work for cello and orchestra, commissioned by Christine Newland and Orchestra London, and supported by a grant from the Ontario Arts Council. Premiere: 6 June 2008 at the Grand Theatre, London, Ontario.
• The Blue Scales Quintet (2007): Commissioned by CBC Radio for the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, was composed in 2007 and received its premiere at the festival on 5 August 2008. It is a three-movement piece with many elements drawn from jazz. The mandate of the composition was to use the same instrumentation as Schubert's "Trout" quintet, to which the title punningly refers.
• Pissarro Landscapes (2000): Four pieces for clarinet, piano and string orchestra (length: c.15 m.) Co-commissioned by the International Symphony Orchestra and the Woodstock Strings for Jerome Summers, clarinet. Premiere: 12 February 2000, by the ISO, Port Huron, Michigan. Recorded by Jerome Summers for the Cambria label in Ottawa, April 2006
• The Mass For All Creatures (1997): A world-music mass commissioned by St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in London, Ontario, written for adult choir, children’s choir and an ensemble of flute, Celtic harp, guitar, piano, bass and 3 percussionists. Premiere: October 1997. Released on CD in the fall of 1998
• Games Without Rules (1997): A Seven-part electro-acoustic composition for MIDI-implemented flute, oboe and sequencer. Premiere by Fiona Wilkinson[8] and Harry Sargous, 5 March 1997
• Concerto For Oboe (1997): Premiered 26 November 1997. Ian Franklin with Orchestra London Canada
• The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1995): A 40-minute electronic ballet score for the Ontario Ballet Theatre. Performed throughout Ontario from Oct.'95 to April '96
• Home/Suite/Home (1994): A suite in five movements for woodwind quintet. It is the title piece on the Aeolian Winds' CD of the same name (released summer 1998) on the IBS label. It has been broadcast twice in its entirety by CBC Radio 2, in performances by the Aeolian Winds: 1) A performance on 30 September 1994. 2) A performance in 1996 in London, Ont
• The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe: A ballet adaptation of C.S Lewis's classic children's story, commissioned by the Ontario Ballet Theatre and choreographed by Patti Caplette of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. The work is approximately forty minutes in length.
• We Shall Be Changed (1993): An oratorio in six movements (43 minutes) for choir with symphony orchestra, premiered by London Pro Musica and Orchestra London in May 1993.
• Aladdin: A forty-minute ballet score for the Ontario Ballet Theatre. Choreographed by Patti Caplette.
• The Wind In The Willows: A 40-minute electronic ballet score for the Ontario Ballet Theatre
• Childhood Musette (1992): A setting of James Reaney's poem for voice and piano, performed by Ernest Redekop in "The Great Reaney Suite," 16 February 1992, Von Kuster Hall, UWO
• Rapunzel: A 40-minute electronic score for the Ontario Ballet Theatre.
• The Magic Flute: A 40-minute electronic ballet for the Ontario Ballet Theatre

References

1. "Composer Showcase". Canadian Music Centre. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
2. "Yearly Summary". JUNO, Canada's Music Awards. The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS). 1985. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
3. "The Antler River Project". Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
4. "A museum. An opera. A unique London experience". The London Free Press. 19 June 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
5. "Giles Hedley". Giles Hedley. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
6. "Downbeat". Downbeat: 38. October 1986.
7. "Fiona Wilkinson, Flute". Western University. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
8. "Fiona Wilkinson, Associate Professor, Flute and Chamber Music". Western University. Retrieved 2 August 2014.

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Richard Maurice Bucke
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/17/20

Image
Richard Maurice Bucke.

Richard Maurice Bucke (18 March 1837 – 19 February 1902), often called Maurice Bucke, was a prominent Canadian psychiatrist in the late 19th century.

An adventurer during his youth, Bucke later studied medicine. Eventually, as a psychiatrist, he headed the provincial Asylum for the Insane in London, Ontario. Bucke was a friend of several noted men of letters in Canada, the United States, and England.[1]

Besides publishing professional articles, Bucke wrote three non-fiction books: Man's Moral Nature, Walt Whitman, and Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind, which is his best-known work.

Early life

Richard Maurice Bucke was born in 1837 in Methwold, England, the son of Rev. Horatio Walpole Bucke (a parish curate) and his wife Clarissa Andrews. The parents and their children emigrated to Canada when he was a year old, settling near London, Ontario.

Horatio W. Bucke had given up the profession of religious minister, and trusted his family's income to their Ontario farm. A sibling in a large family, Richard Maurice Bucke was a typical farm boy of that era. He was an athletic boy who enjoyed a good ball game. When he left home at the age of 16, he traveled to Columbus, Ohio and then to California. Along the way, Bucke worked at various odd jobs. He was part of a travelling party who had to fight for their lives when they were attacked by Shoshone Indians, whose territory they were trespassing.[2]

In the winter of 1857–58, he was nearly frozen to death in the mountains of California, where he was the sole survivor of a silver-mining party.[3] He had to walk out over the mountains and suffered extreme frostbite. As a result, a foot and several of his toes were amputated. He then returned to Canada via the Isthmus of Panama, probably in 1858.[4][5]

Medicine and Psychiatry

Bucke enrolled in McGill University's medical school in Montreal, where he delivered a distinguished thesis in 1862. Although he practiced general medicine briefly as a ship's surgeon (in order to pay for his sea travel), he later specialized in psychiatry. He did his internship in London (1862–63) at University College Hospital. During that time he visited France.

He was for several years an enthusiast for Auguste Comte's positivist philosophy.[2] Huston Smith said of Comte's philosophy: "Auguste Comte had laid down the line: religion belonged to the childhood of the human race.... All genuine knowledge is contained within the boundaries of science."[6] Comte's belief that religion, if by that is meant spirituality, had been outmoded by science contrasts with Bucke's later belief concerning the nature of reality.

Bucke returned to Canada in 1864 and married Jessie Gurd in 1865; they had eight children. In January 1876, Bucke became the superintendent of the Asylum for the Insane in Hamilton, Ontario. In 1877, he was appointed head of the provincial Asylum for the Insane in London, Ontario, a post he held for nearly the remainder of his life. In his work with asylum inmates, he was a reformer who encouraged organized sports and what is now called occupational therapy.[2] Some of his surgical treatments proved deeply controversial. After adopting the Victorian-era theory that mental illness in women was often due to defective reproductive organs, Bucke began performing surgical removals of these organs from female patients. He continued this practice until his death, despite receiving increasing amounts of criticism from the medical health care community.[7]

Cosmic consciousness experience

In 1872, after an evening of stimulating conversation with a friend in the countryside, Richard M Bucke, was traveling back to London in a buggy. He relates:

I was in a state of quiet, almost passive enjoyment. All at once, without warning of any kind, I found myself wrapped around as it were by a flame-coloured cloud. For an instant I thought of fire, some sudden conflagration in the great city; the next, I knew that the light was within me.

Directly afterward came upon me a sense of exultation, of immense joyousness accompanied by an intellectual illumination quite impossible to describe. Into my brain streamed one momentary lightning—flash of the Divine Splendor which has ever since lightened my life; upon my heart fell one drop of Divine Bliss, leaving thenceforward for always an aftertaste of heaven.

Among other things, I did not come to believe: I saw and knew that the Cosmos is not dead matter but a living Presence, that the soul of man is immortal, that the universe is so built and ordered that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all, that the foundation principle of the world is what we call love, and that the happiness of everyone in the long run is absolutely certain.

I learned more within the few seconds that illumination lasted than in all my previous years of study and I learned much that no study could ever have taught.

-- Paraphrased in the first person from the book "Cosmic Consciousness" by Richard M Bucke.


He later described the characteristics and effects of the faculty of experiencing this type of consciousness as:

• its sudden appearance
• a subjective experience of light ("inner light")
• moral elevation
• intellectual illumination
• a sense of immortality
• loss of a fear of death
• loss of a sense of sin

Bucke's personal experience of the inner state had yet another attribute, mentioned separately by the author: the vivid sense of the universe as a living presence, rather than as basically lifeless, inert matter.[8]

The supreme occurrence of that night was his real and sole initiation to the new and higher order of ideas. But it was only an initiation. He saw the light but had no more idea whence it came and what it meant than had the first creature that saw the light of the sun.[9]


Bucke did not immediately record the details and interpretation of his experience. This was not done until years later, and only after he had researched much of the world's literature on mysticism and enlightenment and had corresponded with many others about this subject.

Cosmic Consciousness

Bucke's magnum opus was his book Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind.[10] The book is a compilation of various theories rather than strictly a simple record of his original mystical experience.

Bucke borrowed the term "cosmic consciousness" from Edward Carpenter, who had traveled and studied religion in the East. Bucke's friend,[2] Carpenter, had derived the term "cosmic consciousness" from the Eastern term "universal consciousness." In his description of his personal experience, Bucke combined his recollection with thoughts of another of his friends, Caleb Pink ("C.P.")[11]—and others—and recorded his experience in a poetic style.

Cosmic Consciousness was a book which he researched and wrote over a period of many years. It was published in 1901 and has been reprinted several times since then. In it, Bucke describes his own experience, the experiences of contemporaries (most notably Walt Whitman), and the experiences of historical figures, including Jesus, Saint Paul, Muhammad, Plotinus, Dante, Francis Bacon, William Blake, Buddha, and Ramakrishna.

Bucke developed a theory that posited three stages in the development of consciousness:

• the simple consciousness of animals
• the self-consciousness of the mass of humanity (encompassing reason, imagination, and foresight)
• cosmic consciousness — an emerging faculty which is the next stage of human development

Within self-consciousness, there exist gradations among individuals in their degrees of intellectual development and talent. (Bucke considered that no doubt there would be gradations within the level of cosmic consciousness, as well.)

Among the effects of humanity's natural evolutionary progression, Bucke believed he detected a long historical trend in which religious conceptions and theologies had become less and less frightening.

In Cosmic Consciousness, beginning with Part II, Bucke explains how animals developed the senses of hearing and seeing. Further development culminated in the ability to experience and enjoy music. Bucke states that, initially, only a small number of humans were able to see colors and experience music. But eventually these new abilities spread throughout the human race until only a very small number of people were unable to experience colors and music.

In Part III, Bucke hypothesizes that the next stage of human development, which he calls "cosmic consciousness," is slowly beginning to appear and will eventually spread throughout all of humanity.

Bucke’s vision of the world was profoundly optimistic. He wrote in Part I (“First Words”) “that the universe is so built and ordered that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all, that the foundation principle of the world is what we call love and that the happiness of every one is in the long run absolutely certain.”[12]

Involvement with poetry and literature

Bucke was deeply involved in the poetry scene in America and had friends among the literati, especially those who were poets. In 1869, he read Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, an American poet, and was deeply impressed by it.[2] In Cosmic Consciousness, he notes that his cosmic consciousness experience occurred following a night reading Whitman and Romantic poets.[13] Later, he met Whitman in 1877 in Camden, New Jersey, and the two developed a lasting friendship.

Bucke later testified that he was "lifted to and set upon a higher plane of existence" because of his friendship with Whitman. He published a biography of Whitman in 1883 and was one of Whitman's literary executors.[14]

In 1882, Bucke was elected to the English Literature Section of the Royal Society of Canada.[2]

Death

On February 19, 1902, Bucke slipped on a patch of ice in front of his home and struck his head. He died a few hours later without regaining consciousness.

He was deeply mourned by a large circle of friends, who loved him for his sturdy honesty, his warm heart, his intellectual force, but most of all for his noble qualities as a man.[5]


Legacy

Bucke's concept of cosmic consciousness took on a life of its own (though not always well understood) and influenced the thought and writings of many other people. His work is directly referenced by the mystics Franklin Merrell-Wolff [15] and Ouspensky,[16] and it was essential to Aldous Huxley's concept of the perennial philosophy [17] and Evelyn Underhill's concept of mysticism.[18] In India, Aurobindo uses the term cosmic consciousness extensively in his work [19] and Ramana Maharshi was asked about Bucke's concept.[20] Erich Fromm says, in Psychoanalysis and Zen Buddhism, 'What Bucke describes as cosmic consciousness is, in my opinion, precisely the experience which is called satori in Zen Buddhism' and that "Bucke's book is perhaps the book most germane to the topic of this article."[21]

Along with William James's classic work The Varieties of Religious Experience (which cites Bucke), Bucke's Cosmic Consciousness has become part of the foundation of transpersonal psychology.

Bucke was part of a movement that sought to improve the care and treatment of mentally ill persons.

He was one of the founders of the Medical School of the University of Western Ontario. His papers are held at Western University's Archives and Research Collections Centre. The finding aid can be found here https://www.lib.uwo.ca/files/archives/a ... g_Aid1.pdf

He was portrayed by Colm Feore in the 1990 Canadian film Beautiful Dreamers.

Publications

• Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications. 2009. ISBN 9780486471907.
• Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind,1905 Innes edition, facsimile, 37 MB PDF file.
• Diary of R. Maurice Bucke, M.D., C.M, 1863.
• Man's Moral Nature: An Essay, 1879 Internet Archive
• Richard Maurice Bucke, Medical Mystic: Letters of Dr. Bucke to Walt Whitman and His Friends, Artem Lozynsky (editor), 1977, Wayne State University Press, ISBN 0814315763.
• The New Consciousness: Selected Papers of Richard Maurice Bucke 1997, compiled by Cyril Greenland & John Robert Colombo. Toronto: Colombo & Company.
• Walt Whitman (original 1883 edition). OCLC 859421735
• Walt Whitman's Canada 1992, compiled by Cyril Greenland & John Robert Colombo. Toronto: Hounslow Press.

See also

• Cosmic Consciousness
• New Thought
• Nondualism
• Recept
• Spirituality
• Walter Russell
• Henry Landor

References

1. Rechnitzer, Peter A. (1994) The Life of Dr. R.M. Bucke
2. Rechnitzer, Peter A. (1994)
3. Bucke, Richard M. (June 1883). "Twenty-five years ago". Overland Monthly. I. (Second series) (6): 553–560.
4. James H Coyne, Richard Maurice Bucke: A Sketch. Toronto: Henry S. Saunders, 1923, Revised edition Reprinted from the Transactions of The Royal Society of Canada, 1906 pp. 26-30. (NB: Henry Mills Hurd says he returned to Canada in 1860.)
5. Hurd, Henry Mills; William Francis Drewry (1917). The institutional care of the insane in the United States and Canada. 4. et al. Johns Hopkins Press. (google books link) p. 555
6. Smith, Huston (2001) Why Religion Matters. San Francisco: Harper Collins, pp. 94 & 97
7. "The Hysterical Female". Restoring Perspective: Life & Treatment at London's Asylum.
8. Bucke, Richard Maurice (2009). Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-486-47190-7.
9. Bucke, Richard Maurice (2009). Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-486-47190-7.
10. Bucke, Richard Maurice (2009). Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0-486-47190-7.
11. Pink, Caleb (1895). The Angel of the Mental Orient. London: William Reeves.
12. Bucke, Richard Maurice (2009). Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-486-47190-7.
13. Cosmic Consciousness, 7
14. Edward Haviland Miller, Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, New York University Press, 1961, vol.1, p.vii
15. Franklin Merrell-Wolff's Experience and Philosophy, 12
16. see The Cosmic Consciousness of Dr. Richard M. Bucke
17. see pg 68 of Huxley's Perennial Philosophy
18. see Underhill, Mysticism, 7, 193, 255
19. see The Divine Life part 1
20. Be As You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, pg 21: "Q: Of what nature is the realization of westerners who relate that they have had flashes of cosmic consciousness
21. Fromm, Erich (1960). Psychoanalysis and Zen Buddhism. George Allen & Unwin. ISBN 0-04-616029-9.

Bibliography

• James, William (1987), The Varieties of Religious Experience, Library of America, pp. 1–477, ISBN 978-0-940450-38-7.
• James H Coyne, Richard Maurice Bucke: A Sketch, 1906, J. Hope & Sons
• George Hope Stevenson, The Life and Work of Richard Maurice Bucke,: An Appraisal, 1937 (American Journal of Psychiatry, 93, pp. 1127 – 1150)
• Cyril Greenland, Richard Maurice Bucke, M.D. 1837-1902. The evolution of a mystic, 1966
• Samuel Edward Dole Shortt, Victorian Lunacy : Richard M. Bucke and the Practice of Late Nineteenth-Century Psychiatry, 1986, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-30999-9
• Peter Rechnitzer, The Life of Dr. R.M. Bucke, 1994, Quarry Press 1997 edition: ISBN 1-55082-064-8
• P. D. Ouspensky, The Cosmic Consciousness of Dr. Richard M. Bucke, Kessinger Publishing, 2005 edition: ISBN 1-4253-4399-6 (48 pp)
• Susan Maynard, The Illumination of Dr. Bucke: A Journey Beyond the Intellect, 2014, AuthorHouse, Kindle eBooks: ASIN: B00MJ5YKFA (website: http://theilluminationofdrbucke.com)

External links

• Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
• Notes on Bucke at McGill University
• Collections at University of Western Ontario
• Zero Summer
• Cosmic Consciousness at Google Books
• Works by or about Richard Maurice Bucke at Internet Archive
• Works by Richard Maurice Bucke at Project Gutenberg
• Beautiful Dreamers (1990) on IMDb
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Harvard sued by descendant of U.S. slave photographed in 19th century [Peabody Museum]
by Gabriella Borter
March 20, 2019

American Physical Anthropology

A brief survey of American anthropology at the end of World War I shows that little mattered outside the East Coast. Although there were departments of anthropology in other parts of the country such as Chicago and San Francisco, and though the anatomist Wingate Todd at Case Western Reserve worked on physical anthropology, the undisputed center was in the East. Distance prevented anthropologists outside of Boston, New York and Washington from participating in professional activity. Committee membership particularly illustrates this phenomenon. In the capital, an active local anthropological society together with the Smithsonian Institution partially compensated for the lack of a major university center. Washington’s prime was before World War I, but it remained active during the interwar years. Harvard’s anthropology department together with its affiliated Peabody Museum was second only to New York in significance for the profession. During most of this period, Ronald Dixon, Alfred Tozzer, and Earnest Hooton were Harvard’s leading anthropologists. While certainly very different from each other, they maintained the façade of a team. The distance from New York meant that the Harvard anthropologists could profess partial unity based upon geography, at the same time it was not too far for Harvard to be secluded from the centers of power.

As the intellectual center of the country, New York attracted several active anthropological institutions, with close contacts to major philanthropic sources. The Galton Society and Cold Spring Harbor were the centers for the eugenicists and racists, while the New School for Social Research provided a liberal outlet for the Columbia faculty. Both the American Museum of Natural History and Columbia University were the core of anthropological activity and employed anthropologists of liberal and conservative commitments. Despite the ideological diversity, there was contact, at times close, between the opposing camps. The interaction resulted partly from institutional constraints, and partly from association with a larger anthropological community that included many neutrals. Surrounded by, and being part of, the intellectual activity of the city, New York anthropologists were, generally speaking, much more involved in public debates and retreated far less into the ivory tower. Columbia’s anthropology was synonymous with Boas, but he was the exception and many faculty members kept close contacts with eugenics circles. A comparable situation existed in the American Museum where the liberal and conservative groups worked together, though not in cooperation. Henry Fairfield Osborn, the President of the Museum was a close associate of Madison Grant and an adamant Anglo-Saxon supremacist. Nevertheless Boas worked in the Museum for several years, as did Robert Lowie, and later Harry Shapiro and Margaret Mead. The tension and rivalry made a non-partisan approach difficult, and therefore neutrality was not as much a determining force in New York, as it was in Washington and Cambridge.

-- The Retreat of Scientific Racism: Changing Concepts of Race in Britain and the United States Between the World Wars, by Elazar Barkan


From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried is a series of 34 "found" photographs that Weems has re-photographed and significantly altered -- tinting, cropping, framing, and inscribing with verbal text. Some of the photographs in this series, the ones upon which I will focus my reading, were long housed in the archives of Harvard's Peabody Museum (Figures 2.2 and 2.3).

Image
2.2 Carrie Mae Weems (American born 1953). "You Became A Scientific Profile." 1995. From the series, From Here I Saw What Happened And I Cried. Chromogenic color print with sand-blasted text on glass. 26-1/2 x 22-3/4 inches. Courtesy of the artist, Carrie Mae Weems, and the Jack Shainman Gallery, NY.

Image
2.3 Carrie Mae Weems (American, born 1953). "& A Photographic Subject." 1995. From the series, From Here I Saw What Happened And I Cried. Chromogenic color print with sand-blasted text on glass. 26-1/2 x 22-3/4 inches. Courtesy of the artist, Carrie Mae Weems, and the Jack Shainman Gallery, NY.


These photographs were originally taken as part of a mid-nineteenth-century anthropological study in which enslaved father-daughter pairs were photographed (by daguerreotype) in a grievous effort to "document" their supposedly subhuman physiognomy. Anthropologist Louis Agassiz and photographer Joseph T. Zealy together were responsible for the mid-nineteenth-century production of these photographs that were intended as tools of scientific enquiry.
Herein surfaces already an aspect of the complex ideological underpinnings of photographic documentation, a problematic that Weems's series for Hidden Witness magisterially invokes. Weems's re-photographing of the daguerreotypes of enslaved Americans raises the following question: what, exactly, did Zealy and Agassiz 's daguerreotypes, before Weems's altering of the images, document? With the mid-nineteenth-century anthropological lens that drove Agassiz removed, we surely no longer interpret the photographs, preserved in Harvard's Peabody Museum, as documenting the brutal claims of racism to lodge in physiognomy. That is, in Weems's retake of these daguerreotypes, the photographs' original documentary intent is now obviated. But there are traces that remain: a history of racism, linkages between early anthropology and racism, and also the forceful residue of insisted-upon personhood that yet gleams in the eyes of the humiliated objects of study, whom Weems witnesses by re-photographing.

The haunting gesture of Weems's re-presentation of the Peabody Museum photographs in From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried -- photographs that do not make up the bulk of her series, but, for me, form the ethical crux of the series -- has not escaped criticism. Some prominent scholars have raised questions focusing on the ethics of Weems reprinting these disturbing images at all. In a conference paper at Duke University, Cherise Smith raised the question of whether by re-presenting these photographs of slaves at their moment of debasement -- the moment at which the human being is forced to appear as an object of study for the anthropologist (the scientist who, in the case of these photographs, was conducting his study specifically to prove his subjects subhuman) -- Weems does not in fact violate certain ethical codes, codes that would urge us to protect the dead from humiliation.

Smith's conference paper effectively recants her glowing interpretation, in "Fragmented Documents." At the conference at Duke, Smith critiqued Weems's gesture of exposing these humiliated photographic subjects. Likewise, Andrea Liss, in an early and overall positive review of the original Getty exhibition, raises the question with regard to Weems's From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried concerning "how to represent the victim without re-victimizing the victim." But surely the problem here is more complex than re-victimization. For the difficulty inheres in the ethical knot of how representation, particularly in the case of Weems's installation re-presenting images of the dead, may be said to revictimize the dead.

Weems herself has voiced ambivalence about the series, which was so admired by the First Lady, Michelle Obama, as to elicit for Weems an invitation to the White House. Weems states that the series makes her cry, a striking fusion of her role as artist and as witness, a statement that comes close to answering the question of who is the "I" in the sentence, "And I Cried" that closes the series. Weems states further that the series made her painfully aware of the power difference between the photographer, who has photo-power, and the photographic subject, vulnerable in her/his embodiment. This series, of all her work, is the only one of which Weems claims "I cannot live with it," a statement that could be interpreted to mean she feels guilt over having produced the series, though Weems goes on to explain that she means she cannot have images from the series in her house, where she lives. This series is also Weems's signal use of the technique of rephotographing.  

The Peabody Museum daguerreotypes, the re-photographs of which constitute part of Weems's installation, were taken some 150 years before Weems's installation was created, and the enslaved Americans whose images the Peabody Museum kept in its files are no longer alive to be re-victimized in a straightforward sense. In a strictly physical sense, those who suffered the humiliation of Agassiz's "study" are now beyond further harm. It seems imperative, then, that we re-explore, adjust, and tighten our notion of how re-victimization can be enacted against the dead through reproduction of the images of the dead. Can re-victimization be spectral, purely performative, strictly textual? For example, the young woman across whose chest Weems places the text "You Became a Scientific Profile" cannot now walk in and see the image of herself in the Getty or MoMA (where the series is owned in the museum's permanent collection). This nineteenth-century woman cannot confront her own image and feel rage, shame, grief, or desire for vengeance -- whatever we might imagine ourselves feeling were we her.

And yet, confronted specifically with this image, we are caught by the possible repetition of debasement of the, now public, mistreated feminine figure (Figure 2.2). I am interested, in particular, in Liss's response to this young woman's image, as well as to another image in the series of a young woman offering her sex, across which Weems has inscribed the text "You Became Playmate to the Patriarch," insofar as Liss instinctively brings these women back to life -- invoking their former inarguable status as victims and verbally moving to protect them from revictimization.

And Eddie Chambers, in his review of Weems's work exhibited at Cafe Gallery Projects in London, states that "a significant number of the more racist images ought really to be set to one side and not given periodic kisses of life even if such resuscitation takes place by an African American artist under the guise of a knowing and artistic deconstruction and engagement with the U.S.A.'s racist past." The spectacle dimensions of sadism -- not only enacted on the vulnerable body, but also enacted through the gaze -- carry a unique ethical freight (again, I am here using the term sadism to indicate cruelty inflicted in a context of absolute relational vulnerability). The ethical problematic of how representation inscribes violence is raised not only by Weems's From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, but also by the complex critical responses to Weems's work. Cherise Smith's objection to this series is made solely on ethical grounds. What Smith, Liss, and Chambers uncannily share, despite their diverse sophistication as critics of visual objects and culture, is a slide into interpreting these representations -- photographs retaken, cropped, framed, tinted, and inscribed, objects functioning on the representational axis par excellence -- as not only vivid but somehow alive, available to be re-victimized, given a bad kiss of life: revenants of representation.

Weems's work is vulnerable to such hypothetical accusations of sadism not only as history and documentary, but also as aesthetic mark. For implicit in the complaints of Smith, Liss, and Chambers against From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried is a critical gesture of holding Weems responsible for the production of revenants: as if, vampire-like, Weems drew the lifeblood of her art from these wounded innocents (the enslaved Americans represented in Agassiz and Zealy's daguerreotypes), and in so doing, made them revenants, gave them an unhallowed, unasked-for second life. Chambers states that Weems has worked under a "guise," as if Weems should not be trusted -- a masked woman, a sadist, a dominatrix wearing a guise herself. This image of Weems as a masked dominatrix presiding over the victimized images of the enslaved fathers and daughters who were already victims of Zealy and Agassiz is profoundly troubling. Weems's gaze, for these critics, comes in to unholy alliance with the gaze of those who first documented the "photographic subject" whom she reprints.

In other words, Chambers interprets Weems the artist as having a responsibility not, as he explicitly states, in her role of presenting images from the Peabody Museum to the public, but rather more, as he intimates, for looking at the photographs of enslaved Americans and not turning away, and also not allowing her audience to turn away. In the view of Chambers, the most ethical stance would be not to look at all at these images, images that unquestionably humiliate their subjects. In looking, Chambers implies, Weems becomes a sadist: a guise or mask crosses her face as she holds her gaze on these sadistically produced images.
Indeed, in revealing, by reproducing, what might be seen as the origins of documentary photography (i.e., "scientific" documentation through photography), Weems bears down on the ethical problematic of the gaze at the heart of the conceit of documentary photography.

Cherise Smith has beautifully traced the originary complexity of documentary photography, with regards to the African American community, writing on Weems's indebtedness to and departures from DeCarava. Crucially, one must interpret Weems's From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried as already itself posing a critique and simultaneous intensification of the claims of documentary photography. The series critiques the very notion that what Zealy and Agassiz set out to "document" was ever in any sense real -- in fact, it was utterly ideological. The problematic of documentary photography -- that it presumes a reality when that very subtext may always already in fact be ideological -- is revealed in Weems's installation. To be sure, the series documents the savagery of an earlier ideology, even as the photographs that Weems represents were also thought, in their day, to be "documents."

However, I am less interested in querying the difficulties and ambiguities of the status of documentary photography -- the question of just how deceptive the conceit of photography as documentation is -- and more concerned with questions around gender and the gaze raised by Weems's controversial series. In particular, I want to intervene in received notions of the passive, heteronormative, presumptively feminine gaze by reconsidering how the figure of a woman watching violence plays through both the conceptualization and the reception of Weems's offering for the Hidden Witness exhibition. That is, regardless of the complex reengagement of documentary that most certainly occurs in Weems's installation, the aspect of this contretemps to which I want to point is the fact that the series is framed within the visual field of a feminine watcher -- a fact ironically brought forward by critics instinctively interpreting Weems as a character in her own series, a masked dominatrix coldly surveying suffering "photographic subjects" (to borrow the phrase from Weems's own taunting inscription in the series). To rephrase with an emphasis on the nexus of gender and watching, the problematic figure of a woman watching sadism plays through Weems's From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried in ways that both surpass and support the series' interrogation of the documentary genre.

As I have suggested in quoting Liss and Chambers, part of the complex reception of this series seems to be viewer discomfort with images of others' humiliation -- not simply because those images are re-photographed by Weems, but more so because recorded in the images is the history of their being seen by Weems. The record of this moment, of Weems herself seeing the images, is recorded in the tinting, cropping, framing, inscribing, claiming with text that marks the representations. Weems's gender, in particular, seems to trouble Chambers, who envisions Weems erotically kissing the images she reprints -- when, in fact, the series is not in the least erotically titillating. By implication, in presenting these rephotographed photographs, Weems makes very clear that she saw them, was able to continue looking at them, and could look at them with an eye steely enough to allow her not only to re-photograph, but also to remake the images.

The gesture of locating the anthropological daguerreotypes in the Peabody Museum that inaugurates the completed installation articulates Weems in the role of the witness, responding quite directly to the charge of the Hidden Witness exhibition. One imagines Weems's first encounter with the images at the Peabody, their very residence in that bastion of scientific history itself a troubling allegory of the persistence of memory across generations. As witness to the images of sadism recorded in the photographs created by Zealy for Agassiz (the one whose gaze precedes that of her audience), Weems's burden is inflected by gender. Insofar as Weems selects, re-photographs, tints, blasts text across, and generally reclaims the images, she as a woman who looks -- an artist known socially and professionally as a woman -- centers the installation. Weems's earlier The Kitchen Table Series (1990), for example, articulated her apparent identification of a confluence of the claims of femininity and the possibility of representing gender by representing the gendered gaze. While not autobiographical, The Kitchen Table Series does unmistakably instate a feminine gaze -- an entity given a representational status of the real in the context of that powerful floating signifier, the kitchen table. To argue as I do that Weems, in the installation of From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, enacts a feminine gaze is not an argument that would seem at variance with the artist's practice and conceptualization of gendered ways of seeing.

Indeed, a womanly watcher -- a feminine figure who witnesses and watches -- not only is implicit in the series' construction but also explicitly is placed in Weems's From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried series. The piece is framed by George Specht's colonialist 1925 photograph (for National Geographic) "Nobosodrou, Femme Mangetu."

Image
Nobosodrou, by George Specht, 1924


This blue-tinted, reprinted, photographed, feminine profile is positioned by Weems to regard, as a witness, the red-tinted images within the series: to figuratively stand as the "I" who "Saw What Happened" and "Cried." At the inauguration of the series, this profile image looks towards the series of reprinted red-tinted photographs, and the same profile in mirror looks back across the series at its close. The Specht profile tinted blue is marked as the cool witness figure, the cool customer who claims to be crying (as a point of fact, for the words "And I Cried" are written across the second image) but looks anything but tearful. With the words "From Here I Saw What Happened" on the first image and "And I Cried" on the second image, in duplicate the Specht profile re-photographs gaze towards each other across the field of red-tinted debasement and grief contained in the other images of the series. These profile images bookend the series, enclosing the humiliated subjects contained in the photographs that are tinted red. This gesture of the witness, instantiated by the re-photograph of Specht's work, ethically anchors the series, mournfully recuperating the woman's elegant beauty.

That this witness, figuratively performed by the Specht image, is a woman is not incidental to Weems's project. For much of the worst humiliation imaged in From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried is humiliation recorded visually on the body of a woman. Notably, A. M. Weaver argues that Weems "tells her stories from the perspective of a black woman, indeed she herself is invariably [my italics] the protagonist in her private/public dramas -- it is always her life, her voice, her body that represents the scope of human reality." Deborah Willis likewise observes that "For more than three decades, Weems has focused her lens on her own body and used her writings to extend the conversation." Willis, who has made clear the importance of the explicit witness figure of the artist in Weems's later work, goes on to claim that even when Weems is not pictured in her own work she is, almost mystically, evoked by the images she photographs or re-photographs.

How are we to interpret Weems's offering for the Hidden Witness exhibition in the context of such insistent, almost privative, gendering as is recorded, according to Weaver, in Weems's work? That is, how shall we interpret, in particular, Weems's depiction of the humiliation of enslaved women framed within the elegant and emphatically not enslaved gaze of the Specht photograph -- the woman titled "Nobosodrou," who is herself, it must be made clear, a photographic subject? Is Weems, as Weaver suggests, the real subject of this series? And, if so, which figure is she? The humiliated enslaved person in a photograph by whose caption she is called Delia? Or the elegant Nobosodrou? Weaver's claim seems to founder on this difficult series -- a series that breaks apart and reveals the violence implicit in the conceit of the witness, not to mention to more subtly and insidiously violent strictures of femininity. My suggestion, developing from Willis, is that although Weems is not present visibly in these re-photographed images in From Here I saw What Happened and I Cried, instead Weems invokes a provocatively feminine "I" who should see and should cry. Weems's gaze is the eye that contains the series and this eye is articulated in the act of re-photographing daguerrotypes originally taken by nineteenth-century white men. Her resistance to their gaze is in developing the trope of witnessing.

-- Witnessing Sadism in Texts of the American South: Women, Specularity, and the Poetics of Subjectivity, by Professor Claire Raymond


Earnest Albert Hooton (November 20, 1887 – May 3, 1954) was an American physical anthropologist known for his work on racial classification and his popular writings such as the book Up From The Ape. Hooton sat on the Committee on the Negro, a group that "focused on the anatomy of blacks and reflected the racism of the time."... During this time, he was also Curator of Somatology at the nearby Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.

-- Earnest Hooton, by Wikipedia

***

Over a period of fourteen years (1948-1962) that followed his doctoral training at Harvard, [Lloyd Cabot] Briggs established a home in Algiers (at 7 rue Pierre Viala) and purchased a farm nearby -- these Briggs shared with Danus, who served as something of an assistant to her husband, occasionally accompanying him on his travels. All the while, Briggs was amassing an extraordinary private collection of Tuareg art, especially of the Algerian Sahara. Some of these objects he purchased from other collectors, including Reygasse and a number of French army officers, researchers, and colonial administrators; some he purchased on behalf of the Peabody Museum through the American School for Prehistoric Research, an Algiers-based institution affiliated with the Peabody. Following Briggs's wishes, his family would donate the bulk of his extraordinary collection to the Peabody after his death.

Even before Briggs journeyed to the Sahara with Reygasse, he was writing The Living Races of the Sahara Desert.

-- Saharan Jews and the Fate of French Algeria, by Sarah Abrevaya Stein


(Reuters) - A descendant of an American slave on Wednesday sued Harvard University to gain possession of photos of her great-great-great grandfather that the school commissioned in 1850 on behalf of a professor trying to prove the inferiority of black people.

Image
Tamara Lanier listens as her lawyer speaks to the media about a lawsuit accusing Harvard University of the monetization of photographic images of her great-great-great grandfather, an enslaved African man named Renty, and his daughter Delia, outside of the Harvard Club in New York, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The photos, depicting a black man named Renty and his daughter Delia, were taken as part of a study by Harvard Professor Louis Agassiz and are among the earliest known photos of American slaves. They are currently kept at the Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnography at Harvard’s Cambridge, Massachusetts campus.

A representative for Harvard declined to comment and said the university had not yet been served with the complaint.

Tamara Lanier of Norwich, Connecticut, who claims to be the great-great-great-granddaughter of Renty, accused Harvard of celebrating its former professor who studied “racist pseudoscience” and profiting from photos that were taken without Renty and his daughter’s consent.

“What I hope we’re able to accomplish is to show the world who Renty is,” Lanier said at a news conference in New York. “I think this case is important because it will test the moral climate of this country and force this country to reckon with its long history of racism.”

Agassiz encountered Renty and Delia when he was touring plantations in South Carolina for a research project sanctioned by Harvard that sought to support his view that black people were a different species, according to the lawsuit.

Lanier, who filed the lawsuit in Middlesex County Superior Court in Massachusetts, established her relationship to the photographed slaves with family oral history and genealogical information, her lawyers said. She previously asked the university to give her the photos, but Harvard refused, she said.

“By denying Ms. Lanier’s superior claim to the daguerreotypes, Harvard is perpetuating the systematic subversion of black property rights that began during slavery and continued for a century thereafter,” the complaint said, referring to an early form of photography.

In addition to gaining possession of the photos, Lanier is seeking compensation for emotional distress and Harvard’s acknowledgement that it was “complicit in perpetuating and justifying the institution of slavery.”

Harvard is the latest elite academic institution criticized for its failure to reckon with a racist past. In 2016, a member of Yale University’s kitchen staff shattered a stained glass window depicting slaves in a field, drawing national attention and overwhelming support from students who took up his protest against what they said was Yale’s implicit endorsement of a racist history.

Reporting by Gabriella Borter; Editing by Frank McGurty and Cynthia Osterman

************************

Harvard Gets Slapped With A Lawsuit
by Nana
everyevery
2019

Image

Harvard University is being sued over photographs of African slaves. The descendants of the man from the photograph are suing the university.

Tamara Lanier, a direct descendant is demanding that Harvard turn over the images, recognize her lineage and pay unspecified damages.

The enslaved African man named Renty and his daughter Delia were stripped and forced to pose for images commissioned by a Swiss-born Harvard professor who espoused a theory that Africans and African-Americans were inferior to whites.

170 years later, Renty and Delia “remain enslaved” by the Ivy League university which is being accused of the “wrongful seizure, possession and expropriation” of the photographs of his great-great-great-granddaughter, Tamara, who wants the photos back.

Lanier, who refers to her great-great-great grandfather as “Papa Renty,” said she learned from years of research and oral history from her family that he was born in Africa, kidnapped by slave merchants and enslaved on a South Carolina plantation. He taught himself and other slaves to read and led secret Bible readings and study on the plantation.

The images were long forgotten until an employee of Harvard’s Peabody Museum discovered them in the museum’s attic in 1976, the lawsuit said.

The employee, Ellie Reichlin, was concerned for the families of the men and women in the images but it was reported that Harvard made no effort to locate their descendants.

Lanier continued gathering evidence of her heritage and, in 2016, contacted the Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper, with her story.

She went to Cambridge for an interview but later learned that her story would not be told because of “concerns the Peabody Museum has raised,” the suit said.

The lawsuit claims the photos of Renty and Delia were taken a few years after Harvard had recruited Agassiz, whose field of study was a branch of zoology that grouped living things based on anatomical characteristics and hierarchical order.


The lawsuit said, “It was an act of both love and resistance that Renty and Delia’s kin kept their memories and stories alive for well over a century. It is unconscionable that Harvard will not allow Ms. Lanier to, at long last, bring Renty and Delia home.”
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Psychology, Anthropology, and Race
by Robert H. Lowie
American Anthropologist
Vol. 25, No. 3
July-September, 1923

Robert Lowie, Kroeber’s colleague at Berkeley, was the more devoted disciple of Boas. On various occasions during his career he was engaged in professional polemics to defend Boas’s views. While still in New York, he contributed to the evolving anti-racist school. But like Kroeber, once he moved to the West Coast, he kept his racial egalitarianism mostly out of the political arena. Similar to other Boasnians, Lowie’s background was Jewish-German: he came from Vienna, which from a New York perspective was close enough. His upbringing was not unlike Kroeber’s either. Following education in New York public schools, he came to Columbia only at the graduate stage, where in a very unsystematic way, intertwined with work at the American Museum, he became an ethnographer. Much of his work was done in the field, and in various memoirs he regretted his own lack of theoretical preparation for some of his general books, primarily his commercially most successful work, Primitive Society. For fifteen years before 1921 Lowie worked at the Museum under Clark Wissler: none the less he remained a Boasian, interacting with anthropologists such as Alexander Goldenweiser, Paul Radin, Leslie Spier, and Elsie Clews Parsons. It was this cultural context that was so important in the formulation of his egalitarian views.

Foraging societies are often said by cultural anthropologists to be "egalitarian," so this looks like a hopeful place for feminist matriarchalists to begin. However, anthropologists mean something by the term egalitarianism that turns out, oddly enough, to be compatible with the most virulent misogyny and sexism. Egalitarian societies are defined by anthropologists as small groups which lack any elaborate political hierarchy. Individuals are free to come and go as they please; they have immediate access to resources and can exert influence over other individuals in their group. There are pecking orders in egalitarian societies, but they depend "more upon personal qualities and skills than upon inherited wealth or status at birth." But among the "personal qualities" most frequently used to determine status in so-called egalitarian societies are "age, sex, and personal characteristics." Now age and sex are not earned. An individual's age changes, inexorably, and in this sense can be regarded as a kind of achieved status. But this is not so for sex, which is "ascribed for life." Thus arises the irony of speaking of societies which systematically discriminate against one sex in preference to the other as "egalitarian." [43] Such discrimination can be relatively minor, as it is among the Mbuti and San of Africa, where men are slightly more likely to participate in collective decision-making, but there are also many glaring examples of male authority, dominance, and disproportionate prestige in foraging societies. Even in societies that lack class systems or political leadership, one can find fathers giving away their daughters, husbands beating their wives or having legitimate control over them sexually, men raping women without penalty, and men claiming a monopoly on the most significant forms of ritual power. [44]

-- The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won't Give Women a Future, by Cynthia Eller


[Lowie, Robert H. Lowie, Ethnologist. A Personal Record (Berkeley: California University Press, 1959). Robert F. Murphy, Robert H. Lowie (New York: Columbia University Press, 1972). Cora Du Bois, Lowie’s Selected Papers in Anthropology (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1960). For a straightforward criticism of racism by Lowie, especially on Madison Grant and H.F. Osborn, see his “Psychology, Anthropology and Race,” American Anthropologist, 25 (1923), 291-303.)]

In New York the Boasians and the racists competed for influence, while sharing similar institutional space. At the same time as the rest in the anthropology community were shifting professional alliances in an ad-hoc manner, the Boasians were gaining strength, until in the mid-twenties they became the dominant force, controlling the politics of the discipline by sheer numbers. By then, the younger generation of Boasians was coming of age. But before examining their impact, there is a need to chart the developments during the earlier period in physical anthropology, which was the professional locus for studies of race.

American Physical Anthropology

A brief survey of American anthropology at the end of World War I shows that little mattered outside the East Coast. Although there were departments of anthropology in other parts of the country such as Chicago and San Francisco, and though the anatomist Wingate Todd at Case Western Reserve worked on physical anthropology, the undisputed center was in the East. Distance prevented anthropologists outside of Boston, New York and Washington from participating in professional activity. Committee membership particularly illustrates this phenomenon. In the capital, an active local anthropological society together with the Smithsonian Institution partially compensated for the lack of a major university center. Washington’s prime was before World War I, but it remained active during the interwar years. Harvard’s anthropology department together with its affiliated Peabody Museum was second only to New York in significance for the profession. During most of this period, Ronald Dixon, Alfred Tozzer, and Earnest Hooton were Harvard’s leading anthropologists. While certainly very different from each other, they maintained the façade of a team. The distance from New York meant that the Harvard anthropologists could profess partial unity based upon geography, at the same time it was not too far for Harvard to be secluded from the centers of power.

As the intellectual center of the country, New York attracted several active anthropological institutions, with close contacts to major philanthropic sources. The Galton Society and Cold Spring Harbor were the centers for the eugenicists and racists, while the New School for Social Research provided a liberal outlet for the Columbia faculty. Both the American Museum of Natural History and Columbia University were the core of anthropological activity and employed anthropologists of liberal and conservative commitments. Despite the ideological diversity, there was contact, at times close, between the opposing camps. The interaction resulted partly from institutional constraints, and partly from association with a larger anthropological community that included many neutrals. Surrounded by, and being part of, the intellectual activity of the city, New York anthropologists were, generally speaking, much more involved in public debates and retreated far less into the ivory tower. Columbia’s anthropology was synonymous with Boas, but he was the exception and many faculty members kept close contacts with eugenics circles. A comparable situation existed in the American Museum where the liberal and conservative groups worked together, though not in cooperation. Henry Fairfield Osborn, the President of the Museum was a close associate of Madison Grant and an adamant Anglo-Saxon supremacist. Nevertheless Boas worked in the Museum for several years, as did Robert Lowie, and later Harry Shapiro and Margaret Mead. The tension and rivalry made a non-partisan approach difficult, and therefore neutrality was not as much a determining force in New York, as it was in Washington and Cambridge.

-- The Retreat of Scientific Racism: Changing Concepts of Race in Britain and the United States Between the World Wars, by Elazar Barkan


WHEN scientists ceased to quote farmers' tales about the cleverness of their horses or dogs and devised laboratory experiments for the testing of animal behavior, a new era began to dawn in the history of psychology. Psychologists are laying aside the anecdotal method in the evaluation of individual and racial worth, and every anthropologist will welcome an improvement in technique that promises to shed light on one of the most obscure of his own problems, the question of the interrelationship of empirically observed achievement and innate capacity. Unfortunately the psychologists who are most prominently associated with anthropological applications of their new tool are so ignorant of anthropology that their results are worthless. It may be said on their behalf that they have been misled by anthropologists, that we ourselves have been guilty of spreading erroneous conceptions, but that only makes matters worse. The situation thus justifies an elementary consideration of the points at issue, a review that shall dispel the farrago of bad logic, bad biology, and bad faith that continues to pervade discussion of racial endowment.

ANTHROPOLOGISTS AND HEREDITY

In the first place, it may be well to repudiate some absurd misconceptions, such as the strange notion that certain anthropologists favor an extravagant influence of environmental as contrasted with hereditary factors; and that they teach the absolute equality of all races, nay of all individuals. I do not of course pretend to know the views of all living anthropologists, but I am not acquainted with any colleague who entertains these doctrines. Professor Boas is commonly mentioned as the champion of such dogmas. When, however, I turn from the garbled account of his conclusions in such works as Mr. Madison Grant's The Passing of the Great Race to his own statements, I find nothing to support such misrepresentation. Professor Boas argues for "a strictly limited plasticity" (zugunsten einer eng begrenzten Plastizitat) under the influence of an altered environment.1 On the subject of heredity he has this to say:

Although we have seen that environment, particularly domestication, has a far-reaching influence upon the bodily form of the races of man, these influences are of a quite secondary character when compared to the far-reaching influence of heredity. Even granting the greatest possible amount of influence to environment, it is readily seen that all the essential traits of man are due primarily to heredity. . . . I am inclined to believe that the influence of environment is of such a character, that, although the same race may assume a different type when removed from one environment to another, it will revert to its old type when replaced in its old environment.2


Finally his statement as to the comparative mental make-up of Caucasians and Negroes is extremely cautious; he accepts the possibility of differences but is not convinced of such differences as would incapacitate the Negro for the exigencies of modern life.3

Personally, I take great pains to impress upon my students that the innate equality of all races is an unproved dogma, in spite of the fact that all the demonstrations of inequality hitherto attempted are scientifically worthless. Some time ago I formulated my views in the following words:

As to the existence of superior races, I am an agnostic open to conviction. All evolutionists admit that at some point an organic change of fundamental significance occurred. It is conceivable that the Bushmen and Negrito, Pygmies and Negroes are organically below the remainder of living human types, and that differences of one sort or another even divide more closely related stocks. But between what is conceivable and what is definitely established there yawns a chasm, and where the scientist has no proof he holds no dogmas, though dispassionately he may frame tentative hypotheses.


This is not a very subtle point, but seems to transcend the comprehension of some writers. One of them has even gone so far as to accuse me of denying innate individual differences, referring his readers to certain articles of mine that were expressly designed to illustrate these differences.

It is an interesting fact that those who most vociferously accuse anthropologists of underestimating heredity as compared with environment are themselves the worst offenders in this regard. How does President Osborn, for example, account for the differences of cro-Magnon man in the Aurignacian and in the Magdalenian period? By the influence of environment! He writes as follows:

It is probable that in the genial climate of the Riviera these men obtained their finest development; the country was admirably protected from the cold winds of the north, refuges were abundant, and game by no means scarce to judge from the quantity of animal bones found in the caves.4

In the reduction of the stature of the woman to 5 feet 1 inch and of the man to 5 feet 3 inches; and in the reduction of the brain capacity to 1,500 c.cm., we may be witnessing the result of exposure to very severe climatic conditions in a race which retained its fine physical and mental characteristics only under the more genial climatic conditions of the south.5


This is environmentalism with a vengeance! One wonders why those who so readily account for a difference of 300 c.cm. in brain capacity and of 10 inches in stature by a change in geographical conditions refuse to admit that skulls may become somewhat narrower or wider under the influence of changed conditions. The difference of 10 inches in average height is about twice as great as the difference between the Scotch and the South Italians; it is greater than the difference between Andamanese pygmies and Frenchmen; equivalent to the difference between the Nilotics and the Vedda! What does Dr. Osborn mean? Does he believe that a climatic change effected a change in the germ-plasm tantamount to a heritable mutation? Or is he merely suggesting a "modification" in Baur's sense of the term? Even on the latter assumption, he is pleading for a potency of the environment that far transcends Boas's notion of a "strictly limited plasticity."

Mr. Madison Grant is not less of an environmentalist than his scientific sponsor, but apparently he attributes precisely the opposite effects to the same climatic conditions. The Nordics, whom in the particular sections of the book I am now quoting from6 he is pleased to favor, are said to have developed through isolation and the selection due to the rigors of severe winters, while under "the softening influence of a life of ease and plenty" they succumb.7 Genial climate was necessary for the Cro-Magnons, the alleged spiritual forerunners of the Nordics, but a genial climate spells disaster for the Nordics, it seems.

Mr. Grant, however, not merely ascribes considerable influence to the environment when it so pleases him, but also implicitly denies the combined influence of both heredity and environment when the spirit so moves him. It is indeed one of his explicit cardinal doctrines that racial traits are "to all intents and purposes immutable," "fixed and rigid." He furthermore holds that in Sweden "there has been but a single racial type from the beginning" and once he even delivers himself of the statement that "Denmark, Norway and Sweden are purely Nordic."8
Now we must recall that according to this author the Nordics evolved and actually flourish in the climatic conditions characteristic of their present habitation. Nevertheless he concludes a paragraph on the Scandinavian countries with this statement: "To-day all three seem to be intellectually anaemic."9

As a member of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study and of the Scandinavian Club of the University of California, I venture to stigmatize this proposition as arrant nonsense. But apart from the crass ignorance it displays of the intellectual life of the peoples lampooned, how is such degeneration intelligible on Mr. Grant's own principles? If the Nordics are by heredity a favored race; if the Scandinavians are pure Nordics; if they "flourish, do their work and raise their families"10 in precisely the type of habitat they occupy; if racial traits "do not change during the lifetime of a language or an empire";11 then, by what magical process, neither racial nor environmental, do these purest Nordics degenerate to a status of intellectual anaemia within a few brief centuries? Perhaps Mr. Grant is not, after all, the champion of heredity he professes to be when it suits his convenience.

Before leaving this writer, I will call attention to two sentences in immediate contact with each other in his chapter on "The Expansion of the Nordics." In the first, already quoted, the three Scandinavian countries are described as "purely Nordic." In the second, we are told that in southwestern Norway and in Denmark "there is a substantial number of short, dark round heads of Alpine affinities."12 Comment is superfluous.

To sum up, it is not the professional anthropologist, but the professional heredity-monger that disregards the influence of heredity ad libitum. The anthropologist does not assert that the environment induces far-reaching effects on the germ-plasm: he merely asserts that certain phenomena change independently of the germ-plasm and in this claim he is fully supported by the attitude of Professor Elliot Smith, one of the few scientists with primarily biological orientation who have not disdained to try to understand the meaning of culture.13

INNATE ABILITY AND CULTURE

In the past, arguments on racial differences have almost always been advanced on the assumption that observed differences in cultural achievement must be the expression of correlated differences in inborn capacity. In one sense no one denies this; everyone would admit that a cat, a dog or a monkey is incapable of producing or sharing in human culture. The point at issue is, whether when the organization adequate to the production of culture, or, let us say, of the culture characteristic of the Upper Palaeolithic was reached, any further cultural advance was conditioned by equivalent changes in inborn equipment. The differences between the material culture of, say, the West African Negro or the Shoshoni of Idaho on the one hand and Western civilization on the other are so striking that most writers naively assume that they are patent proofs of organic differences, and popular prejudice doubtless rests on the same fallacy.

The argument is fallacious, in spite of its plausibility, for the following reason. When we study the known history of culture, we find great changes without any corresponding changes in racial constitution. In 1850 no one dreamt of crediting the Germans or the Japanese people with efficiency. Elizabethan England was very different from the England of Queen Anne's day; and those who talk as though an aversion to discussions of sex were a deep-rooted Anglo-Saxon trait have perhaps slight acquaintance with Fielding and the Restoration dramatists. It is true that Galton asserted a racial cause for the magnificence and the decline of Athenian culture, but his claim is an empty allegation and contradictory to his own interpretation of the Renaissance.

The instances hitherto cited involve, however, relatively slight differences when viewed in broadest perspective. Hence it seems desirable to supplement them by others. It is not merely admitted but contended that the Nordic race has not changed in inborn equipment for several thousand years except in so far as it has been debased by amalgamation with inferior types. Yet the culture of the Nordics has developed extraordinarily within the space of from two to three thousand years. The Cro-Magnons provide an even better illustration. They appeared about, say, 25,000 B.C. and persisted through Magdalenian times, which began about 16,000 B.C.14 Here we have a race at least originally superior in inborn capacity to any now living, yet in 9,000 years or more they cannot rise above the level of the Stone Age culturally! Nay, the case is still more curious, for it is the decadent Cro-Magnons -- short and with reduced brain capacity -- who achieve the triumphs of Palaeolithic art!

Culture evidently does not vary with race according to any simple formula of functional relationship. This does not prove that the Tasmanians or Bushmen or Andamanese had the inborn capacity to develop unaided the civilization of Western Europe. It does prove that the difference of their culture from ours is not necessarily rooted in any innate difference, that the popular argument is wholly inconclusive.
We simply do not know whether the evolution of Homo sapiens involved all the organic requirements for any type of culture known, or whether certain deficiencies, as yet undefinable, necessarily bar certain varieties of the species from independently attaining such and such a cultural status.

Since, then, the gross comparison of cultural achievement leads nowhere, so far as the determination of innate possibilities goes, let us turn for aid to the psychologist. Here, too, however, certain elementary precautions are prerequisite.

PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS

A comparison of distinct groups involves the consideration of both average values and variability. It is entirely conceivable that two groups should coincide in their average mentality but differ in range, so that one may produce far more remarkable individuals in both positive and negative direction than the other. Professor Fischer, for example, suggests that the Caucasian differs from the Negroid in precisely this point, while not excelling him in average intelligence. If this could be established, it would have far-reaching theoretical and practical bearings: it would account for the differences in cultural achievement without assuming that the average level of intelligence varies in different cultures; and it would imply that for the ordinary tasks of life the Negroid is as well fitted as the average white.

In connection with the occurrence of extreme positive variations it is well to bear in mind another point forcibly made by Father Wilhelm Schmidt. Extreme deviations from the norm naturally occur with greater frequency in large populations than in communities of several hundred. A class of fifty may have the average stature of the whole student body, but it is not so likely to have as tall members as occur in the total campus population of, say, ten thousand. It is not astonishing, then, that hordes of Andamanese or Australians numbering not over a hundred or two should never have produced the personalities which figure in the history of China, India, and Western countries.

Another caution "is of tremendous importance. Since we are interested in establishing the existence or nonexistence of innate differences, the influence of training and other noncongenital factors, all of which for convenience sake we may call environmental, must be eliminated. The light-heartedness, not to say unscrupulousness, of many writers on this point is appalling. Admitting, as they must, that an empirical test cannot eliminate the environmental factor, they decree that certain observed differences are too great to be explained by environmental differences, hence are evidence of hereditary differences. The illegitimacy of this reasoning is apparent as soon as it is couched in clear language. Letting H and E represent hereditary and environmental determinants, respectively, the empirical results may be formulated as follows:

H1+E1=A H2+E2=A ±m

It does not require a profound knowledge of mathematics to see that the difference ± m proves nothing as to the value of H 1 and H2 so long as El and E2 differ by an unknown quantity. This is not academic logic-chopping pure and simple: we are told that Negroes are inferior to Caucasians because in certain tests 79 per cent of the former fell below C as against 25 per cent of Caucasians while only 1 per cent of the Negroes as against 12 per cent of the Caucasians scored above C. This difference, we are told, is too great to be interpreted as the result of educational and other social differences. But New York Negroes practically equal Alabama Whites in the tests! Hence the environmental factor must be taken into account, and unless we devise accurate methods for its quantitative determination, let us hold our tongues concerning inborn differences.

RACIAL AND NATIONAL GROUPS

It is a commonplace of modern science that racial and national groups rarely coincide. This has not deterred several prominent psychologists from blandly grouping immigrants into the United States according to their place of origin and then proclaiming that the results of the ensuing group tests are racial statistics. This is the well-nigh incredible procedure of Dr. Robert M. Yerkes in an article on "Testing the Human Mind," contributed to The Atlantic Monthly for March, 1923. Dr. Yerkes not only brushes aside in cavalier fashion the educational differences discussed in the preceding paragraphs but cites tests on Italians, Poles, Turks, Greeks, et al. as establishing racial differences. He also ingeniously suggests that the Mediterranean element accounts for the low scores of recent immigrant groups; that element apparently possesses the miraculous quality of detracting from the Italian average by its presence and from the Polish average by its absence.

I wonder what would be thought of a naturalist who should wish to ascertain the characteristic weight of pure breeds of dogs by averaging an odd assortment of St. Bernards, dachshunds, and bulldogs and comparing the result with a corresponding average for mastiffs, fox terriers, and German police dogs. As a humble exercise in arithmetic the procedure may be justified, but its biological significance would be nil. Yet it would be better than Dr. Yerkes's method, for at least the naturalist would know precisely how many individuals of each breed he had weighed, but when Dr. Yerkes tests "Italians" he does not know how many of them represent each of the relatively pure types whose inborn endowments he is attempting to ascertain.

At this point I must register an emphatic protest against the naive assumption that because certain individuals in a region in which mixture of types has demonstrably occurred display physical features characteristic of type A they are therefore likewise the possessors of the mental traits that are ex hypothesi distinctive of the primeval "pure" type A. President Osborn goes further and lays down the proposition that even when one of the most typical traits of the Nordic, blondness, is lacking the individual may still be "three-fourths or seven-eighths Nordic, because it only requires a single dark-eyed ancestor to lend the dark hair and eye color to an otherwise pure Nordic strain."15 By implication dark hair and eye color will be the only features to dominate and the psychological traits of courage, loyalty, self-sacrifice and idealism innate in the Nordic will remain dominant in miscegenation. There is of course not a shred of evidence in support of such a principle of inheritance. One might well despair of modern biology if such slovenly pronunciamentos were not rejected by sane students of the subject. As Doctors East and Jones point out, we must be

very cautious about drawing genetic conclusions in the human race based upon the possession of particular traits, in the absence of proof of a long-continued isolation. . . . Traits originally characteristic of certain peoples because of isolation and the consequent inbreeding have been shifted back and forth, combined and recombined. . . . It is wholly possible, for example, that a tall, blue-eyed, dolichocephalic Frenchman really possesses less of the so-called Nordic factors than a short, dark-eyed round-head.16


Two other points may well be emphasized in this context. For one thing, the variability of "pure" types is largely unknown; we do not know, for example, how probable it is for a "pure" Alpine to vary so much from the norm of his type as to appear like a typical "pure" Nordic. Secondly, it is about time for writers on European anthropology to realize that things are more complicated than a hasty perusal of Ripley's book, now twenty years old, may indicate. Apart from the Adriatic or Dinaric race recognized by many investigators, we may have other types to consider if Dr. Czekanowski and other anthropologists are correct in their observations in Poland and Russia.17

PROGRAM

Is it, then, necessary to abandon all hope of progress in this field? By no means: a calm survey of the difficulties merely leads to a formulation that does not by necessity produce absurd and worthless results. We cannot hope to eliminate all disturbing factors, but that is equally true even of such ancient sciences as astronomy. We can at least get rid of certain conditions that are bound to vitiate comparative results.

First of all we must choose a region that is anthropologically well known and which has been demonstrably occupied by more than one racial strain, but in which strains are locally more or less segregated. Without assuming that it is the only country suitable for the purpose, I venture to suggest that Italy provides a very favorable starting-point. The contrast between the North Italian Alpine type and the South Italian Mediterranean type is notorious. While of course minor variations are not lacking in the south, the uniformity of the South Italian population is remarkable.18 The hair is almost always black; the nasal index for Abruzzi, Campania, Puglie, and Sardinia is 69.77,69.68,69.49, and 68.82, respectively; the stature ranges provincially between the narrow limits of 159.9 cm. for Basilicata to 162 cm. for Campania; "mixed brown" pigmentation occurs in at least half of the individuals examined, rising to 62.2 per cent in Calabria and 70.4 per cent in Sardinia. When we consider, on the other hand, such typical North Italians as the Piedmontese and Venetians' we discover that the hair is often, if not almost always, of chestnut color; that the mean height is distinctly greater than among the Mediterraneans -- 166. 3 against 163.7 cm.; that there is an appreciable percentage of individuals with fair pigmentation. In addition there is the marked difference in head form: the Piedmontese with an index of 85.7 and the Venetians with an index of 85 are markedly brachycephalic; the South Italians while, contrary to current statements not dolichocephalic at present, are either mesocephalic or merely of moderately brachycephalic character. Nevertheless, when we compare the head form of the several South Italian provinces, the impression of homogeneity so strongly suggested by other physical traits disappears; between the extremes represented by Sardinia with 77.5 and Campania with 82.1 there are intermediate figures, such as 78.4 for Calabria and 80.8 for Basilicata.

These data furnish us with the possibility of sketching a program for psychological investigation. In the first place, it is probably not difficult to minimize the environmental factors: a thousand illiterate peasants from Sardinia will probably not differ notably in their cultural influences from an equal number of illiterate peasants from Sicily. Secondly, when we find such regional differences in head form within an otherwise uniform population, they can plausibly be accounted for through racial mixture; specifically, the relatively broad-skulled groups are presumably such through the influence of Alpine mixture. The alleged innate mental differences are accordingly amenable to empirical verification or disproof: the Calabrians with an index of 78.4 may be assumed to be more like the Basilicatans (SO.8) than like the people from Abruzzi (81.9) and Campania (82.1); the Sicilians (79.6) will be more like the Apulians (79.8) than like the other groups mentioned. I am well aware of the fact that very small differences, possibly derived from small series, may not be significant. It is also obvious that, with the variety of complicating factors, the ideal of quantitative refinement here outlined cannot be realized. Nevertheless, if there is anything in the alleged mental difference of the Alpine and Mediterranean types, the repeated comparison of all the otherwise homogeneous Mediterranean groups differing only by a varying degree of Alpine admixture indicated by the cephalic index should constitute a crucial test. In Sardinia, with its excessively dark pigmentation, relatively greatest degree of dolichocephaly among the living (77.5), genuine dolichocephaly (71.53) of cranial material, and maximum trend toward curly hair and prognathism, an especially favorable opportunity presents itself for ascertaining the psychological influence of the Negroid strain that has plausibly been assumed as the factor determining these deviations from the South Italian norm. In the north, the aberrant case of Liguria, where the index of 79.34 stands out in marked contrast with that of the neighboring brachycephalic provinces, corresponding comparative tests seem desirable.

While I have stressed the cephalic index in view of Italian conditions, I should not like to be interpreted as disregarding other physical traits. In Portugal, for example, it may well be that the regional distribution of blondness would provide a better line of cleavage than the character of the head form.

A sane procedure will involve the systematic exploitation of minimal differences in conjunction with historical data. The Danes are known to have had largely the same antecedents as the other Scandinavians but they are about three centimeters shorter and have an index of 80.7 as against 78.5 for Norway. To what extent do they differ in mental make-up from other Scandinavians? In Norway a number of interesting problems arise. In sections of the country where no Lapps are known ever to have existed there is a marked percentage of dark-eyed people.19 This locally segregated group invites comparison with their typical blue-eyed "Nordic" neighbors. The latter may be compared with those Norwegian groups which have demonstrably intermarried with Lapps. Again, "pure" Lapps, such as those measured by Mantegazza, have an index over 87, while the "Lapps" of Troms, where mixture has occurred, have an index of 84.3, besides differing in other respects. Finally, the Karelian Finns differ appreciably from the Finns proper and might well be psychologically tested in comparison with them.20 If I remember Professor Retzius's statement correctly -- his volume is not accessible to me at present -- the history of the Walloons imported into Sweden is fairly well known, and certain districts still clearly reveal the infusion of Alpine blood. Here, then, a comparison of Alpine and Nordic mentality may be feasible.

No doubt many readers of this journal can suggest additional problems. When psychologists without bias shall have attacked them and arrived at statistically unexceptionable positive results, i.e., shall have established real innate differences, anthropologists will accept the conclusions regardless of their personal predilections or prejudices. In the meantime it is their duty to denounce the charlatanism so prevalent in this field and to repudiate not biology but the sham biology that invents facts and even biological "laws" to support personal views.

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA,

BERKELEY, CAL.

_______________

Notes:

1 F. Boas: The Mind of Primitive Man, p. 64; Kultur und Rasse, p. 67.

2 The Mind of Primitive Man, p. 76 f.

3 Ibid., p. 271 f.

4 H. F. Osborn: Men of the Old Stone Age, p. 297.

5 Ibid., p. 382.

6 Corresponding qualifications must always be understood to accompany expositions of this writer's views, which change from chapter to chapter, and sometimes even from paragraph to paragraph.

7 Madison Grant: The Passing of the Great Race, pp. 38-41, 170 f.

8 Ibid., pp. 15, 18, 169, 211.

9 Ibid., p. 210.

10 Ibid., p. 39.

11 Ibid., p. 15.

12 Ibid., p. 211.

13 G. Eliot Smith: Primitive Man (Proceedings of the British Academy, VII, 1916), pp. 37, 49 f.

14 H. F. Osborn: Men of the Old Stone Age, pp. 18,261,351.

15 H. F. Osborn in "Preface to Second Edition" of M. Grant, op. cit. xi f.

16 E. M. East and D. F. Jones: Inbreeding and Outbreeding, 1919, p. 250.

17 J. Czekanowski: Recherches anthropologiques de la Pologne, Bulletins et Memoires, Societe d'Anthropologie, 1920, p. 48 seq.

18 For the following data see V. Giuffrida-Ruggeri, A Sketch of the Anthropology of Italy, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, XLVIII, 1918, pp. 80-102.

19 Halfdan Bryn: Troms Fylkes Antropologi, Christiania, 1922, p. 19.

20 Ibid., pp. 33, 37, 174.
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Part 1 of 2

Giordano Bruno
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11. The Manipulator of Erotic Love:

In this chapter we want to introduce the reader to a spectacular European parallel to the fundamental tantric idea that erotic love and sexuality can be translated into material and spiritual power. It concerns several until now rarely considered theses of Giordano Bruno (1548-1600).

At the age of fifteen, Bruno, born in Nola, Italy, joined the Dominican order. However, his interest in the newest scientific discoveries and his fascination with the late Hellenistic esotericism very soon led him to leave his order, a for the times most courageous undertaking. From this point on he began a hectic life on the road which took him all over Europe. Nonetheless, the restless and ingenious ex-monk wrote and published numerous “revolutionary” works in which he took a critical stance toward the dogmata of the church on all manner of topics. The fact that Bruno championed many ideas from the modern view of the world that was emerging at the time, especially the Copernican system, made him a hero of the new during his own lifetime. After he was found guilty of heresy by the Inquisition in 1600 and burned at the stake at the Campo dei Fiori in Rome, the European intelligentsia proclaimed him to be the greatest “martyr of modern science”. This image has stayed with him up until the present day. Yet this is not entirely justified, then Bruno was far more interested in the esoteric ideas of antiquity and the occultism of his day than in modern scientific research. Nearly all of his works concern magic/mystic/mythological themes.

Like the Indian Tantrics, this eccentric and dynamic Renaissance philosopher was convinced that the entire universe was held together by erotic love. Love in all its variations ruled the world, from physical nature to the metaphysical heavens, from sexuality to heartfelt love of the mystics: it “led either to the animals [sexuality] or to the intelligible and is then called the divine [mysticism]" (quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 174).

Bruno extended the term Eros (erotic love) to encompass in the final instance all human emotions and described it in general terms as the primal force which bonded, or rather—as he put it—"chained”, through affect. “The most powerful shackle of all is ... love” (quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 224). The lover is “chained” to the individual loved. But there is no need for the reverse to apply, then the beloved does not themselves have to love. This definition of love as a “chain” made it possible for Bruno to see even hate as a way of expressing erotic love, since he or she who hates is just as “chained” to the hated by his feelings as the lover is to the beloved. (To more graphically illustrate the parallels between Bruno’s philosophy and Tantrism, we will in the following speak of the lover as feminine rather than masculine. Bruno used the term completely generically for both women and men.

According to Bruno, “the ability to enchain” is also the main characteristic of magic, then a magician behaves like an escapologist when he binds his “victim” (whether human or spirit) to him with love. “There where we have spoken of natural magic, we have described to what extent all chains can be related to the chain of love, are dependent upon the chain of love or arise in the chain of love” (quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 213). More than anything else, love binds people, and this gives it something of the demonic, especially when it is exploited by one partner to the disadvantage of the other. “As regards all those who are dedicated to philosophy or magic, it is fully apparent that the highest bond, the most important and the most general belongs to erotic love: and that is why the Platonists called love the Great Demon, daemon magnus” (quoted by Couliano, 1987, p. 91).

Now how does this erotic magic work? According to Bruno an erotic/magic involvement arises between the lovers, a fabric of affect, feelings, and moods. He refers to this as rete (net or fabric). It is woven from subtle “threads of affect”, but is thus all the more binding. (Let us recall that the Sanskrit word “tantra” translates as “fabric” or “net”.) The rete (the erotic net) can be expressed in a sexual relationship (through sexual dependency), but in the majority of cases it is of a psychological nature which nonetheless further strengthens its power to bind. Every form of love chains in its own way: “This love”, Bruno says, “is unique, and is a fetter which makes everything one” (quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 180).

If they wish, a person can control the one whom they bind to themselves with love, since “through this chain [the] lover is enraptured, so that they want to be transferred to the beloved” as Bruno writes (quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 181). Accordingly, the real magician is the beloved, who exploits the erotic energy of the lover in the accumulation of his own power. He transforms love into power, he is a manipulator of erotic love. [1] As we shall soon see, even if Bruno’s manipulator is not literally a Tantric, the second part of the definition with which we prefaced our study still seems to fit:


The mystery of Tantric Buddhism consists in ...
the manipulation of erotic love
so as to attain universal androcentric power.


The manipulator, also referred to as a “soul hunter” by Bruno, can reach the heart of the lover through her sense of sight, through her hearing, through her spirit, and through her imagination, and thus chain her to him. He can look at her, smile at her, hold her hand, shower her with flattering compliments, sleep with her, or influence her through his power of imagination. “In enchaining”, Bruno says, “there are four movements. The first is the penetration or insertion, the second the attachment or the chain, the third the attraction, the fourth the connection, which is also known as enjoyment. ... Hence [the] lover wants to completely penetrate the beloved with his tongue, his mouth, with his eyes, etc.” (Samsonow, 1995, pp. 171, 200). That is, not only does the lover let herself be enchained, she must also experience the greatest desire for this bond. This lust has to increase to the point that she wants to offer herself with her entire being to the beloved manipulator and would like to “disappear in him”. This gives the latter absolute power over the enchained one.

The manipulator evokes all manner of illusions in the awareness of his love victim and arouses her emotions and desires. He opens the heart of the lover and can take possession of the one thus “wounded”. He is lord over foreign emotions and “has means at his disposal to forge all the chains he wants: hope, compassion, fear, love, hate, indignation, anger, joy, patience, disdain for life and death” writes Joan P. Couliano in her book, Eros and magic in the Renaissance (Couliano, 1987, p. 94). Yet the magically enacted enchainment may never occur against the manifest will of the enchanted one. In contrast, the manipulator must always awake the suggestion in his victim that everything is happening in her interests alone. He creates the total illusion that the lover is a chosen one, an independent individual following her own will.

Bruno also mentions an indirect method of gaining influence, in which the lover does not know at all that she is being manipulated. In this case, the manipulator makes use of “powerful invisible beings, demons and heroes”, whom he conjures up with magic incantations (mantras) so as to achieve the desired result with their help (Couliano, 1987, p. 88). We learn from the following quotation how these invoked spirits work for the manipulator: They need “neither ears nor a voice nor a whisper, rather they penetrate the inner senses [of the lover] as described. Thus they do not just produce dreams and cause voices to be heard and all kinds of things to be seen, but they also force certain thoughts upon the waking as the truth, which they can hardly recognize as deriving from another” (Samsonow, 1995, p. 140). The lover thus believes she is acting in her own interests and according to her own will, whilst she is in fact being steered and controlled through magic blandishments.


The manipulator himself may not surrender to any emotional inclinations. Like a tantric yogi he must keep his own feelings completely under control from start to finish. For this reason well-developed egocentricity is a necessary characteristic for a good manipulator. He is permitted only one love: narcissism (philautia), and according to Bruno only a tiny elite possesses the ability needed, because the majority of people surrender to uncontrolled emotions. The manipulator has to completely bridle and control his fantasy: “Be careful,” Bruno warns him, “not to change yourself from manipulator into the tool of phantasms” (quoted by Couliano, 1987, p. 92). The real European magician must, like his oriental colleague (the Siddha), be able “to arrange, to correct and to provide phantasy, to create the different kinds at will” (Couliano, 1987, p. 92).

He must not develop any reciprocal feelings for the lover, but he has to pretend to have these, since, as Bruno says, “the chains of love, friendship, goodwill, favor, lust, charity, compassion, desire, passion, avarice, craving, and longing disappear easily if they are not based upon mutuality. From this stems the saying: love dies without love” (quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 181). This statement is of thoroughly cynical intent, then the manipulator is not interested in reciprocating the erotic love of the lover, but rather in simulating such a reciprocity.

But for the deception to succeed the manipulator may not remain completely cold. He has to know from his own experience the feelings that he evokes in the lover, but he may never surrender himself to these: “He is even supposed to kindle in his phantasmic mechanism [his imagination] formidable passions, provided these be sterile and that he be detached from them. For there is no way to bewitch others than by experimenting in himself with what he wishes to produce in his victim” (Couliano, 1987, p. 102). The evocation of passions without falling prey to them is, as we know, almost a tantric leitmotif.

Yet the most astonishing aspect of Bruno’s manipulation thesis is that, as in Vajrayana, he mentions the retention of semen as a powerful instrument of control which the magician should command, since “through the expulsion of the seed the chains [of love] are loosened, through the retention tightened” (quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 175). In a further passage we can read: “If this [the semen virile] is expelled by an appropriate part, the force of the chain is reduced correspondingly (quoted by Samsonow, 1995, p. 175). Or the reverse:
a person who retains their semen, can thereby strengthen the erotic bondage of the lover.

Bruno’s idea that there is a correspondence between erotic love and power is thus in accord with tantric dogma on the issue of sperm gnosis as well. His theory of the manipulability of love offers us valuable psychological insights into the soul of the lover and the beloved manipulator. They also help us to understand why women surrender themselves to the Buddhist yogis and what is played out in their emotional worlds during the rites. As we have already indicated, this topic is completely suppressed in the tantric discussion. But Bruno addresses it openly and cynically — it is the heart of the lover which is manipulated. The effect for the manipulator (or yogi) is thus all the greater the more his karma mudra surrenders herself to him.

Bruno’s treatise, De vinculis in genere [On the binding forces in general] (1591), can in terms of its cynicism and directness only be compared with Machiavelli’s The Prince (1513). But his work goes further. Couliano correctly points out that Machiavelli examines political, Bruno however, psychological manipulation. Then it is less the love of a consort and rather the erotic love of the masses which should — this she claims is Bruno’s intention — serve the manipulator as a “chain”. The former monk from Nola recognized manipulated “love” as a powerful instrument of control for the seduction of the masses. His theory thus contributes much to an understanding of the ecstatic attractiveness that dictators and pontiffs exercise over the people who love them. This makes Bruno’s work up to date despite its cynical content.

Bruno’s observations on “erotic love as a chain” are essentially tantric. Like Vajrayana, they concern the manipulation of the erotic in order to produce spiritual and worldly power. Bruno recognized that love in the broadest sense is the “elixir of life”, which first makes possible the establishment and maintenance of institutions of power headed by a person (such as the Pope, the Dalai Lama, or a “beloved” dictator for example). As strong as love may be, it is, if it remains one-sided, manipulable in the person of the “lover”. Indeed, the stronger it becomes, the more easily it can be used or “misused” for the purposes of power (by the “beloved”).

The fact that Tantrism focuses more upon sexuality than on the more sublime forms of erotic love, does not change anything about this principle of “erotic exploitation”. The manipulation of more subtle forms of love like the look (Carya Tantra), the smile (Kriya Tantra), and the touch (Yoga Tantra) are also known in Vajrayana. Likewise, in Tantric Buddhism as in every religious institution, the “spiritual love” of its believers is a life energy without which it could not exist. In the second part of our study we shall have to demonstrate how the Tibetan leader of the Buddhists, the Dalai Lama, succeeds in binding ever more Western believers to him with the “chains of love”.

Incidentally, in her book which we have quoted (Eros and Magic in the Renaissance) Couliano is of the opinion that via the mass media the West has already been woven into such a manipulable “erotic net” (rete). At the end of her analysis of Bruno’s treatise on power she concludes: “And since the relations between individuals are controlled by ‘erotic’ criteria in the widest sense of that adjective, human society at all levels is itself only magic at work. Without even being conscious of it, all beings who, by reason of the way the world is constructed, find themselves in an intersubjective intermediate place, participate in a magic process. The manipulator is the only one who, having understood the ensemble of that mechanism, is first an observer of intersubjective relations while simultaneously gaining knowledge from which he means subsequently to profit” (Couliano, 1987, p. 103).

-- The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism, by Victor and Victoria Trimondi


Image
Giordano Bruno
Modern portrait based on a woodcut from "Livre du recteur", 1578
Born: Filippo Bruno, January or February 1548, Nola, Kingdom of Naples
Died: 17 February 1600 (aged 51–52), Rome, Papal States
Cause of death: Execution by burning
Era: Renaissance philosophy
Region: Western philosophy
School: Renaissance humanism; Neoplatonism; Neopythagoreanism
Main interests: Philosophy, cosmology, and mathematics
Notable ideas: Cosmic pluralism
Influences: Averroes,[1] Nicolaus Copernicus, Nicolaus Cusanus
Influenced: Galileo Galilei, James Joyce, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Molière,[2] Arthur Schopenhauer, Baruch Spinoza

Giordano Bruno (/dʒɔːrˈdɑːnoʊ ˈbruːnoʊ/, Italian: [dʒorˈdaːno ˈbruːno]; Latin: Iordanus Brunus Nolanus; born Filippo Bruno, January or February 1548 – 17 February 1600) was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, cosmological theorist, and Hermetic occultist.[3][4] He is known for his cosmological theories, which conceptually extended the then-novel Copernican model. He proposed that the stars were distant suns surrounded by their own planets, and he raised the possibility that these planets might foster life of their own, a philosophical position known as cosmic pluralism. He also insisted that the universe is infinite and could have no "centre".

Starting in 1593, Bruno was tried for heresy by the Roman Inquisition on charges of denial of several core Catholic doctrines, including eternal damnation, the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the virginity of Mary, and transubstantiation. Bruno's pantheism was not taken lightly by the church,[5] as was his teaching of the transmigration of the soul/reincarnation. The Inquisition found him guilty, and he was burned at the stake in Rome's Campo de' Fiori in 1600. After his death, he gained considerable fame, being particularly celebrated by 19th- and early 20th-century commentators who regarded him as a martyr for science,[6] although historians agree that his heresy trial was not a response to his astronomical views but rather a response to his philosophical and religious views.[7][8][9][10][11] Bruno's case is still considered a landmark in the history of free thought and the emerging sciences.[12][13]

In addition to cosmology, Bruno also wrote extensively on the art of memory, a loosely organised group of mnemonic techniques and principles. Historian Frances Yates argues that Bruno was deeply influenced by Arab astrology (particularly the philosophy of Averroes[14]), Neoplatonism, Renaissance Hermeticism, and Genesis-like legends surrounding the Egyptian god Thoth.[15] Other studies of Bruno have focused on his qualitative approach to mathematics and his application of the spatial concepts of geometry to language.[16]

Life

Early years, 1548–1576


Born Filippo Bruno in Nola (a comune in the modern-day province of Naples, in the Southern Italian region of Campania, then part of the Kingdom of Naples) in 1548, he was the son of Giovanni Bruno, a soldier, and Fraulissa Savolino. In his youth he was sent to Naples to be educated. He was tutored privately at the Augustinian monastery there, and attended public lectures at the Studium Generale.[17] At the age of 17, he entered the Dominican Order at the monastery of San Domenico Maggiore in Naples, taking the name Giordano, after Giordano Crispo, his metaphysics tutor. He continued his studies there, completing his novitiate, and became an ordained priest in 1572 at age 24. During his time in Naples he became known for his skill with the art of memory and on one occasion travelled to Rome to demonstrate his mnemonic system before Pope Pius V and Cardinal Rebiba. In his later years Bruno claimed that the Pope accepted his dedication to him of the lost work On The Ark of Noah at this time.[18]

While Bruno was distinguished for outstanding ability, his taste for free thinking and forbidden books soon caused him difficulties. Given the controversy he caused in later life it is surprising that he was able to remain within the monastic system for eleven years. In his testimony to Venetian inquisitors during his trial, many years later, he says that proceedings were twice taken against him for having cast away images of the saints, retaining only a crucifix, and for having recommended controversial texts to a novice.[19] Such behaviour could perhaps be overlooked, but Bruno's situation became much more serious when he was reported to have defended the Arian heresy, and when a copy of the banned writings of Erasmus, annotated by him, was discovered hidden in the convent privy. When he learned that an indictment was being prepared against him in Naples he fled, shedding his religious habit, at least for a time.[20]

First years of wandering, 1576–1583

Bruno first went to the Genoese port of Noli, then to Savona, Turin and finally to Venice, where he published his lost work On the Signs of the Times with the permission (so he claimed at his trial) of the Dominican Remigio Nannini Fiorentino. From Venice he went to Padua, where he met fellow Dominicans who convinced him to wear his religious habit again. From Padua he went to Bergamo and then across the Alps to Chambéry and Lyon. His movements after this time are obscure.[21]

Image
The earliest depiction of Bruno is an engraving published in 1715 in Germany, presumed based on a lost contemporary portrait.[22]

In 1579 he arrived in Geneva. As D.W. Singer, a Bruno biographer, notes, "The question has sometimes been raised as to whether Bruno became a Protestant, but it is intrinsically most unlikely that he accepted membership in Calvin's communion"[23] During his Venetian trial he told inquisitors that while in Geneva he told the Marchese de Vico of Naples, who was notable for helping Italian refugees in Geneva, "I did not intend to adopt the religion of the city. I desired to stay there only that I might live at liberty and in security."[This quote needs a citation] Bruno had a pair of breeches made for himself, and the Marchese and others apparently made Bruno a gift of a sword, hat, cape and other necessities for dressing himself; in such clothing Bruno could no longer be recognised as a priest. Things apparently went well for Bruno for a time, as he entered his name in the Rector's Book of the University of Geneva in May 1579.[citation needed] But in keeping with his personality he could not long remain silent. In August he published an attack on the work of Antoine de la Faye [fr], a distinguished professor. He and the printer were promptly arrested. Rather than apologising, Bruno insisted on continuing to defend his publication. He was refused the right to take sacrament. Though this right was eventually restored, he left Geneva.[citation needed]

He went to France, arriving first in Lyon, and thereafter settling for a time (1580–1581) in Toulouse, where he took his doctorate in theology and was elected by students to lecture in philosophy. It seems he also attempted at this time to return to Catholicism, but was denied absolution by the Jesuit priest he approached.[citation needed] When religious strife broke out in the summer of 1581, he moved to Paris. There he held a cycle of thirty lectures on theological topics and also began to gain fame for his prodigious memory. Bruno's feats of memory were based, at least in part, on his elaborate system of mnemonics, but some of his contemporaries found it easier to attribute them to magical powers.[citation needed] His talents attracted the benevolent attention of the king Henry III. The king summoned him to the court. Bruno subsequently reported

"I got me such a name that King Henry III summoned me one day to discover from me if the memory which I possessed was natural or acquired by magic art. I satisfied him that it did not come from sorcery but from organised knowledge; and, following this, I got a book on memory printed, entitled The Shadows of Ideas, which I dedicated to His Majesty. Forthwith he gave me an Extraordinary Lectureship with a salary."[24]


In Paris, Bruno enjoyed the protection of his powerful French patrons. During this period, he published several works on mnemonics, including De umbris idearum (On the Shadows of Ideas, 1582), Ars Memoriae (The Art of Memory, 1582), and Cantus Circaeus (Circe's Song, 1582). All of these were based on his mnemonic models of organised knowledge and experience, as opposed to the simplistic logic-based mnemonic techniques of Petrus Ramus then becoming popular.[citation needed] Bruno also published a comedy summarizing some of his philosophical positions, titled Il Candelaio (The Torchbearer, 1582). In the 16th century dedications were, as a rule, approved beforehand, and hence were a way of placing a work under the protection of an individual. Given that Bruno dedicated various works to the likes of King Henry III, Sir Philip Sidney, Michel de Castelnau (French Ambassador to England), and possibly Pope Pius V, it is apparent that this wanderer had risen sharply in status and moved in powerful circles.[citation needed]

England, 1583–1585

Image
Woodcut illustration of one of Giordano Bruno's less complex mnemonic devices

In April 1583, Bruno went to England with letters of recommendation from Henry III as a guest of the French ambassador, Michel de Castelnau. There he became acquainted with the poet Philip Sidney (to whom he dedicated two books) and other members of the Hermetic circle around John Dee, though there is no evidence that Bruno ever met Dee himself. He also lectured at Oxford, and unsuccessfully sought a teaching position there. His views were controversial, notably with John Underhill, Rector of Lincoln College and subsequently bishop of Oxford, and George Abbot, who later became Archbishop of Canterbury. Abbot mocked Bruno for supporting "the opinion of Copernicus that the earth did go round, and the heavens did stand still; whereas in truth it was his own head which rather did run round, and his brains did not stand still",[25] and found Bruno had both plagiarised and misrepresented Ficino's work, leading Bruno to return to the continent.[26]

Nevertheless, his stay in England was fruitful. During that time Bruno completed and published some of his most important works, the six "Italian Dialogues", including the cosmological tracts La Cena de le Ceneri (The Ash Wednesday Supper, 1584), De la Causa, Principio et Uno (On Cause, Principle and Unity, 1584), De l'Infinito, Universo e Mondi (On the Infinite, Universe and Worlds, 1584) as well as Lo Spaccio de la Bestia Trionfante (The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast, 1584) and De gl' Heroici Furori (On the Heroic Frenzies, 1585). Some of these were printed by John Charlewood. Some of the works that Bruno published in London, notably The Ash Wednesday Supper, appear to have given offense. Once again, Bruno's controversial views and tactless language lost him the support of his friends. John Bossy has advanced the theory that, while staying in the French Embassy in London, Bruno was also spying on Catholic conspirators, under the pseudonym "Henry Fagot", for Sir Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth's Secretary of State.[27]

Bruno is sometimes cited as being the first to propose that the universe is infinite, which he did during his time in England, but an English scientist, Thomas Digges, put forth this idea in a published work in 1576, some eight years earlier than Bruno.[28] An infinite universe and the possibility of alien life had also been earlier suggested by German Catholic Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa in "On Learned Ignorance" published in 1440.

Last years of wandering, 1585–1592

In October 1585, after the French embassy in London was attacked by a mob, Bruno returned to Paris with Castelnau, finding a tense political situation. Moreover, his 120 theses against Aristotelian natural science and his pamphlets against the mathematician Fabrizio Mordente soon put him in ill favour. In 1586, following a violent quarrel about Mordente's invention, the differential compass, he left France for Germany.[citation needed]

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Woodcut from "Articuli centum et sexaginta adversus huius tempestatis mathematicos atque philosophos", Prague 1588

In Germany he failed to obtain a teaching position at Marburg, but was granted permission to teach at Wittenberg, where he lectured on Aristotle for two years. However, with a change of intellectual climate there, he was no longer welcome, and went in 1588 to Prague, where he obtained 300 taler from Rudolf II, but no teaching position. He went on to serve briefly as a professor in Helmstedt, but had to flee again when he was excommunicated by the Lutherans.[citation needed]

During this period he produced several Latin works, dictated to his friend and secretary Girolamo Besler, including De Magia (On Magic), Theses De Magia (Theses on Magic) and De Vinculis in Genere (A General Account of Bonding). All these were apparently transcribed or recorded by Besler (or Bisler) between 1589 and 1590.[29] He also published De Imaginum, Signorum, Et Idearum Compositione (On the Composition of Images, Signs and Ideas, 1591).

In 1591 he was in Frankfurt. Apparently, during the Frankfurt Book Fair,[30] he received an invitation to Venice from the local patrician Giovanni Mocenigo, who wished to be instructed in the art of memory, and also heard of a vacant chair in mathematics at the University of Padua. At the time the Inquisition seemed to be losing some of its strictness, and because the Republic of Venice was the most liberal state in the Italian Peninsula, Bruno was lulled into making the fatal mistake of returning to Italy.[31]

He went first to Padua, where he taught briefly, and applied unsuccessfully for the chair of mathematics, which was given instead to Galileo Galilei one year later. Bruno accepted Mocenigo's invitation and moved to Venice in March 1592. For about two months he served as an in-house tutor to Mocenigo. When Bruno announced his plan to leave Venice to his host, the latter, who was unhappy with the teachings he had received and had apparently come to dislike Bruno, denounced him to the Venetian Inquisition, which had Bruno arrested on 22 May 1592. Among the numerous charges of blasphemy and heresy brought against him in Venice, based on Mocenigo's denunciation, was his belief in the plurality of worlds, as well as accusations of personal misconduct. Bruno defended himself skilfully, stressing the philosophical character of some of his positions, denying others and admitting that he had had doubts on some matters of dogma. The Roman Inquisition, however, asked for his transfer to Rome. After several months of argument, the Venetian authorities reluctantly consented and Bruno was sent to Rome in February 1593.[citation needed]

Imprisonment, trial and execution, 1593–1600

During the seven years of his trial in Rome, Bruno was held in confinement, lastly in the Tower of Nona. Some important documents about the trial are lost, but others have been preserved, among them a summary of the proceedings that was rediscovered in 1940.[32] The numerous charges against Bruno, based on some of his books as well as on witness accounts, included blasphemy, immoral conduct, and heresy in matters of dogmatic theology, and involved some of the basic doctrines of his philosophy and cosmology. Luigi Firpo speculates the charges made against Bruno by the Roman Inquisition were:[33]

• holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith and speaking against it and its ministers;
• holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith about the Trinity, divinity of Christ, and Incarnation;
• holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith pertaining to Jesus as Christ;
• holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith regarding the virginity of Mary, mother of Jesus;
• holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith about both Transubstantiation and Mass;
• claiming the existence of a plurality of worlds and their eternity;
• believing in metempsychosis and in the transmigration of the human soul into brutes;
• dealing in magics and divination.

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The trial of Giordano Bruno by the Roman Inquisition. Bronze relief by Ettore Ferrari, Campo de' Fiori, Rome.

Bruno defended himself as he had in Venice, insisting that he accepted the Church's dogmatic teachings, but
trying to preserve the basis of his philosophy. In particular, he held firm to his belief in the plurality of worlds, although he was admonished to abandon it. His trial was overseen by the Inquisitor Cardinal Bellarmine, who demanded a full recantation, which Bruno eventually refused. On 20 January 1600, Pope Clement VIII declared Bruno a heretic, and the Inquisition issued a sentence of death. According to the correspondence of Gaspar Schopp of Breslau, he is said to have made a threatening gesture towards his judges and to have replied: Maiori forsan cum timore sententiam in me fertis quam ego accipiam ("Perhaps you pronounce this sentence against me with greater fear than I receive it").[34]

He was turned over to the secular authorities. On Ash Wednesday, 17 February 1600, in the Campo de' Fiori (a central Roman market square), with his "tongue imprisoned because of his wicked words", he was hung upside down naked before finally being burned at the stake.[35][36] His ashes were thrown into the Tiber river. All of Bruno's works were placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum in 1603. The inquisition cardinals who judged Giordano Bruno were Cardinal Bellarmino (Bellarmine), Cardinal Madruzzo (Madruzzi), Camillo Cardinal Borghese (later Pope Paul V), Domenico Cardinal Pinelli, Pompeio Cardinal Arrigoni, Cardinal Sfondrati, Pedro Cardinal De Deza Manuel and Cardinal Santorio (Archbishop of Santa Severina, Cardinal-Bishop of Palestrina).

The measures taken to prevent Bruno continuing to speak have resulted in his becoming a symbol for free thought and speech in present-day Rome, where an annual memorial service takes place close to the spot where he was executed.[37]

Physical appearance

The earliest likeness of Bruno is an engraving published in 1715[38] and cited by Salvestrini as "the only known portrait of Bruno". Salvestrini suggests that it is a re-engraving made from a now lost original.[22] This engraving has provided the source for later images.

The records of Bruno's imprisonment by the Venetian inquisition in May 1592 describe him as a man "of average height, with a hazel-coloured beard and the appearance of being about forty years of age". Alternately, a passage in a work by George Abbot indicates that Bruno was of diminutive stature: "When that Italian Didapper, who intituled himselfe Philotheus Iordanus Brunus Nolanus, magis elaboratae Theologiae Doctor, &c. with a name longer than his body...".[39] The word "didapper" used by Abbot is the derisive term which at the time meant "a small diving waterfowl".[40]

Cosmology

Contemporary cosmological beliefs


See also: Celestial spheres § History

Image
Illuminated illustration of the Ptolemaic geocentric conception of the universe. The outermost text reads "The heavenly empire, dwelling of God and all the selected"

In the first half of the 15th century, Nicholas of Cusa challenged the then widely accepted philosophies of Aristotelianism, envisioning instead an infinite universe whose centre was everywhere and circumference nowhere, and moreover teeming with countless stars.[41] He also predicted that neither were the rotational orbits circular nor were their movements uniform.[42]

In the second half of the 16th century, the theories of Copernicus (1473–1543) began diffusing through Europe. Copernicus conserved the idea of planets fixed to solid spheres, but considered the apparent motion of the stars to be an illusion caused by the rotation of the Earth on its axis; he also preserved the notion of an immobile centre, but it was the Sun rather than the Earth. Copernicus also argued the Earth was a planet orbiting the Sun once every year. However he maintained the Ptolemaic hypothesis that the orbits of the planets were composed of perfect circles—deferents and epicycles—and that the stars were fixed on a stationary outer sphere.[43]

Despite the widespread publication of Copernicus' work De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, during Bruno's time most educated Catholics subscribed to the Aristotelian geocentric view that the Earth was the centre of the universe, and that all heavenly bodies revolved around it.[44] The ultimate limit of the universe was the primum mobile, whose diurnal rotation was conferred upon it by a transcendental God, not part of the universe (although, as the kingdom of heaven, adjacent to it[45]), a motionless prime mover and first cause. The fixed stars were part of this celestial sphere, all at the same fixed distance from the immobile Earth at the center of the sphere. Ptolemy had numbered these at 1,022, grouped into 48 constellations. The planets were each fixed to a transparent sphere.[46]

Few astronomers of Bruno's time accepted Copernicus's heliocentric model. Among those who did were the Germans Michael Maestlin (1550–1631), Christoph Rothmann, Johannes Kepler (1571–1630); the Englishman Thomas Digges, author of A Perfit Description of the Caelestial Orbes; and the Italian Galileo Galilei (1564–1642).

Bruno's cosmological claims

In 1584, Bruno published two important philosophical dialogues (La Cena de le Ceneri and De l'infinito universo et mondi) in which he argued against the planetary spheres (Christoph Rothmann did the same in 1586 as did Tycho Brahe in 1587) and affirmed the Copernican principle.

In particular, to support the Copernican view and oppose the objection according to which the motion of the Earth would be perceived by means of the motion of winds, clouds etc., in La Cena de le Ceneri Bruno anticipates some of the arguments of Galilei on the relativity principle.[47] Note that he also uses the example now known as Galileo's ship.

Theophilus – [...] air through which the clouds and winds move are parts of the Earth, [...] to mean under the name of Earth the whole machinery and the entire animated part, which consists of dissimilar parts; so that the rivers, the rocks, the seas, the whole vaporous and turbulent air, which is enclosed within the highest mountains, should belong to the Earth as its members, just as the air [does] in the lungs and in other cavities of animals by which they breathe, widen their arteries, and other similar effects necessary for life are performed. The clouds, too, move through accidents in the body of the Earth and are in its bowels as are the waters. [...] With the Earth move [...] all things that are on the Earth. If, therefore, from a point outside the Earth something were thrown upon the Earth, it would lose, because of the latter's motion, its straightness as would be seen on the ship [...] moving along a river, if someone on point C of the riverbank were to throw a stone along a straight line, and would see the stone miss its target by the amount of the velocity of the ship's motion. But if someone were placed high on the mast of that ship, move as it may however fast, he would not miss his target at all, so that the stone or some other heavy thing thrown downward would not come along a straight line from the point E which is at the top of the mast, or cage, to the point D which is at the bottom of the mast, or at some point in the bowels and body of the ship. Thus, if from the point D to the point E someone who is inside the ship would throw a stone straight up, it would return to the bottom along the same line however far the ship moved, provided it was not subject to any pitch and roll."[48]


Bruno's infinite universe was filled with a substance—a "pure air", aether, or spiritus—that offered no resistance to the heavenly bodies which, in Bruno's view, rather than being fixed, moved under their own impetus (momentum). Most dramatically, he completely abandoned the idea of a hierarchical universe.

The universe is then one, infinite, immobile.... It is not capable of comprehension and therefore is endless and limitless, and to that extent infinite and indeterminable, and consequently immobile.[49]


Bruno's cosmology distinguishes between "suns" which produce their own light and heat, and have other bodies moving around them; and "earths" which move around suns and receive light and heat from them.[50] Bruno suggested that some, if not all, of the objects classically known as fixed stars are in fact suns.[50] According to astrophysicist Steven Soter, he was the first person to grasp that "stars are other suns with their own planets."[51]

Bruno wrote that other worlds "have no less virtue nor a nature different from that of our Earth" and, like Earth, "contain animals and inhabitants".[52]

During the late 16th century, and throughout the 17th century, Bruno's ideas were held up for ridicule, debate, or inspiration. Margaret Cavendish, for example, wrote an entire series of poems against "atoms" and "infinite worlds" in Poems and Fancies in 1664. Bruno's true, if partial, vindication would have to wait for the implications and impact of Newtonian cosmology.[53] Bruno's overall contribution to the birth of modern science is still controversial. Some scholars follow Frances Yates stressing the importance of Bruno's ideas about the universe being infinite and lacking geocentric structure as a crucial crossing point between the old and the new. Others see in Bruno's idea of multiple worlds instantiating the infinite possibilities of a pristine, indivisible One,[54] a forerunner of Everett's many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.[55]

While many academics note Bruno's theological position as pantheism, several have described it as pandeism, and some also as panentheism.[56][57] Physicist and philosopher Max Bernhard Weinstein in his Welt- und Lebensanschauungen, Hervorgegangen aus Religion, Philosophie und Naturerkenntnis ("World and Life Views, Emerging From Religion, Philosophy and Nature"), wrote that the theological model of pandeism was strongly expressed in the teachings of Bruno, especially with respect to the vision of a deity for which "the concept of God is not separated from that of the universe."[58] However, Otto Kern takes exception to what he considers Weinstein's overbroad assertions that Bruno, as well as other historical philosophers such as John Scotus Eriugena, Anselm of Canterbury, Nicholas of Cusa, Mendelssohn, and Lessing, were pandeists or leaned towards pandeism.[59] Discover editor Corey S. Powell also described Bruno's cosmology as pandeistic, writing that it was "a tool for advancing an animist or Pandeist theology",[60] and this assessment of Bruno as a pandeist was agreed with by science writer Michael Newton Keas,[61] and The Daily Beast writer David Sessions.[62]

Retrospective views of Bruno

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The monument to Bruno in the place he was executed, Campo de' Fiori in Rome

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Monument to Giordano Bruno at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, Germany, referencing his burning at the stake while tied upside down.
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Late Vatican position

The Vatican has published few official statements about Bruno's trial and execution. In 1942, Cardinal Giovanni Mercati, who discovered a number of lost documents relating to Bruno's trial, stated that the Church was perfectly justified in condemning him. On the 400th anniversary of Bruno's death, in 2000, Cardinal Angelo Sodano declared Bruno's death to be a "sad episode" but, despite his regret, he defended Bruno's prosecutors, maintaining that the Inquisitors "had the desire to serve freedom and promote the common good and did everything possible to save his life".[63] In the same year, Pope John Paul II made a general apology for "the use of violence that some have committed in the service of truth".[64]

A martyr of science

Some authors have characterised Bruno as a "martyr of science", suggesting parallels with the Galileo affair which began around 1610.[65] "It should not be supposed," writes A. M. Paterson of Bruno and his "heliocentric solar system", that he "reached his conclusions via some mystical revelation....His work is an essential part of the scientific and philosophical developments that he initiated."[66] Paterson echoes Hegel in writing that Bruno "ushers in a modern theory of knowledge that understands all natural things in the universe to be known by the human mind through the mind's dialectical structure".[67]

Ingegno writes that Bruno embraced the philosophy of Lucretius, "aimed at liberating man from the fear of death and the gods."[68] Characters in Bruno's Cause, Principle and Unity desire "to improve speculative science and knowledge of natural things," and to achieve a philosophy "which brings about the perfection of the human intellect most easily and eminently, and most closely corresponds to the truth of nature."[69]

Other scholars oppose such views, and claim Bruno's martyrdom to science to be exaggerated, or outright false. For Yates, while "nineteenth century liberals" were thrown "into ecstasies" over Bruno's Copernicanism, "Bruno pushes Copernicus' scientific work back into a prescientific stage, back into Hermeticism, interpreting the Copernican diagram as a hieroglyph of divine mysteries."[70]

According to historian Mordechai Feingold, "Both admirers and critics of Giordano Bruno basically agree that he was pompous and arrogant, highly valuing his opinions and showing little patience with anyone who even mildly disagreed with him." Discussing Bruno's experience of rejection when he visited Oxford University, Feingold suggests that "it might have been Bruno's manner, his language and his self-assertiveness, rather than his ideas" that caused offence.[71]

Theological heresy

In his Lectures on the History of Philosophy Hegel writes that Bruno's life represented "a bold rejection of all Catholic beliefs resting on mere authority."[72]

Alfonso Ingegno states that Bruno's philosophy "challenges the developments of the Reformation, calls into question the truth-value of the whole of Christianity, and claims that Christ perpetrated a deceit on mankind... Bruno suggests that we can now recognise the universal law which controls the perpetual becoming of all things in an infinite universe."[73] A. M. Paterson says that, while we no longer have a copy of the official papal condemnation of Bruno, his heresies included "the doctrine of the infinite universe and the innumerable worlds" and his beliefs "on the movement of the earth".[74]

Michael White notes that the Inquisition may have pursued Bruno early in his life on the basis of his opposition to Aristotle, interest in Arianism, reading of Erasmus, and possession of banned texts.[75] White considers that Bruno's later heresy was "multifaceted" and may have rested on his conception of infinite worlds. "This was perhaps the most dangerous notion of all... If other worlds existed with intelligent beings living there, did they too have their visitations? The idea was quite unthinkable."[75]

Frances Yates rejects what she describes as the "legend that Bruno was prosecuted as a philosophical thinker, was burned for his daring views on innumerable worlds or on the movement of the earth." Yates however writes that "the Church was... perfectly within its rights if it included philosophical points in its condemnation of Bruno's heresies" because "the philosophical points were quite inseparable from the heresies."[76]

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "in 1600 there was no official Catholic position on the Copernican system, and it was certainly not a heresy. When [...] Bruno [...] was burned at the stake as a heretic, it had nothing to do with his writings in support of Copernican cosmology."[77]

The website of the Vatican Apostolic Archive, discussing a summary of legal proceedings against Bruno in Rome, states:

"In the same rooms where Giordano Bruno was questioned, for the same important reasons of the relationship between science and faith, at the dawning of the new astronomy and at the decline of Aristotle's philosophy, sixteen years later, Cardinal Bellarmino, who then contested Bruno's heretical theses, summoned Galileo Galilei, who also faced a famous inquisitorial trial, which, luckily for him, ended with a simple abjuration."[78]


Artistic depictions

Following the 1870 Capture of Rome by the newly created Kingdom of Italy and the end of the Church's temporal power over the city, the erection of a monument to Bruno on the site of his execution became feasible. The monument was sharply opposed by the clerical party, but was finally erected by the Rome Municipality and inaugurated in 1889.[79]

A statue of a stretched human figure standing on its head, designed by Alexander Polzin and depicting Bruno's death at the stake, was placed in Potsdamer Platz station in Berlin on 2 March 2008.[80][81]

Retrospective iconography of Bruno shows him with a Dominican cowl but not tonsured. Edward Gosselin has suggested that it is likely Bruno kept his tonsure at least until 1579, and it is possible that he wore it again thereafter.[82]

An idealised animated version of Bruno appears in the first episode of the 2014 television series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. In this depiction, Bruno is shown with a more modern look, without tonsure and wearing clerical robes and without his hood. Cosmos presents Bruno as an impoverished philosopher who was ultimately executed due to his refusal to recant his belief in other worlds, a portrayal that was criticised by some as simplistic or historically inaccurate.[83][84][85] Corey S. Powell, of Discover magazine, says of Bruno, "A major reason he moved around so much is that he was argumentative, sarcastic, and drawn to controversy...He was a brilliant, complicated, difficult man.[83]

The 2016 song "Roman Sky" by hard rock band Avenged Sevenfold focuses on the death of Bruno.[86]

Also the song "Anima Mundi" by Massimiliano Larocca and the album Numen Lumen by neofolk group Hautville, which tracks Bruno's lyrics, were dedicated to the philosopher.

References in poetry

Algernon Charles Swinburne wrote a poem honouring Giordano Bruno in 1889, when the statue of Bruno was constructed in Rome.[87]

Czeslaw Milosz evokes the story and image of Giordano Bruno in his poem "Campo Dei Fiori" (Warsaw 1943).[88] Randall Jarell's poem "The Emancipators" addresses Bruno, along with Galileo and Newton, as an originator of the modern scientific-industrial world.[citation needed]

Heather McHugh depicted Bruno as the principal of a story told (at dinner, by an "underestimated" travel guide) to a group of contemporary American poets in Rome. The poem (originally published in McHugh's collection of poems Hinge & Sign, nominee for the National Book Award, and subsequently reprinted widely) channels the very question of ars poetica, or meta-meaning itself, through the embedded narrative of the suppression of Bruno's words, silenced towards the end of his life both literally and literarily.[89]

Louis L’amour wrote To Giordano Bruno, a poem published in Smoke From This Altar, 1990.

Appearances in fiction

Bruno and his theory of "the coincidence of contraries" (coincidentia oppositorum) play an important role in James Joyce's novel Finnegans Wake. Joyce wrote in a letter to his patroness, Harriet Shaw Weaver, "His philosophy is a kind of dualism – every power in nature must evolve an opposite in order to realise itself and opposition brings reunion".[90] Amongst his numerous allusions to Bruno in his novel, including his trial and torture, Joyce plays upon Bruno's notion of coincidentia oppositorum through applying his name to word puns such as "Browne and Nolan" (the name of Dublin printers) and '"brownesberrow in nolandsland".[91]

Giordano Bruno features as the hero in a series of historical crime novels by S.J. Parris (a pseudonym of Stephanie Merritt). In order these are Heresy, Prophecy, Sacrilege, Treachery, Conspiracy and Execution.[92]

The Last Confession by Morris West (posthumously published) is a fictional autobiography of Bruno, ostensibly written shortly before his execution.[93]

In 1973 the biographical drama Giordano Bruno was released, an Italian/French movie directed by Giuliano Montaldo, starring Gian Maria Volonté as Bruno.[94]

Giordano Bruno Foundation

Main article: Giordano Bruno Foundation

The Giordano Bruno Foundation (German: Giordano-Bruno-Stiftung) is a non-profit foundation based in Germany that pursues the "Support of Evolutionary Humanism". It was founded by entrepreneur Herbert Steffen in 2004. The Giordano Bruno Foundation is critical of religious fundamentalism and nationalism[95]

Giordano Bruno Memorial Award

The SETI League makes an annual award honouring the memory of Giordano Bruno to a deserving person or persons who have made a significant contribution to the practice of SETI (the search for extraterrestrial intelligence). The award was proposed by sociologist Donald Tarter in 1995 on the 395th anniversary of Bruno's death. The trophy presented is called a Bruno.[96]

Astronomical objects named after Bruno

The 22 km impact crater Giordano Bruno on the far side of the Moon is named in his honour, as are the main belt Asteroids 5148 Giordano and 13223 Cenaceneri; the latter is named after his philosophical dialogue La Cena de le Ceneri ("The Ash Wednesday Supper") (see above).

Other remembrances

Radio broadcasting station 2GB in Sydney, Australia is named for Bruno. The two letters "GB" in the call sign were chosen to honour Bruno, who was much admired by Theosophists who were the original holders of the station's licence.

Hans Werner Henze set his large scale cantata for orchestra, choir and four soloists, Novae de infinito laudes to Italian texts by Bruno, recorded in 1972 at the Salzburg Festival reissued on CD Orfeo C609 031B.[97]

Works

• De umbris idearum (The Shadows of Ideas, Paris, 1582)
• Cantus Circaeus (The Incantation of Circe, 1582)[98]
• De compendiosa architectura et complento artis Lulli (A Compendium of Architecture and Lulli's Art, 1582)[99]
• Candelaio (The Torchbearer or The Candle Bearer, 1582; play)
• Ars reminiscendi (The Art of Memory, 1583)
• Explicatio triginta sigillorum (Explanation of Thirty Seals, 1583)[100]
• Sigillus sigillorum (The Seal of Seals, 1583)[101]
• La Cena de le Ceneri (The Ash Wednesday Supper, 1584)
• De la causa, principio, et uno (Concerning Cause, Principle, and Unity, 1584)
• De l'infinito universo et mondi (On the Infinite Universe and Worlds, 1584)
• Spaccio de la Bestia Trionfante (The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast, London, 1584)
• Cabala del cavallo Pegaseo (Cabal of the Horse Pegasus, 1585)
• De gli heroici furori (The Heroic Frenzies, 1585)[102]
• Figuratio Aristotelici Physici auditus (Figures From Aristotle's Physics, 1585)
• Dialogi duo de Fabricii Mordentis Salernitani (Two Dialogues of Fabricii Mordentis Salernitani, 1586)
• Idiota triumphans (The Triumphant Idiot, 1586)
• De somni interpretatione (Dream Interpretation, 1586)[103]
• Animadversiones circa lampadem lullianam (Amendments regarding Lull's Lantern, 1586)[103]
• Lampas triginta statuarum (The Lantern of Thirty Statues, 1586)[104]
• Centum et viginti articuli de natura et mundo adversus peripateticos (One Hundred and Twenty Articles on Nature and the World Against the Peripatetics, 1586)[105]
• De Lampade combinatoria Lulliana (The Lamp of Combinations according to Lull, 1587)[106]
• De progressu et lampade venatoria logicorum (Progress and the Hunter's Lamp of Logical Methods, 1587)[107]
• Oratio valedictoria (Valedictory Oration, 1588)[108]
• Camoeracensis Acrotismus (The Pleasure of Dispute, 1588)[109]
• De specierum scrutinio (1588)[110][failed verification]
• Articuli centum et sexaginta adversus huius tempestatis mathematicos atque Philosophos (One Hundred and Sixty Theses Against Mathematicians and Philosophers, 1588)[111]
• Oratio consolatoria (Consolation Oration, 1589)[111]
• De vinculis in genere (Of Bonds in General, 1591)[110]
• De triplici minimo et mensura (On the Threefold Minimum and Measure, 1591)[14]
• De monade numero et figura (On the Monad, Number, and Figure, Frankfurt, 1591)[112]
• De innumerabilibus, immenso, et infigurabili (Of Innumerable Things, Vastness and the Unrepresentable, 1591)
• De imaginum, signorum et idearum compositione (On the Composition of Images, Signs and Ideas, 1591)
• Summa terminorum metaphysicorum (Handbook of Metaphysical Terms, 1595)[113][114]
• Artificium perorandi (The Art of Communicating, 1612)

Collections

• Jordani Bruni Nolani opera latine conscripta (Giordano Bruno the Nolan's Works Written in Latin), Dritter Band (1962) / curantibus F. Tocco et H. Vitelli

See also

• Fermi paradox
• List of Roman Catholic scientist-clerics

Notes

1.       Leo Catana (2005). The Concept of Contraction in Giordano Bruno's Philosophy. Ashgate Pub. ISBN 978-0754652618. When Bruno states in De la causa that matter provides the extension of particulars, he follows Averroes.
2.       Bouvet, Molière; avec une notice sur le théâtre au XVIIe siècle, une biographie chronologique de Molière, une étude générale de son oeuvre, une analyse méthodique du "Malade", des notes, des questions par Alphonse (1973). Le malade imaginaire; L'amour médecin. Paris: Bordas. p. 23. ISBN 978-2-04-006776-2.
3.       Gatti, Hilary. Giordano Bruno and Renaissance Science: Broken Lives and Organizational Power. Cornell University Press, 2002, 1, ISBN 0-801-48785-4
4.       Bruno was a mathematician and philosopher, but is not considered an astronomer by the modern astronomical community, as there is no record of him carrying out physical observations, as was the case with Brahe, Kepler, and Galileo. Pogge, Richard W. http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Essays/Bruno.html 1999.
5.       Birx, H. James. "Giordano Bruno" The Harbinger, Mobile, AL, 11 November 1997. "Bruno was burned to death at the stake for his pantheistic stance and cosmic perspective."
6.       Arturo Labriola, Giordano Bruno: Martyrs of free thought no. 1
7.       Frances Yates, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1964, p. 450
8.       Michael J. Crowe, The Extraterrestrial Life Debate 1750–1900, Cambridge University Press, 1986, p. 10, "[Bruno's] sources... seem to have been more numerous than his followers, at least until the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century revival of interest in Bruno as a supposed 'martyr for science.' It is true that he was burned at the stake in Rome in 1600, but the church authorities guilty of this action were almost certainly more distressed at his denial of Christ's divinity and alleged diabolism than at his cosmological doctrines."
9.       Adam Frank (2009). The Constant Fire: Beyond the Science vs. Religion Debate, University of California Press, p. 24, "Though Bruno may have been a brilliant thinker whose work stands as a bridge between ancient and modern thought, his persecution cannot be seen solely in light of the war between science and religion."
10.      White, Michael (2002). The Pope and the Heretic: The True Story of Giordano Bruno, the Man who Dared to Defy the Roman Inquisition, p. 7. Perennial, New York. "This was perhaps the most dangerous notion of all... If other worlds existed with intelligent beings living there, did they too have their visitations? The idea was quite unthinkable."
11.      Shackelford, Joel (2009). "Myth 7 That Giordano Bruno was the first martyr of modern science". In Numbers, Ronald L. (ed.). Galileo goes to jail and other myths about science and religion. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. p. 66. "Yet the fact remains that cosmological matters, notably the plurality of worlds, were an identifiable concern all along and appear in the summary document: Bruno was repeatedly questioned on these matters, and he apparently refused to recant them at the end.14 So, Bruno probably was burned alive for resolutely maintaining a series of heresies, among which his teaching of the plurality of worlds was prominent but by no means singular."
12.      Gatti, Hilary (2002). Giordano Bruno and Renaissance Science: Broken Lives and Organizational Power. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. pp. 18–19. ISBN 978-0801487859. Retrieved 21 March 2014. For Bruno was claiming for the philosopher a principle of free thought and inquiry which implied an entirely new concept of authority: that of the individual intellect in its serious and continuing pursuit of an autonomous inquiry… It is impossible to understand the issue involved and to evaluate justly the stand made by Bruno with his life without appreciating the question of free thought and liberty of expression. His insistence on placing this issue at the centre of both his work and of his defense is why Bruno remains so much a figure of the modern world. If there is, as many have argued, an intrinsic link between science and liberty of inquiry, then Bruno was among those who guaranteed the future of the newly emerging sciences, as well as claiming in wider terms a general principle of free thought and expression.
13.      Montano, Aniello (2007). Antonio Gargano (ed.). Le deposizioni davanti al tribunale dell'Inquisizione. Napoli: La Città del Sole. p. 71. In Rome, Bruno was imprisoned for seven years and subjected to a difficult trial which analysed, minutely, all his philosophical ideas. Bruno, who in Venice had been willing to recant some theses, become increasingly resolute and declared on 21 December 1599 that he 'did not wish to repent of having too little to repent, and in fact did not know what to repent.' Declared an unrepentant heretic and excommunicated, he was burned alive in the Campo dei Fiori in Rome on Ash Wednesday, 17 February 1600. On the stake, along with Bruno, burned the hopes of many, including philosophers and scientists of good faith like Galileo, who thought they could reconcile religious faith and scientific research, while belonging to an ecclesiastical organisation declaring itself to be the custodian of absolute truth and maintaining a cultural militancy requiring continual commitment and suspicion.
14.     "Giordano Bruno". Encyclopædia Britannica.
15.      The primary work on the relationship between Bruno and Hermeticism is Frances Yates, Giordano Bruno and The Hermetic Tradition, 1964; for an alternative assessment, placing more emphasis on the Kabbalah, and less on Hermeticism, see Karen Silvia De Leon-Jones, Giordano Bruno and the Kabbalah, Yale, 1997; for a return to emphasis on Bruno's role in the development of Science, and criticism of Yates' emphasis on magical and Hermetic themes, see Hillary Gatti (1999), Giordano Bruno and Renaissance Science, Cornell.
16.      Alessandro G. Farinella and Carole Preston, "Giordano Bruno: Neoplatonism and the Wheel of Memory in the 'De Umbris Idearum'", in Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 2, (Summer, 2002), pp. 596–624; Arielle Saiber, Giordano Bruno and the Geometry of Language, Ashgate, 2005
17.      Dorothea Waley Singer (1950), Giordano Bruno, His Life and Thought, New York.
18.      This is recorded in the diary of one Guillaume Cotin, librarian of the Abbey of St. Victor, who recorded recollections of a number of personal conversations he had with Bruno. Bruno also mentions this dedication in the Dedicatory Epistle of The Cabala of Pegasus (Cabala del Cavallo Pegaseo, 1585).
19.      Gargano (2007), p. 11
20.      Gosselin has argued that Bruno's report that he returned to Dominican garb in Padua suggests that he kept his tonsure at least until his arrival in Geneva in 1579. He also suggests it is likely that Bruno kept the tonsure even after this point, showing a continued and deep religious attachment contrary to the way in which Bruno has been portrayed as a martyr for modern science. Instead, Gosselin argues, Bruno should be understood in the context of reformist Catholic dissenters. Edward A. Gosselin, "A Dominican Head in Layman's Garb? A Correction to the Scientific Iconography of Giordano Bruno", in The Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Autumn, 1996), pp. 673–678.
21.      Dorothea Waley Singer, Giordano Bruno, His Life and Thought, New York, 1950 "Following the northern route back through Brescia, Bruno came to Bergamo where he resumed the monastic habit. He perhaps visited Milan, and then leaving Italy he crossed the Alps by the Mont Cenis pass, and came to Chambéry. He describes his hospitable reception there by the Dominican Convent, but again he received no encouragement to remain, and he journeyed on to Lyons. Bruno's next movements are obscure. In 1579 he reached Geneva."
22.      Virgilio Salvestrini, Bibliografia di Giordano Bruno, Firenze, 1958
23.      Dorothea Waley Singer, Giordano Bruno, His Life and Thought, New York, 1950; Singer points out in a footnote that Bruno's name appears in a list, compiled one hundred years later, of Italian refugees who had belonged to the Protestant church of Geneva. However, she does not find this evidence convincing.
24.      William Boulting (1916). Giordano Bruno: His Life, Thought, and Martyrdom, p. 58
25.      Weiner, Andrew D. (1980). "Expelling the Beast: Bruno's Adventures in England". Modern Philology. 78 (1): 1–13. doi:10.1086/391002. JSTOR 437245.
26.      Hannam, James. God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science. Icon Books Ltd, 2009, 312, ISBN 978-1848310704)
27.      Bossy, John (1991). Giordano Bruno and the Embassy Affair. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-04993-0.
28.      John Gribbin (2009). In Search of the Multiverse: Parallel Worlds, Hidden Dimensions, and the Ultimate Quest for the Frontiers of Reality, ISBN 978-0470613528. p. 88
29.      Giordano Bruno, Cause Principle and Unity, and Essays on Magic, Edited by Richard J. Blackwell and Robert de Lucca, Cambridge, 1998, xxxvi
30.      Boulting, William (2014). Giordano Bruno: His Life, Thought, and Martyrdom. Routledge. pp. 220–226. ISBN 978-1138008144.
31.      "Giordano Bruno". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 8 May2014. At the time such a move did not seem to be too much of a risk: Venice was by far the most liberal of the Italian states; the European tension had been temporarily eased after the death of the intransigent pope Sixtus V in 1590; the Protestant Henry of Bourbon was now on the throne of France, and a religious pacification seemed to be imminent.
32.      "II Sommario del Processo di Giordano Bruno, con appendice di Documenti sull'eresia e l'inquisizione a Modena nel secolo XVI", edited by Angelo Mercati, in Studi e Testi, vol. 101.
33.      Luigi Firpo, Il processo di Giordano Bruno, 1993.
34.      This is discussed in Dorothea Waley Singer, Giordano Bruno, His Life and Thought, New York, 1950, ch. 7, "A gloating account of the whole ritual is given in a letter written on the very day by a youth named Gaspar Schopp of Breslau, a recent convert to Catholicism to whom Pope Clement VIII had shown great favour, creating him Knight of St. Peter and Count of the Sacred Palace. Schopp was addressing Conrad Rittershausen. He recounts that because of his heresy Bruno had been publicly burned that day in the Square of Flowers in front of the Theatre of Pompey. He makes merry over the belief of the Italians that every heretic is a Lutheran. It is evident that he had been present at the interrogations, for he relates in detail the life of Bruno and the works and doctrines for which he had been arraigned, and he gives a vivid account of Bruno's final appearance before his judges on 8 February. To Schopp we owe the knowledge of Bruno's bearing under judgement. When the verdict had been declared, records Schopp, Bruno with a threatening gesture addressed his judges: "Perchance you who pronounce my sentence are in greater fear than I who receive it." Thus he was dismissed to the prison, gloats the convert, "and was given eight days to recant, but in vain. So today he was led to the funeral pyre. When the image of our Saviour was shown to him before his death he angrily rejected it with averted face. Thus my dear Rittershausen is it our custom to proceed against such men or rather indeed such monsters."
35.      Fitzgerald, Timothy (2007). Discourse on Civility and Barbarity. Oxford University Press. p. 239. ISBN 978-0-19-804103-0. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
36.      "Il Sommario del Processo di Giordano Bruno, con appendice di Documenti sull'eresia e l'inquisizione a Modena nel secolo XVI", edited by Angelo Mercati, in Studi e Testi, vol. 101; the precise terminology for the tool used to silence Bruno before burning is recorded as una morsa di legno, or "a vise of wood", and not an iron spike as sometimes claimed by other sources.
37.      Ingrid D. Rowland (26 April 2016). Giordano Bruno: Philosopher/Heretic. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-4668-9584-3.
38.      Edward A. Gosselin, "A Dominican Head in Layman's Garb? A Correction to the Scientific Iconography of Giordano Bruno", in The Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Autumn, 1996), p. 674
39.      Robert McNulty, "Bruno at Oxford", in Renaissance News, 1960 (XIII), pp. 300–305
40.      The apparent contradiction is possibly due to different perceptions of "average height" between Oxford and Venice.
41.      Hopkins, Jasper (1985). Nicholas of Cusa on learned ignorance : a translation and an appraisal of De docta ignorantia(2nd ed.). Minneapolis: A.J. Benning Press. pp. 89–98. ISBN 978-0938060307. OCLC 12781538.
42.      Certeau, Michel De; Porter, Catherine (1987). "The Gaze Nicholas of Cusa". Diacritics. 17 (3): 15. doi:10.2307/464833. ISSN 0300-7162. JSTOR 464833.
43.      Koyré, Alexandre (1943). "NICOLAS COPERNICUS". Bulletin of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America. 1: 705–730.
44.      Blackwell, Richard (1991). Galileo, Bellarmine, and the Bible. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press. p. 25. ISBN 978-0268010249.
45.      See e.g. Cosmography by Peter Apian, Antwerp 1539 and its outer sphere
46.      Russell, Henry Norris (1931). "Tidying Up the Constellations". Scientific American. 144 (6): 380–381. Bibcode:1931SciAm.144..380R. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0631-380. ISSN 0036-8733.
47.      Alessandro De Angelis and Catarina Espirito Santo (2015), "The contribution of Giordano Bruno to the principle of relativity" (PDF), Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, 18 (3): 241–248, arXiv:1504.01604, Bibcode:2015JAHH...18..241D
48.      Giordano Bruno, Teofilo, in La Cena de le Ceneri, "Third Dialogue", (1584), ed. and trans. by S.L. Jaki (1975).
49.      Giordano Bruno, Teofilo, in Cause, Principle, and Unity, "Fifth Dialogue", (1588), ed. and trans. by Jack Lindsay (1962).
50.      Bruno, Giordano. "Third Dialogue". On the infinite universe and worlds. Archived from the original on 27 April 2012.
51.      Soter, Steven (13 March 2014). "The cosmos of Giordano Bruno". Discover. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
52.      "Giordano Bruno: On the Infinite Universe and Worlds (De l'Infinito Universo et Mondi) Introductory Epistle: Argument of the Third Dialogue". Archived from the original on 13 October 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
53.      Hussey, John (21 June 2014). Bang to Eternity and Betwixt: Cosmos.
54.      Hetherington, Norriss S., ed. (2014) [1993]. Encyclopedia of Cosmology (Routledge Revivals): Historical, Philosophical, and Scientific Foundations of Modern Cosmology. Routledge. p. 419. ISBN 978-1317677666. Retrieved 29 March 2015. Bruno (from the mouth of his character Philotheo) in his De l'infinito universo et mondi (1584) claims that "innumerable celestial bodies, stars, globes, suns and earths may be sensibly perceived therein by us and an infinite number of them may be inferred by our own reason."
55.      Max Tegmark, Parallel Universes, 2003
56.      Biernacki, Loriliai; Clayton, Philip (2014). Panentheism Across the World's Traditions. OUP USA. ISBN 9780199989898.
57.      Thielicke, Helmut (November 1990). Modern Faith and Thought. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 120. ISBN 9780802826725. bruno panentheistic.
58.      Max Bernhard Weinsten, Welt- und Lebensanschauungen, Hervorgegangen aus Religion, Philosophie und Naturerkenntnis("World and Life Views, Emerging From Religion, Philosophy and Nature") (1910), p. 321: "Also darf man vielleicht glauben, daß das ganze System eine Erhebung des Physischen aus seiner Natur in das Göttliche ist oder eine Durchstrahlung des Physischen durch das Göttliche; beides eine Art Pandeismus. Und so zeigt sich auch der Begriff Gottes von dem des Universums nicht getrennt; Gott ist naturierende Natur, Weltseele, Weltkraft. Da Bruno durchaus ablehnt, gegen die Religion zu lehren, so hat man solche Angaben wohl umgekehrt zu verstehen: Weltkraft, Weltseele, naturierende Natur, Universum sind in Gott. Gott ist Kraft der Weltkraft, Seele der Weltseele, Natur der Natur, Eins des Universums. Bruno spricht ja auch von mehreren Teilen der universellen Vernunft, des Urvermögens und der Urwirklichkeit. Und damit hängt zusammen, daß für ihn die Welt unendlich ist und ohne Anfang und Ende; sie ist in demselben Sinne allumfassend wie Gott. Aber nicht ganz wie Gott. Gott sei in allem und im einzelnen allumfassend, die Welt jedoch wohl in allem, aber nicht im einzelnen, da sie ja Teile in sich zuläßt."
59.      Review of Welt- und Lebensanschauungen, Hervorgegangen aus Religion, Philosophie und Naturerkenntnis ("World and Life Views, Emerging From Religion, Philosophy and Nature") in Emil Schürer, Adolf von Harnack, editors, Theologische Literaturzeitung ("Theological Literature Journal"), Volume 35, column 827 (1910): "Dem Verfasser hat anscheinend die Einteilung: religiöse, rationale und naturwissenschaftlich fundierte Weltanschauungen vorgeschwebt; er hat sie dann aber seinem Material gegenüber schwer durchführbar gefunden und durch die mitgeteilte ersetzt, die das Prinzip der Einteilung nur noch dunkel durchschimmern läßt. Damit hängt wohl auch das vom Verfasser gebildete unschöne griechisch-lateinische Mischwort des 'Pandeismus' zusammen. Nach S. 228 versteht er darunter im Unterschied von dem mehr metaphysisch gearteten Pantheismus einen 'gesteigerten und vereinheitlichten Animismus', also eine populäre Art religiöser Weltdeutung. Prhagt man lieh dies ein, so erstaunt man über die weite Ausdehnung, die dem Begriff in der Folge gegeben wird. Nach S. 284 ist Scotus Erigena ein ganzer, nach S. 300 Anselm von Canterbury ein 'halber Pandeist'; aber auch bei Nikolaus Cusanus und Giordano Bruno, ja selbst bei Mendelssohn und Lessing wird eine Art von Pandeismus gefunden (S. 306. 321. 346.)." Translation: "The author apparently intended to divide up religious, rational and scientifically based philosophies, but found his material overwhelming, resulting in an effort that can shine through the principle of classification only darkly. This probably is also the source of the unsightly Greek-Latin compound word, 'Pandeism.' At page 228, he understands the difference from the more metaphysical kind of pantheism, an enhanced unified animism that is a popular religious worldview. In remembering this borrowing, we were struck by the vast expanse given the term. According to page 284, Scotus Erigena is one entirely, at p. 300 Anselm of Canterbury is 'half Pandeist'; but also Nicholas of Cusa and Giordano Bruno, and even in Mendelssohn and Lessing a kind of Pandeism is found (p. 306 321 346.)".
60.      Powell, Corey S., "Defending Giordano Bruno: A Response from the Co-Writer of 'Cosmos', Discover, March 13, 2014: "Bruno imagines all planets and stars having souls (part of what he means by them all having the same "composition"), and he uses his cosmology as a tool for advancing an animist or Pandeist theology."
61.      Michael Newton Keas (2019). UNbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion. pp. 149–150.
62.      David Sessions, "How 'Cosmos' Bungles the History of Religion and Science", The Daily Beast, 03.23.14: "Bruno, for instance, was a 'pandeist', which is the belief that God had transformed himself into all matter and ceased to exist as a distinct entity in himself."
63.      Seife, Charles (1 March 2000). "Vatican Regrets Burning Cosmologist". Science Now. Archived from the original on 8 June 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
64.      Robinson, B A (7 March 2000), Apologies by Pope John Paul II, Ontario Consultants. Retrieved 27 December 2013
65.      "Giordano Bruno and Galileo Galilei," The Popular Science Monthly, Supplement, 1878.
66.      Antoinette Mann Paterson (1970). The Infinite Worlds of Giordano Bruno. Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois, 1970, p. 16.
67.      Paterson, p. 61.
68.      Cause, Principle and Unity, by Giordano Bruno. Edited by R.J. Blackwell and Robert de Lucca, with an Introduction by Alfonso Ingegno. Cambridge University Press, 1998
69.      Cause, Principle and Unity, by Giordano Bruno. Edited by R.J. Blackwell and Robert de Lucca, with an Introduction by Alfonso Ingegno. Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 63.
70.      Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, by Frances Yates. Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1964, p. 225
71.      Feingold, Mordechai; Vickers, Brian (1984). Occult and scientific mentalities in the Renaissance. pp. 73–94. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511572999.004. ISBN 978-0511572999.
72.      Hegel's lectures on the history of philosophy, translated by E.S. Haldane and F.H. Simson, in three volumes. Volume III, p. 119. The Humanities Press, 1974, New York.
73.      Cause, Principle and Unity, by Giordano Bruno. Edited by R.J. Blackwell and Robert de Lucca, with an Introduction by Alfonso Ingegno. p.x. Cambridge University Press, 1998.
74.      Paterson, p. 198.
75.      White, Michael (2002). The Pope and the Heretic: The True Story of Giordano Bruno, the Man who Dared to Defy the Roman Inquisition, p. 7. Perennial, New York.
76.      Yates, Frances, Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, pp. 354–356. Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1964.
77.      Sheila Rabin, "Nicolaus Copernicus" in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (online. Retrieved 19 November 2005).
78.      "Summary of the trial against Giordano Bruno: Rome, 1597". Vatican Secret Archives. Archived from the original on 9 June 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
79.      Paula Findlen, "A Hungry Mind: Giordano Bruno, Philosopher and Heretic", The Nation, 10 September 2008. "Campo de' Fiori was festooned with flags bearing Masonic symbols. Fiery speeches were made by politicians, scholars and atheists about the importance of commemorating Bruno as one of the most original and oppressed freethinkers of his age." Accessed on 19 September 2008
80.      Bhattacharjee, Yudhiijit (13 March 2008). "Think About It". Science. 319 (5869): 1467. doi:10.1126/science.319.5869.1467b.
81.      Dr. Michael Schmidt-Salomon (26 February 2008). "giordano bruno denkmal".
82.      Gosselin, Edward A. (1996). "A Dominican Head in Layman's Garb? A Correction to the Scientific Iconography of Giordano Bruno". The Sixteenth Century Journal. 27 (3): 673–678. doi:10.2307/2544011. JSTOR 2544011.
83.      Powell, Corey S. (10 March 2014). "Did Cosmos Pick the Wrong Hero?". Discover. Kalmbach Publishing. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
84.      Rosenau, Josh (18 March 2014). "Why Did Cosmos Focus on Giordano Bruno?". National Center for Science Education. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
85.      Sessions, David (3 March 2014). "How 'Cosmos' Bungles the History of Religion and Science". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
86.      Nash, Lisa (5 December 2016). "Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage (Album Review)". Cryptic Rock. Retrieved 23 December2016.
87.      Swinburne, Algernon Charles. "The Monument of Giordano Bruno". Archived from the original on 23 April 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
88.      Milosz, Czeslaw. "Campo Dei Fiori". Retrieved 7 February2017.
89.      "Tom Hunley's "Epiphanic Structure in Heather McHugh's Ars Poetica, 'What He Thought'"". Voltage Poetry. 21 February 2013.
90.      James Joyce, Letter to Harriet Shaw Weaver, 27 January 1925, Selected Letters, p. 307
91.      McHugh, Roland. Annotations to Finnegans Wake. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1980. Print, xv.
92.      O'Connell, John (13 March 2010). "Heresy by SJ Parris". The Guardian.
93.      Margaret Jones, "Vale a reluctant heretic", critique of The Last Confession, Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum, 5 August 2000.
94.      Peter E. Bondanella (2009). A history of Italian cinema. Continuum International Publishing Group.
95.      Heinrich, Daniel (12 November 2018). "Berlin human rights conference stands up to nationalism, religious fundamentalism". Deutsche Welle.
96.      PhD, H. Paul Shuch. "The SETI League, Inc. Giordano Bruno Technical Award". setileague.org. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
97.      Kohn, Rachael (15 November 2006). "Theosophy Today". The Spirit of Things (Transcript) "Erica Patient: She came into contact with theosophy through 2GB, Station 2GB when it was owned by the Theosophical Society. Rachael Kohn: GB stands for Giordano Bruno. Erica Patient: It does. Actually we wanted to have AB for Annie Besant, but it sounded too like ABC. So they said they wouldn't have it.". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
98.      Esoteric Archives, http://www.esotericarchives.com/bruno/circaeus.htm
99.      Mertens, Manuel (2009). "A Perspective on Bruno's "De Compendiosa Architectura et Complemento Artis Lullii"". Bruniana & Campanelliana. 15 (2): 513–525. JSTOR 24336760.
100.     "Thirty dangerous seals – Lines of thought".
101.     "'Meanings of "contractio" in Giordano Bruno's Sigillus sigillorum' – Staff". 30 March 2005.
102.     Esoteric Archives, http://www.esotericarchives.com/bruno/furori.htm
103.    "All About Heaven – Sources returnpage".
104.     Vassányi, Miklós (2010). Anima Mundi: The Rise of the World Soul Theory in Modern German Philosophy. ISBN 978-9048187966.
105.     Blum, Paul Richard (2012). Giordano Bruno. ISBN 978-9401208291.
106.     Blum, Paul Richard (2012). Giordano Bruno. ISBN 978-9401208291.
107.     "Progress and the Hunter's Lamp of Logical Methods". galileo. 24 June 2015.
108.     Rowland, Ingrid D. (September 2009). Giordano Bruno. ISBN 978-0226730240.
109.     Full text of 'The Pleasures of the Dispute'.
110.    Couliano, Ioan P. (1987). Eros and Magic in the Renaissance. ISBN 978-0226123165.
111.     Blum, Paul Richard (2012). Giordano Bruno. ISBN 978-9401208291.
112.     "De monade, numero et figura liber". Encyclopædia Britannica.
113.     Bruno, Giordano (1609). "Summa Terminorum metaphysicorum".
114.     Blum, Paul Richard (2012). Giordano Bruno. ISBN 978-9401208291.

References

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• Blum, Paul Richard (2012). Giordano Bruno: An Introduction. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi. ISBN 978-90-420-3555-3.
• Bombassaro, Luiz Carlos (2002). Im Schatten der Diana. Die Jagdmetapher im Werk von Giordano Bruno. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Verlag.
• Culianu, Ioan P. (1987). Eros and Magic in the Renaissance. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-12315-8.
• Aquilecchia, Giovanni; montano, aniello; bertrando, spaventa (2007). Gargano, Antonio (ed.). Le deposizioni davanti al tribunale dell'Inquisizione. La Citta del Sol.
• Gatti, Hilary (2002). Giordano Bruno and Renaissance Science. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-8785-9.
• Kessler, John (1900). Giordano Bruno: The Forgotten Philosopher. Rationalist Association.
• McIntyre, J. Lewis (1997). Giordano Bruno. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 978-1-56459-141-8.
• Mendoza, Ramon G. (1995). The Acentric Labyrinth. Giordano Bruno's Prelude to Contemporary Cosmology. Element Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85230-640-3.
• Rowland, Ingrid D. (2008). Giordano Bruno: Philosopher/Heretic. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. ISBN 978-0-8090-9524-7.
• Saiber, Arielle (2005). Giordano Bruno and the Geometry of Language. Ashgate. ISBN 978-0-7546-3321-1.
• Singer, Dorothea (1950). Giordano Bruno: His Life and Thought, With Annotated Translation of His Work – On the Infinite Universe and Worlds. Schuman. ISBN 978-1-117-31419-8.
• White, Michael (2002). The Pope & the Heretic. New York: William Morrow. ISBN 978-0-06-018626-5.
• Yates, Frances (1964). Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-95007-5.
• Michel, Paul Henri (1962). The Cosmology of Giordano Bruno. Translated by R.E.W. Maddison. Paris: Hermann; London: Methuen; Ithaca, New York: Cornell. ISBN 0-8014-0509-2
• The Cabala of Pegasus by Giordano Bruno, ISBN 0-300-09217-2
• Giordano Bruno, Paul Oskar Kristeller, Collier's Encyclopedia, Vol 4, 1987 ed., p. 634
• Il processo di Giordano Bruno, Luigi Firpo, 1993
• Giordano Bruno,Il primo libro della Clavis Magna, ovvero, Il trattato sull'intelligenza artificiale, a cura di Claudio D'Antonio, Di Renzo Editore.
• Giordano Bruno,Il secondo libro della Clavis Magna, ovvero, Il Sigillo dei Sigilli, a cura di Claudio D'Antonio, Di Renzo Editore.
• Giordano Bruno, Il terzo libro della Clavis Magna, ovvero, La logica per immagini, a cura di Claudio D'Antonio, Di Renzo Editore
• Giordano Bruno, Il quarto libro della Clavis Magna, ovvero, L'arte di inventare con Trenta Statue, a cura di Claudio D'Antonio, Di Renzo Editore
• Giordano Bruno L'incantesimo di Circe, a cura di Claudio D'Antonio, Di Renzo Editore
• Guido del Giudice, WWW Giordano Bruno, Marotta & Cafiero Editori, 2001 ISBN 88-88234-01-2
• Giordano Bruno, De Umbris Idearum, a cura di Claudio D'Antonio, Di Renzo Editore
• Guido del Giudice, La coincidenza degli opposti, Di Renzo Editore, ISBN 88-8323-110-4, 2005 (seconda edizione accresciuta con il saggio Bruno, Rabelais e Apollonio di Tiana, Di Renzo Editore, Roma 2006 ISBN 88-8323-148-1)
• Giordano Bruno, Due Orazioni: Oratio Valedictoria – Oratio Consolatoria, a cura di Guido del Giudice, Di Renzo Editore, 2007 ISBN 88-8323-174-0
• Giordano Bruno, La disputa di Cambrai. Camoeracensis Acrotismus, a cura di Guido del Giudice, Di Renzo Editore, 2008 ISBN 88-8323-199-6
• Somma dei termini metafisici, a cura di Guido del Giudice, Di Renzo Editore, Roma, 2010
• Massimo Colella, "'Luce esterna (Mitra) e interna (G. Bruno)'. Il viaggio bruniano di Aby Warburg", in «Intersezioni. Rivista di storia delle idee», XL, 1, 2020, pp. 33–56.

External links

• Dilwyn Knox (2019). Giordano Bruno. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.
• How 'Cosmos' Bungles the History of Religion and Science
• Bruno's works: text, concordances and frequency list
• Writings of Giordano Bruno
• Giordano Bruno Library of the World's Best Literature Ancient and Modern Charles Dudley Warner Editor
• Bruno's Latin and Italian works online: Biblioteca Ideale di Giordano Bruno
• Complete works of Bruno as well as main biographies and studies available for free download in PDF format from the Warburg Institute and the Centro Internazionale di Studi Bruniani Giovanni Aquilecchia
• Online Galleries, History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries High resolution images of works by and/or portraits of Giordano Bruno in .jpg and .tiff format.
• Works by Giordano Bruno at Project Gutenberg
• Works by Giordano Bruno at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• Works by or about Giordano Bruno at Internet Archive
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Part 1 of 4

Henry Sidgwick
by Barton Schultz
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
First published Tue Oct 5, 2004; substantive revision Tue Jul 9, 2019
Copyright © 2019 by Barton Schultz <rschultz@uchicago.edu>



Henry Sidgwick was one of the most influential ethical philosophers of the Victorian era, and his work continues to exert a powerful influence on Anglo-American ethical and political theory, with an increasing global impact as well. His masterpiece, The Methods of Ethics was first published in 1874 (seventh edition: 1907) and in many ways marked the culmination of the classical utilitarian tradition—the tradition of Jeremy Bentham and James and John Stuart Mill—with its emphasis on “the greatest happiness of the greatest number” as the fundamental normative demand. Sidgwick’s treatment of that position was more comprehensive and scholarly than any previous one, and he set the agenda for most of the twentieth-century debates between utilitarians and their critics. Utilitarians and consequentialists from G. E. Moore and Bertrand Russell to J. J. C. Smart and R. M. Hare down to Derek Parfit, Peter Singer and Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek have acknowledged Sidgwick’s Methods as a vital source for their arguments. But in addition to authoritatively formulating utilitarianism and inspiring utilitarians and their sympathizers, the Methods has also served as a general model for how to do ethical theory, since it provides a series of systematic, historically informed comparisons between utilitarianism and its leading alternatives.

Even such influential critics of utilitarianism as William Frankena, Marcus Singer, and John Rawls have looked to Sidgwick’s work for guidance. C. D. Broad, a later successor to Sidgwick’s Cambridge chair, famously went so far as to say “Sidgwick’s Methods of Ethics seems to me to be on the whole the best treatise on moral theory that has ever been written, and to be one of the English philosophical classics” (Broad 1930: 143). In recent years, Broad’s assessment has been endorsed by an increasing number of prominent philosophers (Parfit 2011; de Lazari-Radek & Singer 2014; and Crisp 2015). Engaging with Sidgwick’s work remains an excellent way to cultivate a serious philosophical interest in ethics, metaethics, and practical ethics, not to mention the history of these subjects. Moreover, he made important contributions to many other fields, including economics, political theory, classics, educational theory, and parapsychology. His significance as an intellectual and cultural figure has yet to be fully appreciated, but recent years have witnessed an impressive expansion of Sidgwick studies, and he has even been featured in popular novels (Cohen 2010; Entwistle 2014).

1. Life and Background

Sidgwick was born on May 31, 1838, in the small Yorkshire town of Skipton. The extended Sidgwick family was well-known in the area and quite prosperous, with their cotton-spinning mills representing the oldest manufacturing firms in the town (Dawson 1882, Schultz 2017). But Henry was the second surviving son of Mary Crofts and the Reverend William Sidgwick, the headmaster of the grammar school in Skipton, who died when Henry was only three. Henry’s older brother William went on to become an Oxford don, as did his younger brother Arthur. His sister Mary, known as Minnie, ended up marrying a second cousin, Edward White Benson, who in addition to being an early mentor of Henry’s (and Rugby master) went on to become the archbishop of Canterbury. The Sidgwick and Benson families would contribute much to English letters and science over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, though their legacies have also been controversial on some counts (Askwith 1971; Schultz 2004, 2017; Bolt 2011; and Goldhill 2016).

Henry was educated at Rugby and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took his degree in 1859. As an undergraduate, he excelled at both mathematics and, especially, classics, in due course becoming Craven Scholar, 33rd Wrangler, and Senior Classic, also winning the Chancellor’s Medal. He wound up staying at Cambridge his entire life, first, beginning in October of 1859, as a Fellow of Trinity and a lecturer in classics—a position that in the later sixties evolved into a lectureship in the moral sciences—then, from 1875, as praelector in moral and political philosophy, and finally, from 1883, as Knightbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy. He resigned his Fellowship in 1869 because he could no longer subscribe in good conscience to the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England, as the position required. This act helped inspire the successful opposition to such requirements. In 1881 he was elected an honorary Fellow, and in 1885, he regained a full Fellowship, remarking on the changing times: “Last time I swore that I would drive away strange doctrine; this time I only pledged myself to restore any College property that might be in my possession when I ceased to be a Fellow” (Sidgwick and Sidgwick, 1906: 400).

Sidgwick’s Cambridge career was rich in reformist activity (Rothblatt 1968; Harvie 1976; and Todd 1999). As an undergraduate, he had been elected to the “Apostles,” the secret Cambridge discussion society that did much to shape the intellectual direction of modern Cambridge; Sidgwick’s allegiance to this group was a very significant feature of his life and work (Lubenow 1998). The 1860s, which he described as his years of “Storm and Stress” over his religious views and commitments, were also the years in which his identity as an academic liberal took shape, and he got caught up in a range of causes emphasizing better and broader educational opportunities, increased professionalism, and greater religious freedom. He evolved into an educational reformer committed to downplaying the influence of classics, introducing modern subjects, and opening up higher education to women. Much influenced by the writings of F. D. Maurice and J. S. Mill, he would become one of the leading proponents of higher education for women and play a guiding role in the foundation of Newnham College, Cambridge, one of the first colleges for women in England (Tullberg [1975], 1998, and Sutherland 2006). He was also active in the cause of university reorganization generally, in due course serving on the General Board of Studies, the Special Board for Moral Sciences, and the Indian Civil Service Board, and he worked tirelessly to expand educational opportunities and professionalize educational efforts through such vehicles as correspondence courses, extension lectures, the Cambridge Working Men’s College, and the University Day Training College for teachers (initiated by Oscar Browning). Such educational reforms were, he held, also of political value in overcoming class conflict and social strife. But Sidgwick’s broader political commitments, which ranged from academic liberal to Liberal Unionist—he joined the breakaway faction of the Liberal Party opposing Gladstone’s policy of Home Rule for Ireland—to independent, were complex and shifting; he was not, alas, always able to rise above the marked imperialistic and orientalist tendencies of the late Victorian era (Schultz 2004, 2007; and Bell 2007, 2016).

In 1876 Sidgwick married Eleanor Mildred Balfour, the sister of his former student, Arthur Balfour, the future prime minister. An accomplished and independent woman with serious scientific interests—she collaborated with her brother-in-law Lord Rayleigh on many scientific papers—Eleanor Sidgwick worked as an equal partner with her husband on many fronts, particularly higher education for women and parapsychology. She eventually took over as Principal of Newnham in 1892, and was for many decades a mainstay of the Society for Psychical Research, an organization that Henry had helped to found (in 1882) and several times headed, though his interest in the paranormal had been evident long before. The Sidgwicks hoped that their psychical research might ultimately support some core religious claims, particularly concerning the personal survival of physical death, which they deemed a vital support for morality. Their extensive and often quite methodologically sophisticated investigations were not as conclusive as they had hoped, but following Henry’s death from cancer on August 28, 1900, Eleanor did become persuaded that he had succeeded in communicating from “the other world.” The Sidgwicks’ work in this field continues to this day to be debated by academic parapsychologists (Gauld 1968, and Braude 2003).

Although Sidgwick published extensively in his lifetime, he is best known for his first major book, The Methods of Ethics, which first appeared in 1874 and went through five editions during his lifetime. His second most widely read book would be his Outlines of the History of Ethics for English Readers, which appeared in 1886 as an expanded version of the article on the subject that he had contributed to the famous ninth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. But he also published The Principles of Political Economy (1883), The Elements of Politics (1891), and Practical Ethics, A Collection of Addresses and Essays (1898), and after his death, Eleanor Sidgwick worked with various of his former colleagues to bring out Lectures on the Ethics of T. H. Green, H. Spencer, and J. Martineau (1902), Philosophy, Its Scope and Relations (1902), The Development of European Polity (1903), Miscellaneous Essays and Addresses (1904), Lectures on the Philosophy of Kant and Other Philosophical Lectures and Essays (1905), and Henry Sidgwick, A Memoir (1906), which Eleanor and Arthur Sidgwick assembled largely from his correspondence and journal. These posthumous works are typically quite polished and shed a great deal of light on the works that Sidgwick himself saw through publication (Schneewind 1977).

As Sidgwick’s publications attest, he was not only a pre-eminent moral philosopher, with sophisticated views on both going controversies in ethics and metaethics and the history of these subjects, but also an accomplished epistemologist, classicist, economist, political theorist, political historian, literary critic, parapsychologist, and educational theorist. If he was a founder of the Cambridge school of philosophy, he was also a founder of the Cambridge school of economics (along with his colleague and sometimes nemesis Alfred Marshall) and of the Cambridge school of political theory (along with such colleagues as Browning and Sir John Seeley). If such students as Moore and Russell owed him much, so too did such students and admirers as Balfour, J. N. Keynes, F. W. Maitland, F. Y. Edgeworth, James Ward, Frank Podmore, and E. E. Constance Jones. He had serious interests in many areas of philosophy and theology, and also wrote insightfully about poetry and literature, two of his great loves (at Newnham, he lectured on Shakespeare, along with such subjects as philosophy and economics). Indeed, Sidgwick was a force in the larger cultural developments of his age, active in such influential discussion societies as the Metaphysical Society and the Synthetic Society. His friends included George Eliot, T. H. Green, James Bryce, H. G. Dakyns, Roden Noel, and, of special importance, John Addington Symonds, the erudite cultural historian, poet, and man of letters who was a pioneer in the serious historical study of same sex love (Schultz 2004). Sidgwick’s versatile and many-sided intellect—not to mention his keen wit—are typically better displayed in his essays and letters than in his best-known academic books. He was in fact much loved for his gentle humor (or “Sidgwickedness”) and sympathetic conversation, and his philosophical students prized him for his candor. As Balfour put it: “Of all the men I have known he was the readiest to consider every controversy and every controversialist on their merits. He never claimed authority; he never sought to impose his views; he never argued for victory; he never evaded an issue.” (Sidgwick and Sidgwick, 1906: 311).

2. The Methods Of Ethics And Philosophy

2.1 Preliminaries


Sidgwick’s Methods was long in the making. His correspondence with his close friend H. G. Dakyns, a Clifton master who had been a private tutor for the Tennyson family, reveals how long and volatile the development of his ethical views was, particularly during the 1860s when he was working himself free of Anglican orthodoxy. As early as 1862, he wrote to Dakyns that he was “revolving a Theory of Ethics” and working on “a reconciliation between the moral sense and utilitarian theories” (Sidgwick and Sidgwick, 1906: 75). He started telling people that he was “engaged on a Great Work,” which would indeed turn out to be the case. By 1867, much of the basic intellectual structure of the Methods was clearly in place; according to Marshall, at the faculty discussion group known as the “Grote Club,” Sidgwick “read a long & general sketch of the various systems of morality: I. Absolute right II. Make yourself noble III. Make yourself happy IV Increase the general happiness. In the course of it he committed himself to the statement that without appreciating the effect of our action on the happiness of ourselves or of others we could have no idea of right & wrong” (quoted in Schultz 2004: 142).

It was also in 1867 that Sidgwick sent a draft of his pamphlet on “The Ethics of Conformity and Subscription” to J. S. Mill, inviting comments. This work, part of his efforts with the Free Christian Union (an organization for promoting free and open religious inquiry), reflected his casuistical struggles over whether he had a right to keep his Fellowship, given his increasingly Theistic views. He had been increasingly drawn to Theism, which then, as now, stressed that “God’s will and purpose, and God’s assurance of an ultimate fulfilment, are behind all that is happening” (Polkinghorne 1998: 114), but without the orthodox commitments to belief in the Trinity, miracles, eternal punishment, etc.. As Sidgwick explained to his sister: “I have written a pamphlet … on the text ‘Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.’ That is really the gist of the pamphlet—that if the preachers of religion wish to retain their hold over educated men they must show in their utterances on sacred occasions the same sincerity, exactness, unreserve, that men of science show in expounding the laws of nature. I do not think that much good is to be done by saying this, but I want to liberate my soul, and then ever after hold my peace” (Sidgwick and Sidgwick, 1906: 226). As he put it in the pamphlet, which appeared in 1870:

What theology has to learn from the predominant studies of the age is something very different from advice as to its method or estimates of its utility; it is the imperative necessity of accepting unreservedly the conditions of life under which these studies live and flourish. It is sometimes said that we live in an age that rejects authority. The statement, thus qualified, seems misleading; probably there never was a time when the number of beliefs held by each individual, undemonstrated and unverified by himself, was greater. But it is true that we only accept authority of a particular sort; the authority, namely, that is formed and maintained by the unconstrained agreement of individual thinkers, each of whom we believe to be seeking truth with single-mindedness and sincerity, and declaring what he has found with scrupulous veracity, and the greatest attainable exactness and precision. (Sidgwick 1870: 14–15).


This was a vision of inquiry and even culture that Sidgwick would promote throughout his life (Schultz 2004, 2011, 2017), though after this point he no longer openly directed his criticisms at the church. Mill had replied to his effort to address the question of subscription on “objective” and “utilitarian” grounds: “What ought to be the exceptions … to the general duty of truth? This large question has never yet been treated in a way at once rational and comprehensive, partly because people have been afraid to meddle with it, and partly because mankind have never yet generally admitted that the effect which actions tend to produce on human happiness is what constitutes them right or wrong” (quoted in Schultz 2004: 134). Mill urged Sidgwick to turn his “thoughts to this more comprehensive subject,” and apparently when the latter did, he concluded that it would not be conducive to the general happiness to continue his open attacks on organized religion. The reasons for this larger conclusion are only partly evident from the Methods itself.

Sidgwick did always explicitly claim, however, that his struggles with the ethics of subscription shaped the views set forth in the Methods. These struggles had led him “back to philosophy” from his more theological and philological investigations—for which he had learned German and Hebrew and struggled with biblical hermeneutics. He found the problem of whether he ought to resign his Fellowship very “difficult, and I may say that it was while struggling with the difficulty thence arising that I went through a good deal of the thought that was ultimately systematised in the The Methods of Ethics” (Sidgwick and Sidgwick, 1906: 38). One of the ways in which this is evident has been highlighted in the work of J. B. Schneewind, whose Sidgwick’s Ethics and Victorian Moral Philosophy (1977) was the most comprehensive and sophisticated commentary on Sidgwick’s ethics produced in the twentieth century. As part of an extensive account of the historical context of the Methods, underscoring how Sidgwick’s work was shaped by both the utilitarian tradition and its intuitionist and religious opposition (represented in part by the “Cambridge Moralists” William Whewell, Julius Hare, F. D. Maurice, and John Grote), Schneewind argued that

it is a mistake to view the book as primarily a defence of utilitarianism. It is true, of course, that a way of supporting utilitarianism is worked out in detail in the Methods, and that there are places in it where Sidgwick seems to be saying quite plainly that utilitarianism is the best available ethical theory. From his other writings we know also that he thinks of himself as committed to utilitarianism, and that he assumes it in analysing specific moral and political issues. Yet it does not follow that the Methods itself should be taken simply as an argument for that position. We must try to understand it in a way that makes sense of its author’s own explicit account of it. (Schneewind 1977: 192).


That account, as both Schneewind and Rawls have stressed, repeatedly affirms that the aim of the book is less practice than knowledge, “to expound as clearly and as fully as my limits will allow the different methods of Ethics that I find implicit in our common moral reasoning; to point out their mutual relations; and where they seem to conflict, to define the issue as much as possible.” That is, echoing his views on theological inquiry, he confesses that:

I have thought that the predominance in the minds of moralists of a desire to edify has impeded the real progress of ethical science: and that this would be benefited by an application to it of the same disinterested curiosity to which we chiefly owe the great discoveries of physics. It is in this spirit that I have endeavoured to compose the present work: and with this view I have desired to concentrate the reader’s attention, from first to last, not on the practical results to which our methods lead, but on the methods themselves. I have wished to put aside temporarily the urgent need which we all feel of finding and adopting the true method of determining what we ought to do; and to consider simply what conclusions will be rationally reached if we start with certain ethical premises, and with what degree of certainty and precision (Sidgwick 1874 [1907: vi]),


The model for such an approach is not Bentham or even J. S. Mill, but Aristotle, whose Ethics gave us “the Common Sense Morality of Greece, reduced to consistency by careful comparison: given not as something external to him but as what ‘we’—he and others—think, ascertained by reflection.” This was really, in effect, “the Socratic induction, elicited by interrogation” (Sidgwick 1874 [1907: xix]).

As Marcus Singer and others have observed (Singer 1974), Sidgwick’s notion of a “method” of ethics is not the same as that of an ethical principle, ethical theory, or ethical decision-procedure. A “method” is a way of “obtaining reasoned convictions as to what ought to be done” and thus it might reflect a commitment to one or more ethical principles as the ultimate ground of one’s determination of what one has most reason to do, here and now, while allowing that one might ordinarily be reasoning from such principles either directly or indirectly. Thus, one might, on theological grounds, hold that the moral order of the universe is utilitarian, with God willing the greatest happiness of the greatest number, while also holding that the appropriate guide for practical reason is enlightened self-interest, since utilitarian calculations are God’s business and God has ordered the cosmos to insure that enlightened self-interest conduces to the greatest happiness. In this case, one’s “method of ethics” would be rational egoism, but the ultimate philosophical justification for this method would appeal to utilitarian principles. Still, despite this emphasis on the reasoning process between principles and practical conclusions—another reflection of his struggles with subscription—Sidgwick obviously had quite a bit to say in the Methods about the defense of the ultimate principles of practical reason (Crisp 2014, 2015).

Many have felt that, in setting up the systematic comparison between the main methods of ethics, Sidgwick was not nearly as neutral and impartial as he thought, and in various ways slanted the discussion against a wide range of alternatives, including Aristotelian and other forms of perfectionism, Whewellian rationalism, Idealism, and more (Donagan 1977, 1992; Irwin 1992, 2007, and 2011; Hurka 2014a, 2014b). He simply dismisses the traditional philosophical concern with the “moral faculty,” explaining that he is going to leave that matter to psychologists. For Sidgwick, in any given situation, there is something that it is right or that one ought to do, and this is the proper sphere of ethics. The basic concept of morality is this unique, highly general notion of “ought” or “right” that is irreducible to naturalistic terms, sui generis, though moral approbation is “inseparably bound up with the conviction, implicit or explicit, that the conduct approved is ‘really’ right—that is, that it cannot without error, be disapproved by any other mind” (Sidgwick 1874 [1907: 27]). On this count, at least, his student G. E. Moore was willing to declare the Methods untainted by the “naturalistic fallacy”—that is, the confusion of the “is” of attribution and the “is” of identity that supposedly infected much previous ethical theory, including that of Bentham and the Mills. And indeed, it is plain that Sidgwick parted company from classical utilitarianism in many ways, rejecting the empiricism, psychological egoism, and associationism (supposedly) characteristic of the earlier tradition. F.H. Hayward, who wrote one of the first books on Sidgwick’s ethics, famously complained that E. E. Constance Jones had missed just how original Sidgwick was: “Sidgwick’s identification of ‘Right’ with ‘Reasonable’ and ‘Objective’; his view of Rightness as an ‘ultimate and unanalysable notion’ (however connected subsequently with Hedonism); and his admission that Reason is, in a sense, a motive to the will, are due to the more or less ‘unconscious’ influence of Kant. Miss Jones appears to think that these are the common-places of every ethical system, and that real divergences only arise when we make the next step in advance. I should rather regard this Rationalistic terminology as somewhat foreign to Hedonism. I do not think that Miss Jones will find, in Sidgwick’s Hedonistic predecessors, any such emphasis on Reason (however interpreted)” (Hayward 1900–1: 361). Sidgwick himself allowed that Kant was one of his “masters,” and he was also quite familiar with the works of Hegel. Schneewind’s reading (Schneewind 1977) has stressed this influence, along with the influence of Joseph Butler, whose works persuaded Sidgwick of the falsity of psychological egoism and of the reality of other than self-interested actions (Frankena 1992). Indeed, the comparison between Sidgwick and Kant has proved to be a fertile and ongoing source of academic work on Sidgwick, and one of increasing significance (Parfit 2011; Paytas 2018)

However, despite the considerable influence Kant and Kantianism—and the Cambridge Moralists—exercised on Sidgwick, the Methods also deviated from some stock features of such views, among other things rejecting the issue of free will as largely irrelevant to ethical theory and failing to appreciate the Kantian arguments about expressing one’s autonomy and the incompatibility of the categorical imperative and rational egoism. As Schneewind allows, Sidgwick’s

basic aim is similar to Kant’s, but, as his many points of disagreement with Kant suggest, the Kantian aspect of his thinking needs to be defined with some care. He detaches the issue of how reason can be practical from the most distinctive aspects of Kantianism. He rejects the methodological apparatus of the ‘critical philosophy’, the Kantian distinction of noumenal and phenomenal standpoints, and the association of the issue with the problem of free will. He treats the question of the possibility of rationally motivated action as answerable largely in terms of commonplace facts; he does not attribute any special synthesizing powers to reason beyond those assumed in ordinary logic; and he does not take morality to provide us with support for religious beliefs.. In refusing to base morality on pure reason alone, moreover, he moves decisively away from Kant, as is shown by his very un-Kantian hedonistic and teleological conclusions.. These points make it clear that the Kantian strain in Sidgwick’s thought is most marked in his central idea about the rationality of first principles (Schneewind 1977: 419–20).


Naturally, a Sidgwickian position on the venerable free will issue is bound to be controversial, and recent work on the Sidgwick/Kant comparison has brought out how divided commentators continue to be on this matter (Crisp 2015; Skelton 2016; Paytas 2018). Moreover, there has also been significant controversy over just how internalist Sidgwick’s account of moral motivation actually was. On balance, he held that the dictates or imperatives of reason were “accompanied by a certain impulse to do the acts recognized as right,” while admitting that other impulses may conflict (Sidgwick 1874 [1907: 34]). Brink (1988, 1992) has urged that some of Sidgwick’s chief arguments make better sense if he is construed, in externalist fashion, as allowing the possibility that one may have good reasons not to be moral. But Sidgwick’s moderate, qualified internalism seems plain and plausible enough to most commentators (Schultz 2004; de Lazari-Radek & Singer 2014; and Crisp 2015).

There has been perhaps even more controversy surrounding Sidgwick’s account of the “good.” The Methods is at least fairly clear in arguing that the difference between “right” and “good” in part concerns the way in which judgments of ultimate good do not necessarily involve definite precepts to act or even the assumption that the good in question is attainable or the best attainable good under the circumstances. Rightness and goodness thus “represent differentiations of the demands of our own rationality as it applies to our sentient and our active powers” (Schneewind 1977: 493). But Sidgwick offers an intricate account of ultimate good that has struck some as highly naturalistic. In A Theory of Justice, Rawls famously explained that Sidgwick “characterizes a person’s future good on the whole as what he would now desire and seek if the consequences of all the various courses of conduct open to him were, at the present point of time, accurately foreseen by him and adequately realized in imagination. An individual’s good is the hypothetical composition of impulsive forces that results from deliberative reflection meeting certain conditions” (Rawls, [1971], 1999: 366). Many have followed the Rawlsian line in casting Sidgwick as a defender of a naturalistic “full-information” account of the “good” (for example, Sobel 1994, and Rosati 1995), but the balance of scholarly opinion has it that Sidgwick’s account adumbrates an “objective list” view that allows that some desires, however informed, may be rejected as irrational or unreasonable (see especially Schneewind 1977; de Lazari-Radek & Singer 2014; and Parfit 1984, 2011). Crisp (1990, 2015) and Shaver (1997) provide helpful reviews of the debates; although the former offers perhaps the best possible defense of the interpretation of Sidgwick’s view as a naturalistic full-information account (with an experience requirement), it also admits that the objective list reading is a more charitable one.

Some commentators have made much of the difference between Sidgwick and Moore on the notion of ultimate good, urging that whereas Sidgwick prioritizes an unanalysable notion of “right,” Moore prioritizes an unanalysable notion of “good,” while adding a suspect ontological claim about “goodness” involving a non-natural property (Moore 1903; and Shaver 2000). However, Hurka (2003) has offered some forceful arguments against most such accounts:

After defining the good as what we ought to desire, he [Sidgwick] added that ‘since irrational desires cannot always be dismissed at once by voluntary effort,’ the definition cannot use ‘ought’ in ‘the strictly ethical sense,’ but only in ‘the wider sense in which it merely connotes an ideal or standard.’ But this raises the question of what this ‘wider sense’ is, and in particular whether it is at all distinct from Moore’s ‘good.’ If the claim that we ‘ought’ to have a desire is only the claim that the desire is ‘an ideal,’ how does it differ from the claim that the desire is good? When ‘ought’ is stripped of its connection with choice, its distinctive meaning seems to slip away (Hurka 2003: 603–4).


Moreover, as Hurka has developed the point, the “initial reviewers of Principia did not see it as altering Sidgwick’s ontology but emphasized its continuity with Sidgwick, while Moore himself said little about his non-natural property and even tried to limit his metaphysical claims, saying that though goodness is an object and therefore ‘is somehow’, it does not ‘exist’, and in particular does not exist in a ‘supersensible reality’ ” (Hurka 2014: 90). For his part, Sidgwick goes on to argue that the best going account of ultimate goodness is a hedonistic one, and that this is an informative, non-tautological claim, though also a more controversial one than many of the others that he defends. As Irwin and Richardson have insightfully argued, Sidgwick’s hedonistic commitments, and his criticisms of such views as T. H. Green’s, often reflected the (problematic) conviction that practical reason simply must be fully clear and determinate in its conclusions (Irwin 1992: 288–90; Richardson 1997). Without some such metric as the hedonistic one, Sidgwick argued, how can one virtue be compared to another? And can one really recommend making people more virtuous at the expense of their happiness? What if the virtuous life were conjoined to extreme pain, with no compensating good to anyone? But here again, Sidgwick’s arguments are not as perspicuous as they at first seem. Admittedly, as Shaver points out, “Sidgwick works out what it is reasonable to desire, and so attaches moral to natural properties, by the ordinary gamut of philosopher’s strategies—appeals to logical coherence, plausibility, and judgment after reflection.” (Shaver 1997: 270). Even so, as Rawls noted, “Sidgwick denies that pleasure is a measurable quality of feeling independent of its relation from volition. This is the view of some writers, he says, but one he cannot accept. He defines pleasure ‘as a feeling which, when experienced by intelligent beings, is at least apprehended as desirable or—in cases of comparison—preferable.’ It would seem that the view he here rejects is the one he relies upon later as the final criterion to introduce coherence among ends.” (Rawls [1971], 1999: 488). Sumner, in an important treatment, has also urged that Sidgwick and Mill, by contrast with Bentham,

seemed to recognize that the mental states we call pleasures are a mixed bag as far as their phenomenal properties are concerned. On their view what pleasures have in common is not something internal to them—their peculiar feeling tone, or whatever—but something about us—the fact that we like them, enjoy them, value them, find them satisfying, seek them, wish to prolong them, and so on (Sumner 1996: 86).


Although the last few years have seen a remarkable rehabilitation of ethical hedonism, particularly in the works of Crisp (2006, 2007, and 2015), Feldman (2004, 2010), and de Lazari-Radek and Singer (2017), the forms of hedonism being defended usually reconfigure or qualify the Sidgwickian approach in important ways. Crisp, who defends an internalist account of pleasure, even urges that Sidgwick’s writings did not express his better inclinations on the subject “Sidgwick is at heart an internalist about pleasure who was mislead by the heterogeneity argument into offering an externalist view which is open to serious objections” (Crisp 2007: 134). Indeed, on this count, Sidgwick might appear to be defending a position that is “intermediate between internalism and externalism,” as de Lazari-Radek and Singer note in their recent and very informed defenses of Sidgwickian hedonism against all the other alternatives, including the desire satisfaction view that Singer had previously adopted (de Lazari-Radek & Singer 2014: 254, 2016). However, Shaver (2016) has offered a subtle account and defense of Sidgwick’s notion of pleasure as feeling apprehended, perhaps wrongly, as desirable qua feeling, rather than as feeling manifesting a special tone of pleasantness.

This rehabilitation of Sidgwickian hedonism has also involved a recognition of the importance of the hedonimetrics of F. Y. Edgeworth, the brilliant economist who was a slightly junior contemporary of Sidgwick’s and one of his most enthusiastic philosophical disciples, though one whose work has until recently been largely ignored in philosophical commentary on Sidgwick (Edgeworth 1877 and 1881 [2003]). Edgeworth’s approach has been revived in economics by such figures as Kahneman (2011), and the convergence of economic and philosophical (and neurobiological) interests on this point suggests that Sidgwickian hedonism represents a new growth area in ethics. But it does seem that in key respects Sidgwick’s account remains superior to these more recent developments, which rely on a rather crude claim about pleasurable consciousness as a state that a subject wishes to prolong.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Part 2 of 4

2.2 Reconciliation and Chaos

For better or worse, Sidgwick uses the language of hedonism to label two out of the three methods with which he will be chiefly concerned—namely, egoistic hedonism (or rational egoism) and universal hedonism (or utilitarianism). The third method is variously called dogmatic or intuitional morality, which is somewhat ambiguously construed as either the (mostly negative) precepts of common-sense morality or the somewhat more refined version of these set out in the theories of such moral theorists as Whewell or Henry Calderwood (Whewell 1864; Calderwood 1876; and Donagan 1977, 1992). The main point of such views is that conformity to such moral duties as truth-telling, promise-keeping, temperance etc. is held to be “the practically ultimate end of moral actions” and these duties are “unconditionally prescribed” and discernible with “really clear and finally valid intuition,” though it is the job of the moral theorist to set them out with proper precision and “to arrange the results as systematically as possible, and by proper definitions and explanations to remove vagueness and prevent conflict.” (Sidgwick 1874 [1907: 101]). Indeed, the plain person is apt to be rather confused about the differences between the methods of ethics, arbitrarily deploying one or another without recognizing any inconsistency.

The three methods of ethics—egoism, intuitional morality, and utilitarianism—respectively form the subject matter of books two through four of the Methods, which brackets them with an opening book reviewing the whole work and a concluding chapter on “The Mutual Relations of the Three Methods.” Each of these books represents in itself a classic treatment of the view at issue, though it is the chapter on utilitarianism that has perhaps most often been treated as such. This architectonic can, however, make it somewhat difficult to follow the thread of Sidgwick’s thought, particularly on the more philosophical points having to do with intuitionism. Indeed, intuitionism figures in both the second method of ethics, and, in a more philosophical form, in the treatment of all the methods of ethics, particularly when it comes to the discussion of fundamental principles. As Sidgwick explains, although some might think that conscience delivers immediate judgments on particular acts—a view he variously calls aesthetic, perceptional or ultra intuitionism—“reflective persons, in proportion to their reflectiveness, come to rely rather on abstract universal intuitions relating to classes of cases conceived under general notions.” Hence, dogmatic intuitional morality, which in the Methods is rather awkwardly taken to cover both more deontological views and non-hedonistic teleological ones, on the ground that the latter tend to construe virtue in the same fashion as the simply the done thing, whatever the consequences. But the process of reflection should not stop there: there is another, more sophisticated phase of intuitionism. Without “being disposed to deny that conduct commonly judged to be right is so, we may yet require some deeper explanation why it is so.” Thus, philosophical intuitionism, “while accepting the morality of common sense as in the main sound, still attempts to find for it a philosophic basis which it does not itself offer: to get one or more principles more absolutely and undeniably true and evident, from which the current rules might be deduced, either just as they are commonly received or with slight modifications and rectifications.” (Sidgwick 1874 [1907: 102]),

The ascent to this philosophical intuitionism is especially evident in the treatment of common-sense or intuitional morality. As Sidgwick explained in reply to Calderwood’s critical review of the Methods, which asked why he had not simply confined himself “to the consideration of Intuitionism in its most philosophical form,” that tactic “would have led me at once to Utilitarianism: because I hold that the only moral intuitions which sound philosophy can accept as ultimately valid are those which at the same time provide the only possible philosophical basis of the Utilitarian creed. I thus necessarily regard Prof. Calderwood’s Intuitionism as a phase in the development of the Intuitional method, which comes naturally between the crude thought of Butler’s ‘plain man’ and the Rational Utilitarianism to which I ultimately endeavor to lead my reader.” That is, allowing that the morality of common sense is his as well, he must as a philosopher nonetheless

ask myself whether I see clearly and distinctly the self-evidence of any particular maxims of duty, as I see that of the formal principles ‘that what is right for me must be right for all persons in precisely similar circumstances’ and ‘that I ought to prefer the greater good of another to my own lesser good’: I have no doubt whatever that I do not. I am conscious of a strong impression, an opinion on which I habitually act without hesitation, that I ought to speak truth, to perform promises, to requite benefits, & c., and also of powerful moral sentiments prompting me to the observance of these rules; but on reflection I can now clearly distinguish such opinions and sentiments from the apparently immediate and certain cognition that I have of the formal principles above mentioned. But I could not always have made this distinction; and I believe that the majority of moral persons do not make it: most ‘plain men’ would probably say, at any rate on the first consideration of the matter, that they saw the obligations of Veracity and Good Faith as clearly and immediately as they saw those of Equity and Rational Benevolence. How then am I to argue with such persons? It will not settle the matter to tell them that they have observed their own mental processes wrongly, and that more careful introspection will show them the non-intuitive character of what they took for intuitions; especially as in many cases I do not believe that the error is one of misobservation. Still less am I inclined to dispute the ‘primitiveness’ or ‘spontaneousness’ or ‘originality’ of these apparent intuitions. On the contrary, I hold that here, as in other departments of thought, the primitive spontaneous processes of the mind are mixed with error, which is only to be removed gradually by comprehensive reflection upon the results of these processes. Through such a course of reflection I have endeavored to lead my readers in chaps. 2–10 of Book III of my treatise: in the hope that after they have gone through it they may find their original apprehension of the self-evidence of moral maxims importantly modified. (Sidgwick 1876: 564).


And as he explained in another important commentary on the Methods, “The Establishment of Ethical First Principles,” he accepts Aristotle’s distinction between logical priority and priority in the knowledge of a particular person, such that we “are thus enabled to see that a proposition may be self-evident, i.e., may be properly cognisable without being viewed in connexion with any other propositions; though in order that its truth may be apparent to some particular mind, there is still required some rational process connecting it with propositions previously accepted by that mind.” This latter can be done in two ways: by showing how “some limited and qualified statement” supposed to be self-evident is only part of a “simpler and wider proposition,” on which the limitations turn out to be arbitrary, and by establishing some general criteria “for distinguishing true first principles” that are then used to “construct a strictly logical deduction by which, applying their general criteria to the special case of ethics, we establish the true first principles of this latter subject” (Sidgwick 1879: 106–7). Truth being one, both tactics should ultimately converge on the same conclusions.

Whether Sidgwick succeeded in avoiding mere “hostile criticism from the outside” in his analysis of common-sense morality is open to debate; certainly, the critical reflection can seem quite remorseless, with the utilitarian repeatedly demonstrating to the dogmatic intuitionist that the principles of Truth, Justice, etc. have only a dependent and subordinate validity: arguing either that the principle is really only affirmed by Common-Sense as a general rule admitting of exceptions and qualifications, as in the case of Truth, and that we require some further principle for systematising these exceptions and qualifications; or that the fundamental notion is vague and needs further determination, as in the case of Justice; and further, that the different rules are liable to conflict with each other, and that we require some higher principle to decide the issue thus raised; and again, that the rules are differently formulated by different persons, and that these differences admit of no Intuitional solution, while they show the vagueness and ambiguity of the common moral notions to which the Intuitionist appeals. (Sidgwick 1874 [1907: 421]>

Time and again, common sense collapses into utilitarian thinking, or is shown to presuppose it, or is at least revealed as requiring something very like it. This effort to criticize and assimilate common-sense moral rules went far beyond the efforts of J. S. Mill and has served as a template for the utilitarian or consequentialist work of Smart (1973), Brandt (1979), Hare (1981), Parfit (1984, 2011, 2017), Hardin (1988), Singer (2001), Gibbard (1982, 1990), and de Lazari-Radek and Singer (2014). Like so many in the utilitarian tradition, Sidgwick ended up recognizing the moral standing of non-human animals, puzzling over questions of suicide, defending a notion of intention covering all foreseen consequences, rejecting purely retributive accounts of punishment, embracing a cosmopolitan (rather than nationalistic) outlook, and thinking—though not public insisting—that orthodox religion and its morality were often dogmatic and superstitious. He initiated the (modern) philosophical discussion of the problem of future generations and optimal population growth, arguing that “strictly conceived, the point up to which, on Utilitarian principles, population ought to be encouraged to increase, is not that at which average happiness is the greatest possible … but that at which the produce formed by multiplying the number of persons living into the amount of average happiness reaches its maximum” (Sidgwick 1874 [1907: 415–16]). But he was not always consistent in his treatment of this issue (Schultz 2004, 2017).

Although it can seem strained and anachronistic to apply the classification of “act” or “rule” utilitarianism to Sidgwick, the scholarly consensus does for the most part classify him as an act utilitarian (Gray 1989; Williams 1995; Hooker 2000; de Lazari-Radek & Singer 2014; and Crisp 2015). In any event, it is quite clear that he defended an “indirect” form of utilitarianism; indeed, he goes rather far in defending the possibility of utilitarianism entailing a self-effacing, even esoteric morality:

Thus, on Utilitarian principles, it may be right to do and privately recommend, under certain circumstances, what it would not be right to advocate openly; it may be right to teach openly to one set of persons what it would be wrong to teach to others; it may be conceivably right to do, if it can be done with comparative secrecy, what it would be wrong to do in the face of the world; and even, if perfect secrecy can be reasonably expected, what it would be wrong to recommend by private advice or example. These conclusions are all of a paradoxical character: there is no doubt that the moral consciousness of a plain man broadly repudiates the general notion of an esoteric morality, differing from the one popularly taught; and it would be commonly agreed that an action which would be bad if done openly is not rendered good by secrecy. We may observe, however, that there are strong utilitarian reasons for maintaining generally this latter common opinion…. Thus the Utilitarian conclusion, carefully stated, would seem to be this; that the opinion that secrecy may render an action right which would not otherwise be so should itself be kept comparatively secret; and similarly it seems expedient that the doctrine that esoteric morality is expedient should itself be kept esoteric. … a Utilitarian may reasonably desire, on Utilitarian principles, that some of his conclusions should be rejected by mankind generally; or even that the vulgar should keep aloof from his system as a whole, in so far as the inevitable indefiniteness and complexity of its calculations render it likely to lead to bad results in their hands. (Sidgwick 1874 [1907: 489–90]).


Such provocative remarks, which flatly contradict any Kantian insistence on the necessary publicity of fundamental moral principles, may reflect a consistent interpretation of the different “levels” of moral thinking, critical versus everyday, but they have generated much criticism, with Williams charging that Sidgwick was a “Government House” utilitarian whose views comported well with colonialism (Williams 1995, and Schultz 2004, 2017). Yet even on the count of esoteric morality, Sidgwick’s views have attracted some forceful recent defenders (Singer & de Lazari-Radek 2010, and de Lazari-Radek & Singer 2014, 2016) who strike at the very heart of the Kantian and neo-Kantian publicity requirement. Their argument owes much to Parfit’s demonstration that an ethical theory could be self-effacing without being incoherent or untrue (Parfit 1984).

Again, Sidgwick has often been charged with slanting his discussion against a wide range of alternatives (Donagan 1977, 1992; Irwin 1992, 2007, and 2011; Hurka 2014). And at times it is very far from clear whose views he is criticizing. Thus, his account of “aesthetic intuitionism” would seem to be trained on a certain form of Aristotelianism stressing the contextual and particularist nature of practical wisdom (McDowell 1979; Dancy 2004; and Hurka 2014), but, in a curiously neglected work on the history of ethics that was in some ways a successor to Sidgwick’s own Outlines (and contained an extended treatment of Sidgwick’s views), Reginald A. P. Rogers identified aesthetic intuitionism with the moral sense theory of Shaftesbury (Rogers 1911). Furthermore, of special concern to recent intuitionists has been the effort to combine Sidgwick’s views with those of Ross on prima facie intuitions, acknowledging that Sidgwick’s account of intuitional morality did not address such an option (Hurka 2014a, 2014b; and Crisp 2015). Hurka has developed this critique forcefully, expanding on his claim that Sidgwick’s framing of ethical theory was slanted from the start: Sidgwick

took it to be a serious objection to a pluralist deontology that it cannot always judge acts determinately because it cannot weigh duties precisely, but no objection to hedonistic theories that they cannot compare pleasures precisely. He tested deotontological principles rigorously with his four conditions but barely applied those conditions to his own principles. And though one of his main objections to deontological principles turned on the difference between their other-things-equal and all-things-considered forms, his defence of his axioms equivocated on the same point and involved the same ambiguity. In arguing against deontology and for consequentialism he applied, and not just once, a double standard. (Hurka 2014b: 151-2).


For others, however, it is clear enough that Sidgwick’s hedonistic utilitarianism does not require any Rossian apparatus for recognizing apparent conflicts of duties. De Lazari-Radek and Singer, in response to Crisp’s defense of Rossian prima facie intuitions, argue that “Ross starts by assuming that, as he puts it, ‘the main moral convictions of the plain man’ are ‘not opinions which it is for philosophy to prove or disprove, but knowledge from the start.’ As we have already indicated both in our book and in this response, we are skeptical about the validity of most of our moral intuitions” (de Lazari-Radek & Singer 2016). Sidgwick would probably not have deemed the Rossian gambit to the point for purposes of dealing with the dualism of practical reason.

More generally, it must be said that Sidgwick, under the influence of Hegel and other historically-minded philosophers, did not claim that he was impartially addressing all historically important methods of ethics, but only those that in his estimate had become the live options as humanity had progressed (Schultz 2013, 2014). He may have been somewhat misguided in identifying those, but that is not the same as being blind to the content of the alternatives.

At any rate, fair or not, Sidgwick’s reconciliation of intuitional morality and utilitarianism obviously deploys a sophisticated form of intuitionist epistemology, one allowing for the fallibilism of its conclusions. He formulates four criteria or conditions “the complete fulfillment of which would establish a significant proposition, apparently self-evident, in the highest degree of certainty attainable: and which must be approximately realised by the premises of our reasoning in any inquiry, if that reasoning is to lead us cogently to trustworthy conclusions” (Sidgwick 1874 [1907: 338]). The first, often called simply the “Cartesian Criterion,” demands that the “terms of the proposition must be clear and precise,” and the second requires that the “self-evidence of the proposition must be ascertained by careful reflection,” which is especially important in ethics because “any strong sentiment, however purely subjective, is apt to transform itself into the semblance of an intuition; and it requires careful contemplation to detect the illusion” (Sidgwick 1874 [1907: 339]). Third, the “propositions accepted as self-evident must be mutually consistent,” since it “is obvious that any collision between two intuitions is a proof that there is error in one or the other, or in both.” (Sidgwick 1874 [1907: 341]). And fourth, since “it is implied in the very notion of Truth that it is essentially the same for all minds, the denial by another of a proposition that I have affirmed has a tendency to impair my confidence in its validity.” This last adds an important social dimension to Sidgwick’s epistemology: “the absence of such disagreement must remain an indispensable negative condition of the certainty of our beliefs,” for “if I find any of my judgements, intuitive or inferential, in direct conflict with a judgment of some other minds, there must be error somewhere: and if I have no more reason to suspect error in the other mind than in my own, reflective comparison between the two judgments necessarily reduces me temporarily to a state of neutrality” (Sidgwick 1874 [1907: 341–42]). In other, more purely epistemological works, Sidgwick collapsed the first two conditions into one, such that his philosophical intuitionism involved the three-pronged demand for clarity and ability to withstand critical reflection, consistency or coherence, and consensus of experts. He was also apt to explain that these conditions only afforded the best means for reducing the risk of error, rather than establishing indubitable truth. On this count, such posthumous works as Lectures on the Philosophy of Kant (1905) and Philosophy, Its Scope and Relations (1902) provide important supplements to the Methods. Singer (2000) provides an excellent collection of those of Sidgwick’s essays and reviews most relevant to the Methods.

3. Epistemology and Its Limits

Perhaps no region of Sidgwick’s work has been the subject of greater interpretive controversy than his epistemology. The early work of Schneewind (1963), Rawls (1971, 1975), and Schultz (1992) played up the dialectical side of Sidgwick’s approach and the ways in which he anticipated the Rawlsian account of the method of reflective equilibrium. Reactions to any such interpretation, which supposedly accorded a too generous role to “received opinion” in Sidgwick’s methodology, came from Singer (1974) and many others influenced by Hare’s critique of Rawls (see also Sverdlik 1984, and especially, Skelton 2007, 2008, 2010). Rawls himself shifted his ground somewhat in later work, playing up Sidgwick’s “rational intuitionism” (Rawls 1996, 2007). But other recent accounts, notably Brink (1994) and Shaver (1999, 2011, and 2014), have recognized that Sidgwick’s approach contains both dialectical and more purely intuitionist elements, debating whether these can be combined in a consistent or coherent way. Recent work on Sidgwick has also benefited from the renaissance in and rehabilitation of intuitionism, evident in such works as Audi (1997), Parfit (2011), and Stratton-Lake (2002); the latter contains an important contribution by Crisp that effectively distances Sidgwick’s views from cruder versions of intuitionism, though Deigh (2010) has argued forcefully that Sidgwick was too committed to an axiomatic approach that was undermined by developments in analytical philosophy, a point in some ways reminiscent of Donagan’s (1977) critique of Sidgwick’s intuitionism. Schultz (1992, 2004) surveys the development of some of these debates, but this is a very lively area of research in which the history of English moral philosophy from Whewell to Ross is being actively rewritten in dramatic fashion (Hurka 2011, 2014a). Yet it does appear that in the last decade, the scholarly emphasis has been disproportionately on Sidgwick and his successors, notably Ross, rather than Sidgwick and his predecessors, notably Whewell, who remains a comparatively neglected figure (Snyder 2001 [2019], 2006).

Sidgwick’s epistemology is linked to other significant controversies as well, such as those concerning the degree to which he can really be classified as a utilitarian, in any unqualified fashion. For Sidgwick argues, over the course of the Methods, that common-sense or intuitional morality keeps giving way to more abstract formal principles as the better candidates for genuinely self-evident truths. Although there is some controversy over just how many such principles he advances, at the least he defends a universalizability principle (one must be able to will one’s maxim to be a universal law) and a principle of rational prudence (or temporal neutrality, such that one should be ceteris paribus equally concerned with all parts of one’s life), in addition to the utilitarian principle of rational benevolence. Controversially, he holds that the universalizability principle is merely formal and lacks content, being consistent with both egoism and utilitarianism, and that temporal neutrality translates into a form of prudence. And in fact, even utilitarianism is actually derived from two more fundamental principles, and involves the “relation of the integrant parts to the whole and to each other” in order to obtain “the self-evident principle that the good of any one individual is of no more importance, from the point of view (if I may say so) of the Universe, than the good of any other; unless, that is, there are special grounds for believing the more good is likely to be realised in the one case than in the other. And it is evident to me that as a rational being I am bound to aim at good generally,—so far as it is attainable by my efforts,—not at a particular part of it.” And from “these two rational intuitions we may deduce, as a necessary inference, the maxim of Benevolence in an abstract form: viz. that each one is morally bound to regard the good of any other individual as much as his own, except in so far as he judges it to be less, when impartially viewed, or less certainly knowable or attainable by him” (Sidgwick 1874 [1907: 382]). Thus, in his more careful statements of the candidates for self-evident truths, Sidgwick refrains from formulations directly invoking “the greatest happiness of the greatest number” or hedonistic considerations. Some of the most sophisticated commentary on the Methods, such as Schneewind (1977), Shaver (1999, 2014), Nakano-Okuno (2011), Parfit (2011), Phillips (2011), de Lazari-Radek and Singer (2014), Hurka (2014a), and Crisp (2015), has highlighted the gap between these “axioms” and the substantive ethical theories derived or developed from them. Sidgwick himself appreciated the irony of his position, the way in which the hard-headed, reformist utilitarian emphasis on clarity and conclusiveness had dissipated in his work: there are indeed “certain absolute practical principles, the truth of which, when they are explicitly stated, is manifest; but they are of too abstract a nature, and too universal in their scope, to enable us to ascertain by immediate application of them what we ought to do in any particular case; particular duties have still to be determined by some other method” (Sidgwick 1874 [1907: 379]). Common-sense rules have their place, but are not even clear enough to serve as the “middle axioms” of the utilitarian theory. As he put it to Dakyns: “Ethics is losing its interest for me rather, as the insolubility of its fundamental problem is impressed on me. I think the contribution to the formal clearness & coherence of our ethical thought which I have to offer is just worth giving: for a few speculatively-minded persons—very few. And as for all practical questions of interest, I feel as if I had now to begin at the beginning and learn the ABC” (Sidgwick and Sidgwick, 1906: 277).

Worse still, all was not happy even in the ethereal region of the axioms. The “insolubility” of the “fundamental problem” of ethics—the key problem that had troubled Sidgwick in the 1860s—was indeed on display in Sidgwick’s treatise, in that he did not find the unified account of practical reason that he sought even at the more abstract level. As he had put it in an earlier letter to his friend Dakyns: “You know I want intuitions for Morality; at least one (of Love) is required to supplement the utilitarian morality, and I do not see why, if we are to have one, we may not have others. I have worked away vigorously at the selfish morality, but I cannot persuade myself, except by trusting intuition, that Christian self-sacrifice is really a happier life than classical insouciance” (Sidgwick and Sidgwick, 1906: 90). The problem of self-sacrifice and the claims of rational egoism were not, on Sidgwick’s view, amenable to the same form of reconciliation with utilitarianism that intuitional morality was. In fact, the first edition of the Methods concludes that rational egoism and utilitarianism end up in a stand-off, that there is a “dualism of the practical reason,” and that as a result, there is a “fundamental contradiction in our apparent intuitions of what is Reasonable in conduct” such that “the ‘Cosmos’ of Duty is thus really reduced to a Chaos, and the prolonged effort of the human intellect to frame a perfect ideal of rational conduct is seen to have been foredoomed to inevitable failure” (Sidgwick 1874 [1907: 473]). Later editions of the work sounded a somewhat less bleak concluding note, but did not differ in substance. The main possible solutions to the problem that Sidgwick considered are two, a weakening of epistemological standards, or a Theistic postulate about the coherent moral government of the universe. On the first, he suggests that if “we find that in our supposed knowledge of the world of nature propositions are commonly taken to be universally true, which seem to rest on no other ground than that we have a strong disposition to accept them, and that they are indispensable to the systematic coherence of our beliefs,—it will be more difficult to reject a similarly supported assumption in ethics, without opening the door to universal scepticism” (Sidgwick 1874 [1907: 509]). On the second, he explains that if “we may assume the existence of such a Being, as God, by the consensus of theologians, is conceived to be, it seems that Utilitarians may legitimately infer the existence of Divine sanctions to the code of social duty as constructed on a Utilitarian basis; and such sanctions would, of course, suffice to make it always every one’s interest to promote universal happiness to the best of his knowledge” (Sidgwick 1874 [1907: 506]).

Sidgwick often departed from the pristine language of the axioms when describing this conflict. In another important essay on his own work, he explained that along with “(a) a fundamental moral conviction that I ought to sacrifice my own happiness, if by so doing I can increase the happiness of others to a greater extent than I diminish my own, I find also (b) a conviction—which it would be paradoxical to call ‘moral’, but which is none the less fundamental—that it would be irrational to sacrifice any portion of my own happiness unless the sacrifice is to be somehow at some time compensated by an equivalent addition to my own happiness” (Sidgwick 1889: 483). He urges that each of these convictions has as much clarity and certainty “as the process of introspective can give” and each also finds wide assent “in the common sense of mankind.” Moreover, his account of rational egoism does not rely on a narrow or low-minded account of self-interest. Besides

admitting the actual importance of sympathetic pleasures to the majority of mankind, I should go further and maintain that, on empirical grounds alone, enlightened self-interest would direct most men to foster and develop their sympathetic susceptibilities to a greater extent than is now commonly attained. The effectiveness of Butler’s famous argument against the vulgar antithesis between Self-love and Benevolence is undeniable: and it seems scarcely extravagant to say that, amid all the profuse waste of the means of happiness which men commit, there is no imprudence more flagrant than that of Selfishness in the ordinary sense of the term,—the excessive concentration of attention on the individual’s own happiness which renders it impossible for him to feel any strong interest in the pleasures and pains of others. (Sidgwick 1874 [1907: 501]).


Still, he found it impossible to deny that even very high-minded versions of egoism posed a problem, prescribing actions conflicting with the general good in such cases as heroic sacrifice of self in battle, etc. This view, he suggested, could be found in Butler’s claim that “Reasonable Self-love and Conscience are the two chief or superior principles in the nature of man,” each generating an obligation, though Frankena (1992) and Darwall (2000) have raised questions about the historical accuracy of this attribution. But in any event, the basic point is that if “the Egoist strictly confines himself to stating his conviction that he ought to take his own happiness or pleasure as his ultimate end, there seems no opening for an argument to lead him to Utilitarianism (as a first principle). But if he offers either as a reason for this conviction, or as another form of stating it, the proposition that his happiness or pleasure is objectively ‘desirable’ or ‘a good’, he gives the requisite opening. For the Utilitarian can then point out that his happiness cannot be more objectively desirable or more a good than the happiness of any one else; the mere fact … that he is he can have nothing to do with its objective desirability or goodness.” (Sidgwick 1873: 259–60). But the egoist need not make that move—it is just as rational simply to take one’s own point of view as it is to take the point of view of the universe—of the utilitarian superperson.

Sidgwick’s dualism has stimulated much controversy, even leading some commentators to urge that he is better termed a “dualist” or “dual-source theorist” than a utilitarian (Crisp 2002). Moore (1903) famously dismissed the problem on the grounds that the notion of one’s “own good” was nonsense, but Mackie (1976) sharply countered that Moore was begging the question. Broad (1930) claimed that Sidgwick’s account was confused, since his proposed solutions did not touch the problem of the inconsistent fundamental principles, though this has been effectively addressed by Coady (1994), Schneewind (1977) and many others. Brink (1988) has argued that it is absurd to claim that two self-evident principles are inconsistent, but Shaver (1999) has replied that Sidgwick is for the most part consistent in calling the principles at issue only “apparently” self-evident, though Shaver also suggests that Sidgwick did not present a compelling case for the egoistic side of the conflict. Skorupski (2000) has forcefully argued that there is no dualism of the “pure” practical reason, which is agent neutral, but there are many such conflicts in the larger field of less than pure practical reason, not merely a conflict with egoistic reasons. Parfit, too, has recently argued that Sidgwick’s two standpoints approach failed to capture how egoistic reasons can be weaker than omnipersonal ones (Parfit 2011), though Smith (2009) has defended Sidgwick’s construction of the problem. And Baier (1995) has argued that Sidgwick’s account suffers from various ambiguities because he does not clearly distinguish “requiring” reasons from “permissive” ones, which would avoid the contradiction. Indeed, more generally, it is telling that many of Sidgwick’s most notable admirers, such as Larmore (2008) and Parfit (2011), do not carry all the baggage of his epistemological intuitionism but prefer instead to translate his arguments into the idiom of normative “reasons.” Indeed, Parfit called his deeply Sidgwickian view a form of non-naturalistic, non-metaphysical moral rationalism. And in another major recent work on the Methods, Phillips (2011) reconstructs Sidgwick’s arguments in a similar, Parfitian way, while retaining more of Sidgwick’s terminology. Thus, in one vocabulary or another, these controversies are likely to continue as long as there is such a thing as ethical philosophy.

The point is worth illustrating in more detail, given the importance of recent work in this area. Thus, unlike Sidgwick, but like Phillips (2011), Parfit does not regard practical reason as teetering on chaos or think it a cosmic calamity if we cannot demonstrate that we always have most reason to do what would be impartially best. He is content with the effort to sort out the complex of reasons that we might have, without going so far as to worry about the absurdity of a universe in which Own Good and Other Good might be left in conflict, and he even pronounces Sidgwick’s “somber claims” on this score “overstatements,” and the result of an unhelpful “two standpoints” framework of self and other that implausibly casts self-interested and impartial reasons as wholly incompatible. Moreover, according to Parfit, Sidgwick drew the conflict too narrowly, between impartial and egoistic reasons, when in fact we might have personal and partial, but not self-interested reasons to act wrongly – or to care about the well-being of others – and impartial reasons to act wrongly. Parfit, while allowing that we have “sufficient reasons” for acting morally, also urges that Sidgwick’s more plausible claim is simply: “When one of our two possible acts would make things go in some way that would be impartially better, but the other act would make things go better either for ourselves or for those to whom we have close ties, we often have sufficient reasons to act in either of these two ways” (Parfit 2011, vol. 1: 137). And the substantive ethical theory that Parfit sketches, the Triple Theory, represents a convergence of rule consequentialism, Kantian universalizability, and Scanlonian contractualism, and is thus at some distance from Sidgwick’s form of utilitarianism (though Parfit himself is far from clear on the assessment of act utilitarianism).

However, the recent work by de Lazari-Radek and Singer (2012, 2014, 2016) has opened up some ingenious new lines of argument in this area, arguments that, it is claimed, are more thoroughly Sidgwickian. As noted, Sidgwick had argued that apparently self-evident claims had to be clear and precise, able to withstand critical reflection, consistent with one another, and able to win a consensus of experts, though in other writings he collapsed the first two into just one condition. De Lazari-Radek and Singer seem less concerned to reject any element of Sidgwick’s account than to add to it, such that the significance of evolutionary “debunking” arguments is recognized, and this leads them to reject Sidgwick’s Dualism:

We might have become reasoning beings because that enabled us to solve a variety of problems that would otherwise have hampered our survival, but once we are capable of reasoning, we may be unable to avoid recognizing and discovering some truths that do not aid our survival. That can be said about some complicated truths of mathematics or physics. It can also, as Parfit has suggested, be the case with some of our normative epistemic beliefs; for instance, the belief that when some argument is valid and has true premises, so that this argument’s conclusion must be true, these facts give us a decisive reason to believe this conclusion. Parfit argues that this normative claim about what we have decisive reason to believe is not itself evolutionarily advantageous, since to gain that advantage, it would have been sufficient to have the non-normative beliefs that the argument is valid, and has true premises, and that the conclusion must be true. Hence this and other normative epistemic beliefs are not open to a debunking argument. This may also hold for some of our moral beliefs. One such moral truth could be Sidgwick’s axiom of universal benevolence: ‘each one is morally bound to regard the good of any other individual as much as his own, except in so far as he judges it to be less, when impartially viewed, or less certainly knowable or attainable by him.’ (de Lazari-Radek & Singer 2014: 182–83)


Thus, if, with Sharon Street (2006), one holds that in many cases “it is more scientifically plausible to explain human evaluative attitudes as having evolved because they help us to survive and to have surviving offspring, than because they are true” (de Lazari-Radek & Singer 2014: 180), one can debunk many of the beliefs competing with the Axiom of Universal Benevolence, such as those purportedly justifying partial or personal reasons for action. If Benevolence is not debunked, and if it can in fact be accounted for straightforwardly as a result of reason coming as a unity or package, such that either “we have a capacity to reason that includes the capacity to do advanced physics and mathematics and to grasp objective moral truths, or we have a much more limited capacity to reason that lacks not only these abilities, but others that confer an overriding evolutionary advantage. If reason is a unity of this kind, having the package would have been more conducive to survival and reproductions than not having it.” (de Lazari-Radek and Singer: 183).

That Singer, in particular, should in this way have developed defenses, not only of Sidgwickian hedonism, but also of Sidgwickian metaethical cognitivism (against his former commitment to Hare’s prescriptivism), and used these to advance a form of utilitarianism that, he holds, is more consistently utilitarian than Sidgwick’s own position and in that way in line with Sidgwick’s deeper tendencies, is illustrative of the increasingly important role that Sidgwick’s work is playing in cutting edge ethical theory. Whether the principle of Universal Benevolence really has the ability to withstand evolutionary debunking arguments, and whether such arguments can really be made compelling in the first place, are open questions, as is the question of whether Sidgwick himself would not have found such gambits too narrow and unable to address his deeper worries about the religious significance of the dualism of practical reason (Schultz 2004, 2014, 2017; and Gray 2015). But even so, these recent developments amount to something of a Sidgwickian counter-revolution to the Rawlsian Kantian revolution, an effort at both the meta and substantive ethical levels to provide an effective intuitionist and consequentialist alternative to Kantian constructivist and proceeduralist accounts of moral reasons.

Although Sidgwick denied that it was his special purpose, in the Methods, to call attention to the dualism of practical reason, this problem clearly loomed very large for him and affected many other aspects of his life and work, including his views on the history of ethics: he thought egoism the dominant view of the classical Greek philosophers, the difference between ancients and moderns having largely to do with the modern preoccupation with “ought” rather than “good” and the emergence of the dualism in Butler (Frankena 1992; Irwin 1992, 1994, 2011). Again, arguably, he never did full justice to non-hedonistic, teleological forms of perfectionism (Hurka 2001, 2011, and 2014a; Crisp 2015) or to fully deontological, Kantian views (Schneewind 1977, and Korsgaard 2009). However, as the remarks above underscore, the range of his arguments is richer and more fertile than many of his critics have recognized. Indeed, in his own day, he advanced effective criticisms of the evolutionism of Herbert Spencer, the idealism of Green and Bradley, and most of the other currents of philosophical opinion that he encountered. Weinstein (2000) argues effectively that on key points Spencer and Sidgwick had much in common; Brink (2003) indicates just how intelligent and penetrating the exchanges between Sidgwick and Green were, though he concludes that Green scored an effective point in charging that Sidgwick’s hedonism was implausible, even if coherent, a point that the recent hedonists are of course not willing to concede (de Lazari-Radek & Singer 2014, 2016).

In the end, however, at least on the topic of classifying Sidgwick’s Methods as a work of classical utilitarianism, it remains difficult to dissent from Schneewind’s summary of its heterodoxy: the Methods

centers on an examination of the accepted moral opinions and modes of thought of common sense. It involves a rejection of empiricism and dismisses the issue of determinism as irrelevant. It emphasizes an attempt to reconcile positions seen by utilitarians as deeply opposed to each other. It finds ethical egoism as reasonable as utilitarianism; and it concludes with arguments to show that, because of this, no full reconciliation of the various rational methods for reaching moral decisions is possible and therefore that the realm of practical reason is probably incoherent. (Schneewind [1974], 1992: 94).


This helps explain why the work continues to inspire both utilitarians and their critics.
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Part 3 of 4

4. Religion and Parapsychology

In an intriguing piece of retrospection written in 1887, Sidgwick explained:

Some fifteen years ago, when I was writing my book on Ethics, I was inclined to hold with Kant that we must postulate the continued existence of the soul, in order to effect that harmony of Duty with Happiness which seemed to me indispensable to rational moral life. At any rate I thought I might provisionally postulate it, while setting out on the serious search for empirical evidence. If I decide that this search is a failure, shall I finally and decisively make this postulate? Can I consistently with my whole view of truth and the method of its attainment? And if I answer “no” to each of these questions, have I any ethical system at all? (quoted in Sidgwick and Sidgwick, 1906: 467).


Whether Sidgwick’s memory was entirely accurate is uncertain. In a letter actually composed in 1870, he confessed to his friend Roden Noel:

I have never based my belief in immortality on our consciousness of the oneness of Self. I have always considered Kant’s ‘Paralogisms’ conclusive as against that.

What I really base it on (apart from the evidence supplied by Spiritualism, and apart from religious grounds) is on Ethics, as Kant, supported by Common Sense. But I do not state the argument quite as you answer it, but thus

In the face of the conflict between Virtue & Happiness, my own voluntary life, and that of every other man constituted like me, i.e. I believe, of every normal man, is reduced to hopeless anarchy.

Two authorities roughly speaking Butler’s ‘self-love’ and ‘Conscience’ claim to rule, and neither will yield to the other.

The only way of avoiding this intolerable anarchy is by the Postulate of Immortality. But you may say—‘you cannot believe it because you want to’

I reply; I find

1. in me an inherited predisposition to this faith.

2. In human history the belief is that of the best part of mankind: it has nearly, though not quite, the authority of a belief of Common Sense. (quoted in Schultz 2004: 441).


At any rate, he often expressed dissatisfaction with the Kantian solution, devoting endless hours to “the serious search for empirical evidence” of personal survival. He had long been sympathetic to this type of natural theology, devoting more effort to it than to exploring alternative epistemological arguments of relevance to the dualism. Indeed, Sidgwick joined the Cambridge “Ghost Society” as an undergraduate, and he had already devoted many years to informal psychical research before the formation of the Society for Psychical Research, in 1882, although his efforts expanded thanks to the larger formal organization (Gauld 1968, and Oppenheim, 1985). He was president of the SPR from 1882–85 and again from 1888–93. The comparative sobriety of his leadership of this organization, which represented an unusual combination of eminent intellectuals, first-rate scientists, and spiritualistic lunatics, undoubtedly did a great deal to enhance its respectability and insure its longevity. Even many of the spiritualists, who were precommitted to belief in disembodied human spirits, seances, and so forth, allowed that Sidgwick was as fair-minded as any non-mystic could be.

Sidgwick’s parapsychology was clearly and admittedly an extension of his religious studies and as such relevant to the solution of the dualism of practical reason. He did not successfully spell out the precise chain of argument leading from evidence for survival to a unified conception of practical reason, but the general Theistic idea of a “friendly Universe” enjoying a utilitarian moral government was obviously behind his efforts. Again, although he was not sure that he could rationally defend it, he was strongly drawn to the Theistic view that there is a “Heart and Mind” behind phenomena—a “Sovereign Will that orders all things rightly” (Sidgwick and Sidgwick, 1906: 604)—and that the universe is ethically meaningful, even if the storm and stress that he had suffered in the 1860s had permanently distanced him from Christian orthodoxy. Interestingly, his conversion to a more utilitarian mode of ethical theory had even predated his break with Anglican orthodoxy, which involved a long and painful struggle that had him studying Hebrew and German, engaging with the new biblical criticism of Strauss and Renan, and arguing with some of the most prominent theologians of his day, including Benson (Schultz 2017). He found, however, that historical and philological study of the Bible could not answer the deepest philosophical and ethical questions, which called for, among other things, free and open inquiry into the possibility of miracles and paranormal phenomena. Unfortunately, he found that orthodox religion was all too often unreceptive to such forms of inquiry, and that his doubts about such matters as the Virgin Birth were not adequately addressed by the theologians. In a revealing public letter to the Times, Sidgwick distinguished three different approaches to the Bible: “Simple Scripturalism,” which took it all as literally true, “Historical Scripturalism,” which took only its theological and moral statements has having that standing, and “Rationalism,” which held that, although the “most important part of religious truth … was discovered or revealed before the first century of Christianity was closed,” nonetheless “the process of development which the historical scripturalist traces between the earlier and later of them has continued since, and will continue, and that we cannot forecast its limits, and that even where the doctrine of the Bible, taken as a whole, is clear, an appeal lies always open to the common sense, common reason, and combined experience of the religious portion of mankind” (quoted in Schultz 2004: 83). Sidgwick identified himself with the Rationalist camp, which was congenial to developing a thin Theistic account of religion emphasizing the moral government of the universe, personal survival of physical death, and the existence of a benevolent God. Indeed, he is confident “that the thought of civilised Europe is moving rapidly in its direction, and that it must inevitably spread and prevail,” though he also hopes “that it may spread with the least possible disruption and disorganization of existing institutions, the least possible disruption of old sympathies and associations.” He is also confident, as he makes plain in various works, that the day of theological censure and authoritarianism is passing.

Sidgwick’s psychical research never yielded the hard proof of survival that he sought, and although at the end of his life he concluded that it had been largely a waste of time, he allowed that there were some positive results from it and that, at least in the 1890s, some promising new lines of research had emerged. The investigation of personal survival turned out to be bound up with the investigation of many other purportedly paranormal phenomena: telepathy, telekinesis, hypnotism, automatic writing, trance mediumship, apparitions of the living as well as the dead, the claims of Theosophy, etc. After all, it was argued, a medium supposedly relaying information from the dead might instead be in telepathic communication with living sources of that information. Thus, in order to establish that communication from the “other world” had actually occurred, it was essential to be able to rule out the possibility of telepathy (Gauld 1968, 2007).

The “Sidgwick Group,” as it was called—that is, Henry and Eleanor Sidgwick, Arthur and Gerald Balfour, F. W. H. Myers, Lord Rayleigh, Edmund Gurney, Frank Podmore, and a few others—worked in close collaboration, and ended up establishing to their satisfaction the reality of telepathic communication among the living, the findings being presented in the series of massive (and quite sophisticated) studies Phantasms of the Dead, Phantasms of the Living, and the Census of Hallucinations. As Myers explained the work:

under our heading of ‘Phantasms of the living,’ we propose, in fact, to deal with all classes of cases where there is reason to suppose that the mind of one human being has affected the mind of another, without speech uttered, or word written, or sign made;—has affected it, that is to say, by other means than through the recognised channels of sense.

To such transmissions of thoughts or feelings we have elsewhere given the name of telepathy; and the records of an experimental proof of the reality of telepathy will form a part of the present work. But … we have included among telepathic phenomena a vast class of cases which seem at first sight to involve something widely different from a mere transference of thought.

I refer to apparitions; excluding, indeed, the alleged apparitions of the dead, but including the apparitions of all persons who are still living, as we know life, though they may be on the very brink and border of physical dissolution. And these apparitions … are themselves extremely various in character; including not visual phenomena alone, but auditory, tactile, or even purely ideational and emotional impressions. All these we have included under the term phantasm; a word which, though etymologically a mere variant of phantom, has been less often used, and has not become so closely identified with visual impressions alone. (Myers [1886], 1975: ix).


Psychical research, Myers goes on to suggest, can now claim “a certain amount of actual achievement.” Thus,

We hold that we have proved by direct experiment, and corroborated by the narratives contained in this book, the possibility of communications between two minds, inexplicable by any recognised physical laws, but capable (under certain rare spontaneous conditions) of taking place when the persons concerned are at an indefinite distance from each other. And we claim further that by investigations of the higher phenomena of mesmerism, and of the automatic action of the mind, we have confirmed and expanded this view in various directions, and attained a standing-point from which certain even stranger alleged phenomena begin to assume an intelligible aspect, and to suggest further discoveries to come.

Thus far the authors of this book, and also the main group of their fellow-workers, are substantially agreed. (Myers [1886], 1975: xx).


This last line indicates, in particular, that Henry Sidgwick, whose name did not appear among the list of authors of these works, was in substantial agreement with their claims, which certainly appears to be the case. As Broad, a later sympathizer, summarized one of the main conclusions of the most comprehensive of the studies, the Census of Hallucinations: “About one visual hallucination in sixty-three occurs within a period of twenty-four hours round about the death of the person whose apparition has been ‘seen.’ If such deal-coincidences were purely fortuitous concurrences of causally independent events the proportion would be about one in nineteen thousand.” Broad concluded that the Census was “a uniquely and meticulously careful contribution to an important branch of their subject.” (Broad 1938: 144)

But these studies suggested that much of the supposed evidence for personal survival was merely evidence for telepathic communications from the living (albeit, perhaps dying), and Sidgwick consequently found much of this work distressing rather than encouraging. It was only in the 1890s, with the famous case of Leonora Piper, that he came to think that there was something resembling a “prima facie” case for survival. Piper was an American whose trance mediumship produced purported communications from particular deceased persons, and her claims withstood the combined scrutiny of the best researchers in both the American and British S.P.R.s, including William James, the Sidgwicks, Richard Hodgson, and Frank Podmore. As Braude (2003) indicates, the Piper case is still being debated to this day (see also Berger 1987). Evidence of this nature helped persuade Eleanor Sidgwick, in the years following Henry’s death, that his personality had survived physical death and succeeded in communicating with her (Schultz 2004, 2017). In an extremely curious, even bizarre, chapter of this history, Eleanor and her brothers, Arthur and Gerald, along with various close friends and colleagues, apparently developed a plot, supposedly with help from the “other side,” to bring about the birth of a “spirit child” who could become a new Messiah, ushering in a reign of global peace (Roy 2008; Gray 2011; Schultz 2017). What the actual, historical Henry might have made of such an effort at applied esoteric morality is a very intriguing question.

If much of Sidgwick’s psychical research today looks rather gullible, it must be allowed that his positive conclusions were always very cautious and guarded, and that his work in fact had an overwhelmingly negative, destructive effect, akin to that of recent debunkers of parapsychology. The Sidgwick Group exposed one fraud after another, including the fraudulent claims of Madame Blavatsky and the Theosophical movement, though Theosophists continue to dispute this. Indeed, Theosophy remains an influential “New Age” form of the esoteric spiritualism that Sidgwick found attractive (given its concern with the common mystical core of all religions) but impossible to defend (Oppenheim 1985). Insofar as parapsychology has ever enjoyed any standing as a rigorous field of scientific inquiry, this is thanks to the efforts of Sidgwick. Furthermore, the work of the Sidgwick Group helped pave the way for much of the developing research in depth psychology generally, calling attention to the efforts of Freud, Charcot, Richet and many others whose names are not primarily associated with parapsychology (Gauld 1968, 2007).

Thus, Sidgwick’s parapsychological investigations were of a-piece with his work on ethics and religion, and, especially in the late 1880s, similarly frustrating. As he explained to his close friend Symonds, he had “tried all methods in turn—all that I found pointed out by any of those who have gone before me; and all in turn have failed—revelational, rational, empirical methods—there is no proof in any of them” (Sidgwick and Sidgwick, 1906: 472). But Sidgwick was not eager to publicly proclaim the negative results of his investigations, any more than he was eager to publicly proclaim the skepticism about orthodox religion with with which they were entangled. In the 1860s, in his work with the Free Christian Union and religious investigations generally, he had been more open, freely identifying himself as a Rationalist and a skeptic. But in the aftermath of his resignation, he ceased to attack openly the religious beliefs and organizations that he deemed indefensible. As he later explained to an old friend:

In fact, the reason why I keep strict silence now for many years with regard to theology is that while I cannot myself discover adequate rational basis for the Christian hope of happy immortality, it seems to be that the general loss of such a hope, from the minds of average human beings as now constituted, would be an evil of which I cannot pretend to measure the extent. I am not prepared to say that the dissolution of the existing social order would follow, but I think the danger of such dissolution would be seriously increased, and that the evil would certainly be very great (Sidgwick and Sidgwick, 1906: 357).


Caught between the “Great Either-Or” of “Pessimism or Faith,” Sidgwick may have regarded his position as “an inevitable point in the process of thought,” but it was one he took “as a soldier takes a post of difficulty,” and he could not assume the responsibility of drawing others to it (Sidgwick and Sidgwick, 1906: 354). He was not sure that the subject of ethics was sufficiently like science and unlike theology to render his academic position legitimate, even if he did not have to swear belief in the Thirty-Nine Articles. But he did allow himself the hope that “a considerable improvement in average human beings in this respect of sympathy is like to increase the mundane happiness for men generally, and to render the hope of future happiness less needed to sustain them in the trials of life” (Sidgwick and Sidgwick, 1906: 358). Hence, the importance of political and educational reform. It was “premature to despair.” Indeed, if Placido Bucolo, the force behind an impressive series of conferences on Sidgwick hosted by the University of Catania, is correct, Sidgwick’s non-despairing Theistic heart shone through his work and activities throughout his life (Bucolo, Crisp, & Schultz 2007, 2011). But there is still a great deal of research to do on this subject, on the politics and sociology of parapsychology (see Warner 2006; Schultz 2017), as well as the way in which Sidgwick distanced himself from Kantian arguments for religious belief. Such research will likely prove more fruitful if it resists the temptation to treat the Methods as a stand-alone work, with a narrow, textualist interpretive approach that Sidgwick himself would have rejected (Schultz 2017, 2018)

Still, perhaps the larger point of Sidgwick’s worries about the dualism and related issues is best captured by the gloss that, in the second edition of the Methods, he put on the dualism and its possible resolution by the appropriate Theistic premise:

For, if we find an ultimate and fundamental contradiction in our apparent intuitions of what is Reasonable in conduct, we seem forced to the conclusion that they were not really intuitions after all, and that the apparently intuitive operation of the Practical Reason is essentially illusory. Therefore it is, one may say, a matter of life and death to the Practical Reason that this premise should be somehow obtained…. it seems plain that in proportion as man has lived in the exercise of the Practical Reason—as he believed—and feels as an actual force the desire to do what is right and reasonable as such, his demand for this premise will be intense and imperious. Thus we are not surprised to find Socrates—the type for all ages of the man in whom this desire is predominant—declaring with simple conviction that ‘if the Rulers of the Universe do not prefer the just man to the unjust, it is better to die than to live.’ And we must observe that in the feeling that prompts to such a declaration the desire to rationalize one’s own conduct is not the sole, nor perhaps always the most prominent, element. For however difficult it may practically be to do one’s duty when it comes into conflict with one’s happiness, it often does not seem very difficult, when we are considering the question in the abstract, to decide in favour of duty. When a man passionately refuses to believe that the ‘Wages of Virtue’ can ‘be dust,’ it is often less from any private reckoning about his own wages than from a disinterested aversion to a universe so fundamentally irrational that ‘Good for the Individual’ is not ultimately identified with ‘Universal Good.’ (Sidgwick 1877: 468–69).


It was, plausibly, this spectre of an unfriendly universe, of a perverse Cosmos and a fragmented self in which reason is schizophrenic or indeterminate, and the Wages of Virtue all too often dust, that most deeply disturbed Sidgwick, even if he sometimes articulated the issue in drier philosophical terms. And any successful but more limited defense of one side or another of the dualism may well have been, for him, only a very partial victory, a battle rather than the war (Schultz 2004, 2012, 2017; Gray 2015). His deepest convictions were more Tennysonian--the allusions to “wages” being to Tennyson’s poem of that title, the last stanza of which reads:

The wages of sin is death: if the wages of Virtue be dust,
Would she have heart to endure for the life of the worm and the fly?
She desires no isles of the blest, no quiet seats of the just,
To rest in a golden grove, or to bask in a summer sky;
Give her the wages of going on, and not to die.


5. Economics, Politics, Education

Sidgwick may have thought that the “deepest problems” of human life had to do with the religious and ethical problems that inspired his parapsychological research, but he nonetheless also devoted an enormous amount of time and energy to both the theoretical and practical sides of economics, politics, law, and ethics, which were after all relevant to the problem of the dualism. In this he was certainly in line with the tradition of Bentham and James and J. S. Mill, all of whom presented utilitarianism as a comprehensive doctrine that prioritized political, legal, and economic reform (Albee 1901; Skorupski 1993; and Rawls [1993], 1996, 2007). If Sidgwick had his own take on these subjects, his perspective was still that of a theorist and reformer with broad “interdisciplinary” concerns, rather than that of an ethicist obsessed with personal ethics narrowly construed. His professional credentials as both an economist and political scientist were impeccable, although the professional organizations now associated with these disciplines were only beginning to take shape in his era. He was an active member of the section of the British Association concerned with political economy and economics, and his book on The Elements of Politics, first published in 1891, became a staple of political science at Cambridge and elsewhere. He is best thought of as one of the founding fathers of the “Cambridge School” of economics, one whose contributions should be classed with those of Alfred Marshall and A. C. Pigou (Backhouse 2006; Medema 2009; Cook 2009; Winch 2009; and Cord 2017).

But Sidgwick’s reputation as an economist has often suffered from an invidious comparison with Marshall, his Cambridge colleague and rival, who is classed among the greatest figures in the history of the discipline. Marshall was both a brilliant economic thinker and a relentless discipline builder, the man who basically established modern economics as an independent academic discipline at Cambridge. As “University politicians” he and Sidgwick were often at odds with each other, since Sidgwick on some points resisted his efforts, believing that economics should remain integrated with the study of politics. Almost immediately upon his appointment as professor in late 1884, Marshall, in a famous incident, confronted Sidgwick and ridiculed him for his “mania” for “over-regulation” and his “failure to attract men on a large scale,” the way Green had at Oxford. Marshall claimed that Sidgwick was hampering his efforts, despite his greater knowledge of economics. Sidgwick reflected on the charges, but concluded that missionary zeal was not for him:

feeling that the deepest truth I have to tell is by no means ‘good tidings,’ I naturally shrink from exercising on others the personal influence which would make men [resemble] me, as much as men more optimistic and prophetic naturally aim at exercising such influences. Hence as a teacher I naturally desire to limit my teaching to those whose bent or deliberate choice it is to search after ultimate truth; if such come to me, I try to tell them all I know; if others come with vaguer aims, I wish if possible to train their faculties without guiding their judgements. I would not if I could, and I could not if I would, say anything which would make philosophy—my philosophy—popular. (Sidgwick and Sidgwick, 1906: 394–96).


Sidgwick had known Marshall for a long time—since the 1860s—and had in fact helped his career. He had in effect tutored Marshall in philosophy, stimulated his interest in educational reform, fostered their mutual interest in political economy, and helped call attention to the importance of Marshall’s early work, privately circulating some of it. Initially, Marshall had joined in the cause of women’s higher education, but he later opposed it, despite his marriage to Newnham graduate Mary Paley. Thus, by the 1880s and 90s, relations between the two men were often quite strained (Groenewegen 1995, and Schultz 2004).

Sidgwick had in fact long been a student of political economy. “Mill’s influence,” he explained, led him “as a matter of duty” to “study political economy thoroughly, and give no little thought to practical questions, social and political” (Sidgwick and Sidgwick, 1906: 36). In the early 1860s, he was absorbed in the study of Mill’s classic work, the Principles of Political Economy, and much influenced by Mill’s Cambridge disciple, the blind political economist Henry Fawcett. From the late 1870s on, he regularly published works in this field, producing his own Principles of Political Economy in 1883, heading the political economy section of the British Association, contributing to Palgrave, and serving on various government Commissions concerned with economic questions (he developed considerable expertise devising intricate taxation schemes) His work as an academic and policy advisor put him in touch with (directly or indirectly) many of the leading economists of the day—not only such Cambridge colleagues as Fawcett, Marshall, J. N. Keynes, and Herbert Foxwell, but also such figures as Edgeworth, Leon Walras, N. Senior, J. E. Cairnes, and W. S. Jevons. He was even familiar with the work of Karl Marx, at a time when few trained economists even knew who Marx was. Moreover, he was long involved with both the practical and theoretical work of the Cambridge Charity Organization Society, developing a sophisticated, eclectic approach to the issue of poor relief.

But like Marshall and many economists down to the present, Sidgwick drew a careful distinction between the descriptive side (the science) of economic analysis and the normative or policy side (the art), which especially concerns the proper role of government intervention in the market system to improve “either the social production of wealth or its distribution” (Sidgwick 1901: 33). He was also steeped in the great methodological debates over the historical or inductive versus the analytic or deductive approaches to the subject, and his balanced efforts to combine the two—and strengthen comparative studies as well—considerably distance his work from older Benthamite defenses of Laissez Faire. For Sidgwick, “economic man” is simply an abstraction that may be useful for explaining or predicting some aspects of the behavior of people under certain historical circumstances and in certain situations. Both the science and art of economic analysis need to recognize the limitations of the assumption that people always act out of self-interest and happily so. Indeed, as he rather heatedly put it in his “The Scope and Method of Economic Science”:

There is indeed a kind of political economy which flourishes in proud independence of facts; and undertakes to settle all practical problems of Governmental interference or private philanthropy by simple deduction from one or two general assumptions—of which the chief is the assumption of the universally beneficent and harmonious operation of self-interest well let alone. This kind of political economy is sometimes called ‘orthodox,’ though it has the characteristic unusual in orthodox doctrines of being repudiated by the majority of accredited teachers of the subject. But whether orthodox or not, I must be allowed to disclaim all connection with it; the more completely this survival of the a priori politics of the eighteenth century can be banished to the remotest available planet, the better it will be, in my opinion, for the progress of economic science. (Sidgwick 1885: 171).


Sidgwick’s position certainly reflected the more sophisticated, more historical, and even more socialistic views of the later J. S. Mill, who had been influenced by both the Romantic movement and Macaulay’s withering criticisms of the apriorism of Benthamism—that is, of the Benthamite attempt to deduce the best form of law and government from the assumption of universal self-interest (Capaldi 2004). Sidgwick followed Mill in thinking that political economy needed to pay attention to the complexity and historical variety of human motivation and character, as well as the condition of the working class. Perhaps characteristically, however, Sidgwick appreciated the paradox involved in the successful application of the historical method:

[I]t may be worth while to point out to the more aggressive ‘historicists’ that the more the historian establishes the independence of his own study, by bringing into clear view the great differences between the economic conditions with which we are familiar and those of earlier ages, the more, prima facie, he tends to establish the corresponding independence of the economic science which, pursued with a view to practice, is primarily concerned to understand the present. (Sidgwick 1901: 48).


This is not to applaud the increasing individualism and self-interested behavior of the modern world, which in fact rather worried Sidgwick. Again like Mill, he hoped that the future would bring a growth in human sympathy and moral motivation. He even hoped that individuals would come to be motivated to work by their concern to do their bit for the common good, to make their contribution to society; “ethical” socialism, though not necessarily governmental socialism, was for him a very attractive development.

But with respect to his contributions to the “science” of economics, there has long been considerable controversy over how successful Sidgwick was in going beyond Mill and appreciating the “marginalist revolution” going on around him. Deane argues that “the Principles owed more to the classical tradition of J. S. Mill than to what contemporaries were then calling the ‘new political economy’ of Jevons and Marshall” (Deane 1987: 329). And Howey, in an influential work, insists that economists “must add something to and take something away from hedonism, as ordinarily construed, before it becomes marginal utility economics. Jevons and Gossen could make the transformation; Sidgwick never could” (Howey 1965: 95). On the other side, however, Sidgwick’s economic work has been praised by more than one Nobel Prize winner, including George Stigler. Stigler, after remarking on how the work of Cournot and Dupuit on monopoly and oligopoly “began to enter English economics, in particular though Edgeworth, Sidgwick, and Marshall,” confessed that he was “coming to admire Henry Sidgwick almost as much as the other two. His Principles … has two chapters (bk II, ch. IX and X) which are among the best in the history of microeconomics, dealing with the theories of human capital and noncompetitive behavior” (Stigler 1982: 41). Elements of the Chicago School of Economics, particularly of law and economics, have been intriguingly traced back to Sidgwick by Steven Medema (2004), who has also helpfully brought out the impact of Sidgwick’s religious concerns on his economic approach (2008, 2009). Many of the contributions to Cord (2017) clarify and highlight the role Sidgwick played in the development of economics, at Cambridge and in general.

For his part, Sidgwick at least claimed that he was part of the new movement, describing himself as a disciple of Jevons: “as Jevons had admirably explained, the variations in the relative market values of different articles express and correspond to variations in the comparative estimates formed by people in general, not of the total utilities of the amounts purchased of such articles, but of their final utilities; the utilities, that is, of the last portions purchased” (Sidgwick 1901: 82). But he did allow that the differences with the older, Millian school had been exaggerated, and he continued, despite his considerable mathematical expertise, to do economics in a qualitative mode. Even so, he showed considerable acumen in setting out and conceptually clarifying the fundamental concepts of economics (wealth, value, labor, money, efficiency, etc.), in bringing out the difficulties involved in cross-cultural and trans-historical comparisons of wealth, and in analyzing the various cases of market failure, from monopoly to collective action problems to negative externalities. Indeed, his accounts of market failure and the possible remedies—the “art” of political economy—have received somewhat more recognition. Even Marshall praised this side of Sidgwick’s work, calling the relevant section of the Principles the best thing of its kind “in any language” (Pigou 1925). It is widely admitted that Marshall’s hand-picked successor at Cambridge, A. C. Pigou, produced a form of welfare economics that largely recapitulated Sidgwick’s contributions (Backhouse 2006; Medema 2009; Cook 2009; Winch 2009; and Schultz 2017).

The form of Sidgwick’s Principles of Political Economy, with its careful conceptual clarifications and distinction between normative and descriptive arguments, and its successive qualifications to individualistic, free market accounts of both, would prove to be characteristic, figuring in many of his essays and in such works as The Elements of Politics. As in the case of the Methods, the structure of these works has often made it difficult to see precisely where Sidgwick comes down on many issues. Typically, he begins with a robust statement of the “individualistic principle,” as, for example, in the Elements:

what one sane adult is legally compelled to render to others should be merely the negative service of non-interference, except so far as he has voluntarily undertaken to render positive services; provided that we include in the notion of non-interference the obligation of remedying or compensating for mischief intentionally or carelessly caused by his acts—or preventing mischief that would otherwise result from previous acts. This principle for determining the nature and limits of governmental interference is currently known as ‘Individualism’ … the requirement that one sane adult, apart from contract or claim to reparation, shall contribute positively by money or services to the support of others I shall call ‘socialistic.’ (Sidgwick 1919: 42).


Then, typically, he goes on to explain how any such principle reflects various psychological and sociological presuppositions—for example, that sane adults are the best judges of their own interests—and that these are only approximate generalizations and subject to crucial limitations. The psychological assumption that “every one can best take care of his own interest” and the sociological one that “the common welfare is best attained by each pursuing exclusively his own welfare and that of his family in a thoroughly alert and intelligent manner”—both essential to the case for Laissez Faire—end up being very heavily qualified and subject to so many exceptions that it is scarcely evident what Sidgwick means when he calls individualism “in the main sound.” The list of qualifications covers everything from education, defense, child care, poor relief, public works, collective bargaining, environmental protections, and more. He stresses two cases that, he urges, perspicuously point up the problems with the individualistic principle: “the humane treatment of lunatics, and the prevention of cruelty to the inferior animals.” Such restrictions do not aim at securing the freedom of the lunatics or the animals, but are a “one-sided restraint of the freedom of action of men with a view to the greatest happiness of the aggregate of sentient beings.” An unfortunate—but alas, revealing—note adds that the “protection of inferior races of men will be considered in a subsequent chapter” (Sidgwick 1919: 141–42).

These qualifications and limitations then invariably involve a discussion of the case for socialism and/or communism, a subject that Sidgwick addressed at length in many works. His main objection to socialistic interference was the familiar one that too much of it would lead to splendidly equal destitution, as the old line has it, and that for people as presently constituted economic incentives were needed to spur them to produce. But again, he hoped that “human nature” would change, growing more sympathetic and more amenable to ethical socialism, leaving the door open to the possibility of legitimating greater governmental interference with the market.

That is, as noted above, whatever his anxieties about economic socialism, Sidgwick was openly enthusiastic about ethical socialism, the possibility of humanity growing more altruistic and compassionate, regarding their labor as their contribution to the common good. He was under no illusions whatsoever, not only about the market failing to reflect claims of desert or merit, but also about the limitations of that abstraction, “economic man,” since historical and cultural or national context could dramatically alter the possibilities for moving beyond economic individualism, though again, in some areas this emphasis on “national character” lent itself to the racist and imperialistic tendencies of the British empire (Schultz 2004; Schultz 2005). It is remarkable that Sidgwick’s drift toward racism may have been in significant part of result of his absorption in the work of Jevons, who held that a “man of lower race, a negro for instance, enjoys possession less, and loathes labour more; his exertions, therefore, soon stop” (Jevons 1871: 177). Such views on matters of race, which were more extreme than Mill’s, would increasingly reverberate through late 19th-century political economy (Macmillan 1890), finding expression in Sidgwick’s admirer Edgeworth, who would insist on how “Capacity for pleasure is a property of evolution, an essential attribute of civilization,” with “civilization” being determined in part by race. (Edgeworth 1881 [2003: 78]).

Clearly, in his political theoretical work, Sidgwick admittedly simply assumed the utilitarian criterion as the normative bottom line, rather than arguing for it against rational egoism. Unfortunately, as he also stressed in many different works, no one could confidently predict the direction of civilization. Although in his more historical works, notably The Development of European Polity, Sidgwick assembled evidence to suggest that a continued growth in federalism and large-scale state organizations was likely, it was a very carefully hedged conclusion and cast against a broad critique of the social sciences. Much as he admired the sweep and ambition of such pioneers of sociology as Spencer and Comte (whose emphasis on the “consensus of experts” was appropriated for his epistemological work), he regarded their “sciences” of the laws of human development as absurdly over-blown, yielding wildly different predictions about the future course of humanity. He sincerely hoped that a more cosmopolitan attitude would be the wave of the future, and that the growth of international law and cooperation would decrease the likelihood of war, but he could not convince himself that social science—with the partial exception of economics—was beyond its infancy when it came to predicting things to come (Bryce & Sidgwick 1919, and Schultz 2004, 2017).

Thus, although D. G. Ritchie famously charged that with Sidgwick utilitarianism had grown “tame and sleek” and lost its reforming zeal, others, notably F. A. Hayek, held that he had in effect paved the way for the “New Liberalism” and even Fabian socialism that soon overtook British politics, legitimating a far greater degree of state intervention (Schultz 2004). Woodrow Wilson, the future president of the U. S., admired Sidgwick’s Elements, but found the more abstract, analytic side of his work oddly “colorless” and in need of historical content. These debates continue (Collini 1992, 2001; Kloppenberg 1992; Jones 2000; Bell 2007; and Winch 2009). At any rate, Sidgwick’s work in politics and political theory, like his work in economics, does reveal how far he was from Benthamism; he even criticized at length the Austinian theory of sovereignty—which analyzed law in terms of authoritative command and habitual obedience—so dear to the Benthamites, in a critique that received high praise from the legal historian (and Sidgwick student) F. W. Maitland.

Still, it must be allowed that Sidgwick’s political writings did not achieve the inspiring tone of J. S. Mill, and that, for all of his indebtedness to On Liberty, Considerations on Representative Government etc., he tended to highlight rather different concerns—concerns that often reflected his views on the dualism of practical reason. Like the later Mill, he harbored many suspicions about the wisdom of democracy and championed the need for a cultural “clerisy” or vanguard of educated opinion, often sounding a note not unlike that of Walter Lippmann in the twentieth century, stressing how an educated elite should benevolently shape public opinion. He much admired the work of his friend James Bryce, author of The American Commonwealth, which pointed up both the vitality and the dangers of the U.S. political system. But he devoted comparatively little effort to proclaiming the benefits of freedom of conscience and speech, was quite critical of Mill’s schemes for proportional representation, and worried at length about how “to correct the erroneous and short-sighted views of self-interest, representing it as divergent from duty, which certainly appear to be widely prevalent in the most advanced societies, at least among irreligious persons.” In fact, for the government to supply teachers of this view might even be “indirectly individualistic in its aim, since to diffuse the conviction that it is every one’s interest to do what is right would obviously be a valuable protection against mutual wrong,” though it would probably detract from the credibility of such teachers if they were salaried employees of the state (Sidgwick 1919: 213–14). The more sinister aspects of Sidgwick’s worries about what he termed the “lower classes” and the “lower races,” and the ways in which his work (including his parapsychology) intertwined with a variety of late Victorian imperialistic projects, including those of his colleague Sir John Seeley and of his brother-in-law Arthur Balfour, have been brought out primarily by Schultz (2004, 2007, 2017) and Bell (2007, 2016).

What Sidgwick’s political writings so effectively highlight, however, is the crucial role of education in his practical and theoretical work. Insofar as his more academic research carried a practical political point, this concerned the need for expanding and improving educational opportunities for all. Thus, his (highly Millian) feminism was focused on higher education for women and the foundation of Newham College, and his many attempts to improve the curriculum of Cambridge University (by including Bentham, modern literature, physiology and other new subjects) were correlated with efforts to expand its audience and impact (Tullberg [1975], 1998, and Sutherland 2007). And beyond formal educational institutions, Sidgwick was simply indefatigable in promoting and participating in discussion societies, ever aiming at the elusive “consensus of experts” that his epistemology called for. If, towards the end of his life, his participation in such vehicles as the “Ethical Societies” reflected his despair over the possibility of achieving such a consensus on the “deepest problems,” and instead involved an effort to set such problems aside in the hope of agreeing on the practical upshot of ethical questions (Sidgwick 1898), this was scarcely his characteristic attitude (Skelton 2011). His support for John Addington Symonds, one of the English followers of Walt Whitman and a pioneer of gay studies, is also suggestive of how creative and wide-ranging his educational efforts could be (Schultz 2004).

Sidgwick’s views on education and culture have not received nearly as much attention as his ethical work. But they merit careful consideration, given the way in which he resembled Mill and Dewey in being a true philosopher-educator (Schultz 2004, 2011, 2017). Judicious and balanced in his call for the inclusion of both older humanistic and modern scientific elements in any form of education worthy of the name, his vision could inspire the later educational reformism of both Russell and Dewey, along with that of many others. As he put it, in one of his most thoughtful essays, “The Pursuit of Culture”:

since the most essential function of the mind is to think and know, a man of cultivated mind must be essentially concerned for knowledge: but it is not knowledge merely that gives culture. A man may be learned and yet lack culture: for he may be a pedant, and the characteristic of a pedant is that he has knowledge without culture. So again, a load of facts retained in the memory, a mass of reasonings got up merely for examination, these are not, they do not give culture. It is the love of knowledge, the ardour of scientific curiosity, driving us continually to absorb new facts and ideas, to make them our own and fit them into the living and growing system of our thought; and the trained faculty of doing this, the alert and supple intelligence exercised and continually developed in doing this,—it is in these that culture essentially lies. (Sidgwick and Sidgwick, 1904: 121).
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Part 4 of 4

Bibliography

Primary Sources

Collections


[CW] The Complete Works and Select Correspondence of Henry Sidgwick, Bart Schultz et al. (eds.), Charlottesville, VA: InteLex Corp, 1996, 1999.
[EM] Essays on Ethics and Method, Marcus G. Singer (ed.), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000.
Works
1870, “The Ethics of Conformity and Subscription”, London: Williams and Norgate.
1873, “Utilitarianism”, Privately printed for the Metaphysical Society; reprinted in [EM].
1874 [1907], The Methods of Ethics, London: Macmillan; this work was subsequently reprinted in the years 1877, 1884, 1890, 1893, 1901, 1907; all references to the 1907 (seventh) edition.
1876, “Professor Calderwood on Intuitionism in Morals”, Mind, 1/4: 563–66; reprinted in [EM].
1879, “The Establishment of Ethical First Principles”, Mind, 4: 106–11; reprinted in [EM].
1883, The Principles of Political Economy, London: Macmillan; reprinted in the years 1887, 1901.
1885, “The Scope and Method of Economic Science”, Printed for the British Association; reprinted in Sidgwick and Sidgwick (eds.) 1904.
1886, Outlines of the History of Ethics for English Readers, London: Macmillan; reprinted in the years 1888, 1892, 1896, 1902.
1889, “Some Fundamental Ethical Controversies”, Mind 14: 473–87; reprinted in [EM].
1891, The Elements of Politics, London: Macmillan; reprinted the years 1897, 1908, 1919.
1897, “The Pursuit of Culture”, University of Wales Magazine, October; reprinted in [CW].
1900, “Criteria of Truth and Error”, Mind, 9/33: 8–25; reprinted with an appendix in Sidgwick 1905 and [EM].
1898, Practical Ethics: A Collection of Addresses and Essays, London: Swan Sonnenschein; reprinted 1909.
1902, Lectures on the Ethics of T. H. Green, H. Spencer, and J. Martineau, E. E. Constance Jones (ed.), London: Macmillan.
1902, Philosophy, Its Scope and Relations: An Introductory Course of Lectures, James Ward (ed.), London: Macmillan.
1903, The Development of European Polity, E. M. Sidgwick (ed.), London: Macmillan.
1904, Miscellaneous Essays and Addresses, E. M. Sidgwick and A. Sidgwick (eds.), London: Macmillan.
1905, Lectures on the Philosophy of Kant and Other Philosophical Lectures and Essays, James Ward (ed.), London: Macmillan.
1906, Henry Sidgwick, A Memoir, E. M. Sidgwick and A. Sidgwick (eds.), London: Macmillan.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Parapsychology
DRAFT 3

by cia.gov
1991/1992?
Working notes -- Ed May 6/6/95
In "C2 May -- SAIC" folder, Box D
Approved For Release 2003/09/16: CIA-RDP96-00791R000200190055-7

WHO COMPILED THIS FAQ?

This FAQ was compiled by an ad-hoc group of scientists and scholars interested in parapsychology, the study of what is popularly called "psychic" phenomena. The disciplines represented in this group include physics, psychology, philosophy, statistics, mathematics, computer science, chemistry, anthropology, and history. The major contributors and their affiliations are listed at the end of this document.

The majority of this group are members of the Parapsychological Association (PA).
The PA is an international professional society founded in 1957 and elected an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1969. While this FAQ is not an official publication of the PA, the contributors do include several past-Presidents of the PA, including the current (1995) President [Carlos Alvarado], and past and present members of the Board of Directors of the PA. The authors' cumulative research experience with parapsychological topics is estimated at over 400 years.

The group aimed for consensus on each FAQ item, but as in many intellectual pursuits, especially in young, multidisciplinary domains, there were some sharp disagreements. In spite of these disagreements, the authors believe that because of burgeoning public interest in parapsychology, the relative lack of reliable information, and the many myths and distortions associated with this field, it was important to put some basic information on the World Wide Web sooner rather than later.

We plan on eventually providing a comprehensive source of information on parapsychology, including details on the major topics of debate, the prevailing theories, discussions of empirical evidence, links to journal papers, reference sources, and so on. In addition, the FAQ will eventually include links to mission statements and photos from the major parapsychological research centers, individual researchers' home pages, and home pages for relevant scientific and scholarly societies.


To submit questions for this FAQ, send email to <dradin@nevada.edu> [Dean I. Radin] [mail to: URL *]

Who is Dean I. Radin?

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Dean Radin earned a BSEE magna cum laude in Electrical Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an MS in Electrical Engineering and PhD in Psychology, both from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. For ten years he was engaged in advanced telecommunications R&D, initially at AT&T Bell Laboratories and later at GTE Laboratories.

For fifteen years he has investigated psi phenomena through appointments at Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, University of Nevada, SRI International, Boundary Institute, and Interval Research Corporation. He is presently Laboratory Director at the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, California.

Dr. Radin was elected President of the Parapsychological Association in 1988, 1993, 1998, and 2006. His research awards include the Parapsychological Association's 1996 Outstanding Achievement Award and the Rhine Research Center's Alexander Imich Award for advances in experimental parapsychology, also presented in 1996. He earned Special Merit Awards from GTE Laboratories in 1992 and from Bell Labs in 1984, and has received grants from the Richard Hodgson Memorial Fund Grant at Harvard University, the Bial Foundation (Portugal), the Parapsychology Foundation (New York), the Society for Psychical Research (London), the Swedish Society for Psychical Research (Stockholm), the Institute for Border Areas of Psychology (Germany), the Bigelow Foundation (Las Vegas), and the Samueli Institute for InformationBiology (California).

Dr. Radin is author or co-author of over 200 scientific and popular publications, he has been interviewed by many newspapers and magazines including The New York Times and Psychology Today, he has appeared on dozens of television and radio programs worldwide, and is author of the multiple award-winning book, The Conscious Universe (1997, HarperCollins). His personal website is http://www.psiresearch.com.

Senior Scientist - Institute of Noetic Sciences
Author of Entangled Minds and The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena
President of the Parapsychological Association (1988, 1993, 1998, 2006)

-- Who is Dean I. Radin?, by Parapsychological Association


WHO IS THE INTENDED AUDIENCE?

This FAQ was written as a general introduction to parapsychology for individuals ranging from advanced high-school students to professionals with little or no background in parapsychology. Writing for such a broad audience is a challenge, because gaining an appreciation of parapsychology today requires specialized knowledge including advanced statistics, specialized experimental design, quantum mechanical theory, artificial intelligence techniques, the sociology and philosophy of science, and specific historical knowledge.

Because our expected audience is so broad, we decided to avoid most of the technical issues and specialty topics. Of course, this means we must also skip over many interesting subjects and debates within the field. Therefore, the approach here is to clarify the complex topic of parapsychology without glossing over important points and without "dumbing down" the basic content. For a few particularly tricky issues that we did wish to cover here, we've included sections labelled "Technical Note."

TECHNICAL NOTE: AUDIENCE

The content and style of this FAQ sparked a vigorous debate among the authors. At least five potential audiences were identified: physical scientists, social and behavioral scientists, hardened skeptics, New-Age enthusiasts, and readers with little or no background in one of the conventional sciences or in parapsychology.

For physical scientists, we felt it was important to discuss methodology and terminology, and comment on some common criticisms of parapsychology. It was less critical to discuss implications of the phenomena. For social and behavioral scientists, we focused on the psychological and sociological implications of the fact that people throughout history and across all cultures have reported psychic experiences. We also added some of the implications of the phenomena.

For hardened skeptics, or people whose knowledge of parapsychology is based solely upon the skeptical literature, we felt it was important to address the fact that there is substantial, scientifically persuasive empirical data available. For people with New-Age interests, enthusiasms, or assumptions, we felt that at least part of the purpose here would be to indicate the limits of what the scientific data actually justify. And for readers or high school students who know little or nothing about the topic, or about science and scientific methods, we've applied a broad-brush approach to cover as much of the field as possible in a single document. (Hyperlinks added in future editions will help flesh out this FAQ.)

WHAT IS PARAPSYCHOLOGY?

Parapsychology is the scientific and scholarly study of unusual events associated with human experience. These events seem to fall outside the nature of purely subjective or purely objective experience.

A long-held, common-sense assumption is that the worlds of the subjective and objective are completely distinct, with no overlap. Subjective is "here in the head," and objective is "there out in the world." Parapsychology is the study of phenomena suggesting that the strict subjective/objective dichotomy may instead be part of a spectrum, with some phenomena occasionally falling between purely subjective and purely objective. We call such phenomena "anomalous" because they are difficult to explain with current scientific models.

These anomalies fall into three general categories: ESP (terms are defined below), PK, and phenomena suggestive of survival after bodily death, including near-death experiences and apparitions. Most parapsychologists today expect that further research will eventually explain these anomalies in scientific terms, although it is not clear whether they can be fully understood given the current state of scientific knowledge.

WHAT IS NOT PARAPSYCHOLOGY?

In spite of what the media often imply, parapsychology is not the study of "anything paranormal" or bizarre. Nor is parapsychology concerned with astrology, UFOs, searching for Bigfoot, paganism, vampires, alchemy, witchcraft, or spontaneous human combustion.

Many scientists view parapsychology with great suspicion because the term has come to be associated with a huge variety of mysterious phenomena, fringe topics, and pseudoscience. Parapsychology is also often linked, again inappropriately, with a broad range of "psychic" entertainers, magicians, and self-proclaimed "paranormal investigators."


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[Job applicant, Winston Zeddmore, at Ghostbuster headquarters]

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[Janine Melnitz] Do you believe in UFOs, astral projections ...
mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance ...
Image
spirit photography, telekinetic movement ...
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full-trance mediums, the Loch Ness monster ...
and the theory of Atlantis?

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[Winston Zeddmore] If there's a steady paycheck in it, I'll believe anything you say.

-- Ghostbusters, directed by Ivan Reitman, starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis and Sigourney Weaver, written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis


WHAT DO PARAPSYCHOLOGISTS STUDY?

Parapsychology is the study of unexplained phenomena associated with consciousness and the mind. Perhaps the strangest, and most intriguing, aspect of these phenomena is that they do not appear to be limited by the known boundaries of space or time. In addition, they blur the sharp distinction usually made between mind and matter. In popular usage, the basic parapsychological phenomena are categorized as follows:

Telepathy: Direct mind-to-mind communication.

Precognition: Also called prescience or premonition. Obtaining information about future events, where the information could not be inferred through normal means. Many people report dreams that appear to be precognitive.

Retrocognition: Obtaining information about past events, where the events were previously unknown to the percipient.

Clairvoyance: Also called remote viewing; obtaining information about events or objects at remote locations, beyond the reach of the normal senses.

ESP: Extra-sensory perception; a general term for obtaining information about events beyond the reach of the normal senses. This term subsumes telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and retrocognition.

Psychokinesis: Also called PK; direct mental interaction with physical objects, animate or inanimate.

Bio-PK: Direct mental interactions with living systems.

NDE: Near death experience; an experience reported by those who were revived from nearly dying.

OOBE: Out-of-body experience; the experience of feeling separated from the body, often accompanied by visual perceptions as though from above the body.

Reincarnation Reports, typically from children, of previously living other lives.

Haunting: Reports of apparitions (ghosts, or spirits of disembodied persons).

Poltergeist: Large-scale PK phenomena often attributed to spirits, but which are now thought to be due to a living person, frequently an adolescent.

Psi: A neutral term for parapsychological phenomena. Psi, psychic, and psychical are synonyms.


TECHNICAL NOTE: BASIC TERMS

The above terms are representative of common usage, but it is worth noting that parapsychologists usually define psi phenomena in more neutral or operational terms. This is because labels often carry strong but unstated connotations that can blind us to the true nature of the phenomena.

As an example, "telepathy" is commonly thought of as mind-reading. However, in practice, and certainly in laboratory research, experiences of telepathy rarely involve perception of actual thoughts, and the experience itself often does not logically require communication between two minds, but can also be "explained" as clairvoyance or precognition. It is important to keep in mind that the names and concepts used to describe psi actually say more about the situations in which the phenomena are observed, than about any fundamental properties of the phenomena themselves. That two events are classified the same does not mean they are actually the same.

In addition, in scientific practice many of the basic terms used above are accompanied by qualifiers such as "apparent," "putative," and "ostensible." This is because many claims supposedly involving psi may not be due to psi, but to normal psychological or misinterpreted physical reasons.

WHY IS PARAPSYCHOLOGY INTERESTING?

Parapsychology is interesting mainly because of the implications of the phenomena. To list just a few examples, psi phenomena suggest (a) that what science knows about the nature of universe is seriously incomplete; (b) that the presumed capabilities and limitations of human potential have been seriously underestimated; (c) that fundamental assumptions and philosophical beliefs about the separation of mind and body may be incorrect; and (d) that religious assumptions about the divine nature of "miracles" may have been mistaken.

As an aside, we should note that many parapsychologists today, including most of the authors of this FAQ, take an empirical, data-oriented approach to psi phenomena, and specifically avoid discussing speculative implications that are not supported by data. However, some researchers regard the current findings of parapsychology as having a wide variety of important implications, including implications about the spiritual nature of humankind. Thus, in deference to the broad readership expected of this document, we decided to discuss some of the implications of psi, recognizing that this topic is more speculative than most.

In general, physicists tend to be interested in parapsychology because of the implication that we have a gross misunderstanding about space and time and the transmission of energy and information. Biologists are interested because psi implies the existence of additional, unexplained methods of sensing the world. Philosophers are interested because psi phenomena rigorously address many age-old philosophical problems, including the role of the mind in the physical world, and the nature of the objective vs. the subjective.

Theologians and the general public tend to be interested in psi because of its possible spiritual implications. Historically, one of the reasons for the founding of psychical research in the late 1800's, a precursor to modem parapsychology, was to seriously address the growing rift between religious ideology and the rise of materialistic science. At that time (late 19th century), religion was increasingly being viewed by scientists as a collection of mere superstitions and irrational ideologies, and yet the essence of religions (as opposed to their political structures and the horrors committed in the name of religion) were also a major source of values and ethics that helped to formulate and preserve civilization.

The founders of psychical research wondered if the methods of science that had worked so well in the physical world might be applied to the phenomena of spirituality and religion, and thereby help to discriminate what was real and possibly vital, from nonsense.

From the materialistic perspective, which is one of the foundations of the scientific worldview, human conscious is nothing but an emergent product of the functioning of Brain, Body, and Nervous System (BBNS). That is, no matter how different mind may seem from solid stuff like bodies, it is generated solely by the electrochemical functioning of the BBNS, and so it is absolutely dependent on it. When the BBNS dies, so does consciousness. Therefore, claims of survival of bodily death, or ghosts, or apparitions, are due to wishful thinking, because such things are nonsense. Furthermore, the limits of material functioning automatically determine the ultimate limits of mental functioning, thus the ideas of ESP and PK are also, appear impossible given our current understanding (not sure) ( ... leave the door open...)  

Some see the above view, which" is based upon prevailing scientific models, as leading to a nihilistic philosophy of "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die!" Modern restatements of this philosophy, which underlie much of the Western world's instant-gratification, consumer-oriented mentality, are sayings such as: "Look out for Number One," or as in advertisements, "You only go around once in life, so grab for the gusto." Sweeping approval of the "grabbing the gusto" idea drives much of the interest in medical research on longevity.

Psi phenomena, however, do not seem to fit well into the common sense universe originally described by Isaac Newton and Rene Descartes in the 17th century, and now, after three centuries of development, widely adopted as the "scientific view." Psi phenomena, which have occurred in all cultures throughout history, have been and continue to be interpreted as supporting the idea that there is something more to mind than the BBNS, that there is some sort of "soul," or the like. This "non-physical" aspect of human beings, an aspect that does not seem to be as tightly bounded by space or time as scientific models predict, might survive bodily death, and seem to create real and vital linkages between people. From this viewpoint, "No man is an island" is not just a metaphor, it is true in some deep sense. Likewise, "Looking out for Number One" is not just selfish, it is impossible, because Number One's happiness is not really separable from the happiness of all others.

As a young discipline, parapsychology is a long, long way from being able to say that "the data shows that Xists" (insert your favorite religious group here) are specifically right about religious doctrines A, B, and C but dead wrong about dogmas P, Q and R. But some parapsychologists today feel that the data generated by scientific methods are now clear and persuasive enough to give general support to the idea that consciousness seems to be more than merely BBNS, and by inference, there may be important truths contained in some spiritual ideas and practices.

We must emphasize, however, that even those researchers who maintain a strongly personal, spiritual worldview, believe that parapsychology, practiced as a science, must adhere strictly to widely accepted scientific principles and procedures. In other words, one can be a competent scientist, doing legitimate science, without uncritically accepting that materialistic, positivistic approaches are the only valid roads to truth.

We must further emphasize that there is a big difference between simply noting that the findings of parapsychology may have implications for spiritual concepts, versus the idea that parapsychologists are driven by some (partly) hidden spiritual agenda. Some critics of parapsychology seem to believe that all parapsychologists have hidden religious agendas, and that they are really out to prove the existence of the soul. This is no more true than claiming that all chemists really harbor secret ambitions about alchemy, and their real agenda is to transmute mercury into gold. The reasons why serious investigators are drawn to any discipline are as diverse as their backgrounds.

WHAT ARE THE PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF PSI?

Studies of direct mental interaction with living systems suggest that traditional mental healing techniques, such as prayer, may be based on genuine psi-mediated effects. In the future it may be possible to develop enhanced methods of healing based on these phenomena.

Psi may be involved in Murphy's Law: "If anything can go wrong, it will." That is, modem machines based upon sensitive electronic circuits, such as copiers and computers, may at times directly interact with human intention, and as a result, inexplicably fail at inopportune times. Of course, the converse may also be true. That is, the possibility exists to repair, or to control sensitive machines solely by mental means. Such technologies would significantly benefit handicapped persons.

Other applications include improved methods of making decisions, of locating missing persons or valuables, and of describing events at locations we cannot go to because of distance, time, or accessibility. This includes the possibility of psi-based historians and forecasters.

Highly developed psi abilities may benefit psychotherapy and other forms of counseling. Psi has been successfully applied to provide a statistical edge in the financial markets and in locating archeological treasures. Research is currently in progress to develop a psi-based, mentally operated switch.

WHAT ARE THE MAJOR RESEARCH APPROACHES?

As in any multidisciplinary domain, there are many ways of conducting research. The five main methods used in parapsychology are:

(1) Scholarly research, including discussion of philosophical issues and historical surveys. (2) Analytical research, including statistical analysis of large databases. (3) Field research, including case investigations of psi experiences and comparisons of cross-cultural beliefs and practices related to psi. (4) Theoretical research, including mathematical, descriptive and phenomenological models of psi. (5) Experimental research, including laboratory studies of psi effects.

Although all five of these approaches contribute to the field, today the primary source of "hard evidence" in parapsychology is controlled laboratory experiments. By applying the exacting standards of scientific method, researchers have developed an increasingly persuasive database for certain types of psi phenomena over the past six decades.

Several major experimental paradigms have been developed during this time, and a select few experiments have now been repeated hundreds of times by dozens of researchers, world-wide. Sometimes these experiments are conducted as strict replications, but more often they are conceptually similar experiments that add controls or extend the range of questions addressed.

WHAT ARE THE MAJOR PSI EXPERIMENTS TODAY?

Through popular books and portrayals of parapsychology in movies like "Ghostbusters," many people assume that psi experimenters today primarily use "ESP cards." This is a deck of 25 cards, with five repetitions of five cards showing symbols of a square, circle, wavy line, triangle, or star. While such cards were used extensively in early psi experiments, mainly by J. B. Rhine and his colleagues from the 1930's through the 1960's, they are rarely used today. Four of the most prolific and persuasive of the current experiments are the following:

PK ON RANDOM NUMBER GENERATORS

The advent of electronic and computer technologies has allowed researchers to develop highly automated experiments studying the interaction between mind and matter. In one such experiment, a Random Number Generator (RNG) based on electronic or radioactive noise produces a data stream that is recorded and analysed by computer software.

In the typical RNG experiment, a subject attempts, upon instruction, to change the distribution of the random numbers, usually in an experimental design that is functionally equivalent to getting more "heads" than "tails" while flipping a coin. Of course the electronic, computerized experiment has many advantages over earlier research using, e.g., tossed coins or dice. In the RNG experiment, great flexibility is combined with careful scientific control and a high rate of data acquisition. The resulting database, compiled over the past 40 years by nearly 80 researchers, provides clear evidence that human consciousness, specifically mental intention, can change the statistical behavior of random physical systems. <Reference link>

PK ON LIVING SYSTEMS

This has also been called bio-PK, and more recently some researchers refer to it as Direct Mental Interactions with Living Systems (DMILS). The ability to monitor internal functions of the body, including nervous system activity using EEG and biofeedback technologies, has provided an opportunity to ask whether biological systems may also be affected by intention in a manner similar to PK on RNGs.

A DMILS experiment that has been particularly successful is one that looks at the commonly reported "feeling of being stared at" The "starer" and the "staree" are isolated in different locations, and the starer is periodically asked to simply gaze at the staree via closed circuit video links. Meanwhile the staree's autonomic activity is automatically and continuously monitored. The cumulative database on this and similar DMILS experiments provides strong evidence that one person's attention directed towards a remote, isolated person, can significantly activate or calm that person's nervous system, according to the instructions given to the starer. <Reference link>

TELEPATHY IN THE GANZFELD

One theory about how perceptual psi works is that the psi "signals" are often present in the brain, but they are difficult to attend to because of the noise of normal sensory input. The ganzfeld ("whole field") technique was developed to quiet this external noise by providing a mild, unpatterned sensory field to mask the noise of the outside world. In the typical ganzfeld experiment, the telepathic "sender" and "receiver" are isolated, the receiver is put into the ganzfeld state, and the sender is shown a video clip or still picture and asked to mentally send that image to the receiver.

The receiver, while in the ganzfeld, is asked to continuously report aloud their mental processes, including images, thoughts, feelings. At the end of the sending period, typically about 20 to 40 minutes in length, the receiver is taken out of the ganzfeld. and shown four images or videos, one of which is the true target and three are non-target decoys. The receiver attempts to select the true target, using their perceptions during the ganzfeld state as clues to what the mentally "sent" image might have been. With no telepathy, chance expectation allows us to predict that the correct target would be selected about 1 in 4 times, for a 25% "hit rate." After scores of such experiments, presently totalling about 700 individual sessions conducted by about two dozen investigators, world-wide, the results show that the target image is selected on average 34% of the time. This is a highly significant result, suggesting that telepathy, at least as operationally defined in this experiment, exists. <Reference link>

REMOTE VIEWING

The ganzfeld technique indicates that information can be exchanged mentally by sending it from one person to another. The remote viewing experiment, in one of its many forms, investigates whether information can be gained without a sender. In a typical remote viewing experiment, a pool of several hundred photographs are created. One of these is randomly selected by a third party to be the target, and it is set aside in a remote location. The experimental participant then attempts to sketch or otherwise describe that remote target photo. This is repeated for a total of say, 7 different targets. Many ways of evaluating the results of this test have been developed, including some highly sophisticated methods. One common (and easy) method is to take the group of seven target photos and responses, randomly shuffle the targets and responses, and then ask independent judges to rank order or match the correct targets with the participant's actual responses. If there was real transfer of information, the responses should correspond more closely to the correct targets than to the mismatched targets.

Several thousand such trials have been conducted by dozens of investigators over the past 25 years, involving hundreds of participants. The cumulative database strongly indicates that information about remote photos, actual scenes, and events can be perceived. Some of these experiments have also been used to successfully study precognition by having a participant describe a photo that would be randomly selected in the future. <Reference link>

TECHNICAL NOTE: METHODOLOGY

Parapsychology uses methods commonly employed in other scientific disciplines. Laboratory studies use research methods from psychology, biology and physics. Field research uses methods from sociology and anthropology. There are plenty of textbooks on research methods in these fields, and we won't attempt to summarize them here.

What's special about parapsychology is the need to pay very close attention to "conventional" explanations. This is because we've defined psi phenomena as exchanges of information that do not involve currently known (i.e., conventional) processes. For instance, we talk about "ESP" when people know about things going on in their environment without getting the information by seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, or through any other known sensory input, or without being able to figure out the "target" information. We talk about "PK" when physical systems appear to react to people's intentions and there's no known physical contact between the person and the "target." Words like "without," and phases like "no known," show up a great deal in descriptions of psi phenomena.

Therefore, an important part of parapsychological research is eliminating known contact methods from laboratory setups and thinking carefully about them when evaluating reports of people's experiences. In ESP research, this requires knowing about the psychology of sensation, perception, memory, thinking, and communication, and about the biology and physics of sensation and movement. In PK studies, it is important to know about the physical characteristics of the "target," how it works, and what might affect it. In field studies, and in most laboratory studies, it's important to know about the ways in which people can interact with each other. Of course, in field studies it is much more difficult to eliminate conventional explanations than it is in the laboratory because you can't set things up beforehand to eliminate conventional contact between the people and the "targets."

Even when known contact methods are well controlled or eliminated, there is always the possibility that what we observe could have occurred by chance. That is, a person's apparent ESP knowledge about some distant event might be a random guess that just happens to resemble the target. Or, what looks like a PK effect on a physical system might be a random change in that system that just happens to occur at the right time. So it's important to measure how likely it is that the event could have occurred by chance and know how to decide when that's so unlikely that it makes more sense to think there really was some kind of psi contact.

Sometimes field research is not concerned with whether the experiences people report were really psi phenomena, but instead asks questions like, "What do people report about experiences they think were psi?", "How does having these experiences affect their lives?", and "Do people's psychological or cultural characteristics influence how likely they are to interpret experiences as psi?" This is straightforward anthropological, sociological, or psychological research and does not require the same kind of strict attention to eliminating conventional explanations.

The value of the "softer" research methods is that it investigates the experiences that people actually report. These are experiences such as precognitive dreams, out-of-body experiences, telepathic impressions, auras, memories of previous lives, hauntings and poltergeists and apparitions. Research on these issues obtains information about incidence, phenomenology, and demographic and psychological correlates of the experiences.

While the "spontaneous case research" is less technical in nature, and often more exciting to read, it is wise to avoid jumping to conclusions about the nature of psi from individual cases. Such studies examine how people report or think about their experiences, not what those experiences actually were. For example, surveys have reported that people in some cultures are more likely to report having precognitive dreams, but this does not necessarily mean that these people actually have more dreams that really are precognitive.

One important goal of the laboratory research is to determine the degree to which the field observables, or "raw psi" experiences, can be verified using current scientific methods. If verified in the lab, the major intent of the lab work shifts from "proof-oriented" research to "process-oriented," in which the goal is to discover the psychological, physiological, and physical mechanisms of each phenomenon.

WHAT ARE COMMON CRITICISMS AND RESPONSES ABOUT PARAPSYCHOLOGY?

Constructive criticism is essential in science and is welcomed by the majority of active psi researchers. Strong skepticism is expected, and many parapsychologists are far more skeptical about psi than most "outside" scientists realize.

However, it is not generally appreciated that some of the more vocal criticisms about psi are actually "pseudo-criticisms." That is, the more barbed, belligerent criticisms occasionally asserted by some skeptics are often issued from such strongly held, prejudicial positions that the criticisms are not offered as constructive suggestions, but as authoritarian proofs of the impossibility of psi.

It is commonly supposed by non-scientists that skeptical debates over the merits of psi research follow the standards of scholarly discussions. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Disparaging rhetoric and ad hominem attacks arise too often in debates about psi. The social science of parapsychology, and the way that science treats anomalies in general, is a fascinating topic that starkly illuminates the very human side of how science really works. A more complete description of this topic is beyond the scope of this FAQ. See <reference link> for more information.

CRITICISM

Criticism: Apparently successful experimental results are actually due to sloppy procedures, poorly trained researchers, methodological flaws, selective reporting, and statistics problems. There is therefore not a shred of scientific evidence for psi phenomena.

Response: These issues have been addressed in detail by meta-analytic reviews of the experimental literature <link>. The results unambiguously demonstrate that successful experiments cannot be explained away by these criticisms. In fact, research by specialists in scientific methods showed that the best experimental psi research today is not only conducted according to proper scientific standards, but usually adheres to more rigorous protocols than are found in contemporary research in both the social and physical sciences. <link Harris & Rosenthal>. In addition, over the years there have been a number of very effective rebuttals of criticisms of individual studies <link>, and within the past decade, experimental procedures have been developed that address virtually all methodological criticisms, even the possibility of fraud and collusion, by including skeptics in the experimental procedures <link Schmidt>.

CRITICISM

Criticism: Psi phenomena violate basic limiting principles of science, and are therefore impossible.

Response: Twenty years ago, this criticism was a fairly common retort to claims of psi phenomena. Today, because of rapid advancements in many scientific disciplines that have launched us into the age of so-called "post-modern" science, this criticism is no longer relevant, and is slowly disappearing. The "basic limiting principles of science" seem to invariably expand as science progresses, thus assigning psi to the realm of the impossible seems imprudent at best, foolish at worst.

CRITICISM

Criticism: Parapsychology does not have a "repeatable" experiment.

Response: Under the assumption that there is no such thing as psi, we would expect that about 5% of well-conducted psi experiments would be declared "successful" (i.e., statistically significant) by pure chance. But suppose that in a series of 100 actual psi experiments we consistently observed that 20 were successful. This is extremely unlikely to occur by chance, suggesting that psi was present in some of those studies. However, it also means that in any particular experiment, there is an 80% probability of "failure." Thus, if a critic set out to repeat a psi experiment to see if the phenomenon was "real," and the experiment failed, the skeptic would not be correct to claim on the basis of that single experiment that psi is not real because it is not repeatable.

The currently accepted method of determining repeatability in experiments is called meta-analysis. This quantitative technique is heavily used in the social, behavioral and medical sciences to integrate research results of numerous independent experiments. Starting around 1985, meta-analyses have been conducted on numerous types of psi experiments. In many of these analyses <link>, results indicate that the outcomes were not due to chance, or methodological flaws, or selective reporting practices, or any other plausible "normal" explanations. What remains is psi, and in many experimental realms, it has clearly been replicated by independent investigators.

WHY IS PARAPSYCHOLOGY CONTROVERSIAL?

Parapsychology remains controversial today, even with substantial, persuasive, and scientifically palatable results, for three main reasons: First, the media, and much of the public, confuses parapsychology with sensational, unscientific beliefs and stories about "the paranormal." This widespread confusion has led many scientists to instantly dismiss the field as unworthy of serious study, and thus they are unaware of the existing evidence.

Second, even if someone wanted to study the evidence, much of the persuasive work is published in recent (i.e., the past ten years) professional journals, thus finding good -information is a challenge. This FAQ was produced in an attempt to help diminish this problem.

WHAT IS THE STATE-OF-THE-EVIDENCE FOR PSI?

To be precise, when we say that "X exists," we mean that the presently available, cumulative statistical database for experiments studying X, provides strong, scientifically palatable evidence for repeatable, anomalous, X-like effects.

With the above in mind, ESP exists, precognition exists, telepathy exists, and PK exists. ESP is statistically robust, meaning it can be reliably demonstrated through repeated trials, but it tends to be weak when simple geometric symbols are used as targets. Photographic or video targets produce effects about 10 times larger, and there is some evidence that ESP on natural locations (as opposed to photos of them), and in natural contexts, may be stronger yet. Some PK effects have also been shown to exist. When individuals focus their attention on mechanical or electronic devices that fluctuate randomly, the statistics of the fluctuations change in predictable ways.

WHAT IS THE STATE-OF-THE-THEORY FOR PSI?

Opinions about mechanisms of psi are wide ranging. Because the field is multidisciplinary, there are physical theories, psychological theories, psychophysical theories, sociological theories, and combinations of these.

On one end of the spectrum, the "physicalists" tend to believe that the "psi sensing capacity" is like any other human sensory system, and as such it will most likely be explained by known principles from biophysics, chemistry, and cognitive science. For these theorists, psi is expected to be accommodated into the existing scientific structure, with perhaps some modifications or extensions. On the other end of the spectrum, the "mentalists" assert that reality would not exist if it were not for human consciousness. For these theorists, the nature of the universe is much more effervescent, thus accommodating psi into existing scientific models will require significant modification of science as we know it. Strong theoretical debates are common in parapsychology in part because spirit, religion, the meaning of life, -and other philosophical conundrums comingle with quantum mechanics, probability theory, and neurons.

QUESTIONS ABOUT POPULAR PHENOMENA

ARE GHOSTS REAL?


The prevailing view today is that the mysterious physical effects historically attributed to ghosts (disembodied spirits), such as movement of objects, strange sounds, enigmatic odors, and failure of electrical equipment, are actually poltergeist phenomena (see below). Apparitions that occur without accompanying physical effects are thought to be either normal psychological effects (i.e., hallucinations), or possibly genuine information mediated by psi.

ARE POLTERGEISTS REAL?

Poltergeists (from the German, "noisy ghosts") usually manifest as strange electrical effects and unexplained movement of objects. At one time, these phenomena were thought to be due to ghosts, but after decades of investigations by researchers, notably by William G. Roll, the evidence now suggests that poltergeists are PK effects produced by one or more individuals, usually troubled adolescents. The term "RSPK," meaning "Recurrent Spontaneous PK," was coined to describe this concept.

IF PSI IS REAL, HOW COME CASINOS MAKE SO MUCH MONEY?

The house "take" of the typical casino, i.e. the average percentage of the bet that the casino keeps, is so large that a person would have to be able to apply consistently strong psi, at will, to make any notable difference in long-term casino profits. For example, the house take for table games like craps and roulette averages about 25%. That means that on average, for every $100 gambled at the table, the gambler takes home about $75. Thus, in spite of the fact that the daily house take can fluctuate between say, 100% (lots of losers) and -100% (lots of winners), over the long term casino profits are quite predictable and stable. However, given that some psi effects are known to be genuine, in principle a good, consistent psychic could make money by gambling.

IS CHANNELING REAL?

Channeling is the claim that a departed spirit can speak or act through a sensitive person. In the late 1800s, this was called mediumship; similar claims of communicating with departed spirits can be found throughout history and across most cultures. Some researchers believe that cases of exceptional prodigies, like Mozart in music, or Ramanujan (spelling?) in mathematics, provide evidence of genuine channeling. However, some people who claim to channel extraterrestrials, or ancient masters from Atlantis, can easily perpetrate scams. Afterall, how can we check the validity of the claimed channeling? Some of the material -supposedly channeled by departed spirits, or other-worldly beings, is clearly nonsense. For more information, see <link Hastings>.

ARE LARGE-SCALE PK EFFECTS, LIKE LEVITATION, REAL?

Throughout history there have been many reports of spectacular events, such as individuals levitating, holy people materializing objects out of thin air, and people who are able to move, bend or break objects without touching them. Unfortunately, in most cases individuals who make such claims hope to capitalize on their "abilities." Because-the potential for fraud is high, and it is relatively easy to create convincing effects that closely mimic paranormal ones (with conjuring techniques), trustworthy evidence for such large-scale effects is very poor. There are a few cases of apparently genuine movement of small objects, but in general the existence of large-scale, or macro-PK, is still open to serious question

WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF PARAPSYCHOLOGY?

NOTE TO PDL READERS: This is a horribly provincial history I've sketched from memory. Please please please add your own stories to this history so I can create a brief chronology of the main psi labs worldwide and what they are known for. I apologize in advance for leaving out places and people which are obviously critical parts of history, but I haven't thought of them just now.

Parapsychology grew out of a serious, scientific interest in Spiritualism in the late 1800s in Great Britain and the United States. The (British) Society for Psychical Research, founded in 1881, and the American Society for Psychical Research, founded in 1885, were created by leading scientists of the day to study mediums who claimed they could contact the dead or produce other psychic effects. Much of the early evidence was descriptive and anecdotal, including reports of precognitive dreams, descriptions of table levitations, accounts of ghost sightings, and so on. Some members of the Societies for Psychical Research attempted to test the phenomena claimed by physical mediums using special instruments they designed. Some of the case studies and books published by members of these societies, most notably the work by Frederick Myers in the UK, and William James in the USA, are enduring classics.

In 1917, J. Edgar Coover, a psychologist at Stanford University, was one of the first investigators to apply experimental techniques to study psi abilities in the laboratory. But it was not until 1927 that a new era for psi research was established by biologist J. B. Rhine. Rhine and his colleagues developed original experimental techniques and helped popularize the terms "ESP" and "parapsychology." Rhine's lab at Duke University (Durham, North Carolina), initially part of the Psychology Department, developed a world-wide reputation for pioneering and scientifically sound research. In 1935, Rhine created the first academically-based, independent parapsychological laboratory at Duke University. His best-known research involved ESP testing using special cards and PK tests using dice. In 1965, Rhine retired from Duke and moved his lab off-campus. Today, Rhine's legacy, the Institute for Parapsychology, is still active in psi research and is located across the street from the Duke University campus. <Reference link>

HELP: What am I missing here, other major programs from the 30's to the 70's? What about Ian Stevenson's program? What is the history of that?

Emily?

In the 1970's, a major psi research effort began at the California think-tank, SRI International, in Menlo Park, California, USA (formerly called Stanford Research Institute). The program was established run by (The Cognitive Sciences Laboratory of a similar organization). (The Palo Alto based in the Cognitive Sciences Laboratory of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). link> Harold Puthoff, later Russell Targ joined the program, and then Edwin May. The SRI program concentrated on remote viewing research (and coined the term). May took over the program in 1985 when Puthoff left for another position. When May left SRI International in 1989, he reestablished a similar psi research program within the international science-for-hire organization called SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation), located in Palo Alto, California, USA. That program is still engaged in research and is best known for using sophisticated technologies, like magnetoencephalographs (MEG), to study brain functioning while individuals perform psi tasks, and theoretical models of micros-PK. The laboratory also develops theoretical models of __-PIC and approaches remote viewing research more than the "physicalist" perspective.

At about the same time that the SRI program began, another psi research program was established by Montague Ullman and Stanley Krippner at the Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, USA. (No -- much earlier) This team, which later included Charles Honorton, is best known for their work in dream telepathy. Just as this program was winding down in 1979, Charles Honorton opened a new lab, called the Psychophysical Research Laboratories, in Princeton, New Jersey, USA. Honorton's lab, which continued operating until 1989, was best known for research on telepathy in the ganzfeld, micro-PK tests, and meta-analytic work.

Also in 1979, another psi research program began in Princeton, New Jersey, within the School of Engineering at Princeton University. This was founded by Robert Jahn, then the Dean of the School of Engineering. The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) lab is still conducting research, and is best known for its massive databases on micro-PK tests, PK tests involving other physical systems, its "precognitive remote perception" experiments, and its theoretical work attempting to link metaphors of quantum mechanics to psi functioning.

Marilyn: please write a paragraph on the Mind Science Foundation, along with dates of operation. Could you write a similar paragraph about SURF too please?

Dick: please write about the University of Utrecht and now University of Amsterdam

Deborah: please write about Edinburgh University, unless I should steal this text from the Koestler Chair EU Web site?

I'll add something about my (Dean's) program at UNLV on the last wrap.

ARE THERE ANY PSI RESEARCH EXPERIMENTS ACCESSIBLE OVER THE NET?

Yes. I will eventually link to <Dick Beirman's experiments> and <Web experiments from UNLV, coming this Fall>. Any others I should know about? (CSL in late fall.)

WHERE ARE THE ACTIVE PSI RESEARCH FACILITIES AND RESEARCHERS?

University of Edinburgh, Scotland <link to Koestler>
Cambridge University, UK <link to Brian>
Science Applications International. Corp, Palo Alto, CA <link to Ed>
University of Hertfordshire, UK <link to Richard W.>
University of the West of London, UK <link to Sue?>
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV, USA: <link to Dean>
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA: <link to Bob Jahn>
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands: <link to Dick>
Institute for Parapsychology, Durham, NC, USA <link to Richard B.>
Eotvos Lorand University of Budapest, Hungary <link to Zoli>
University of Athens, Greece <link to Fotini>

NOTE: Please, add yourself if you want to be contactable through this FAQ, or subtract your name/link if you don't want to be contactable.

PRIMARY CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS FAQ

Carlos Alvarado, MS., University of Edinburgh, Scotland
Dick Bierman, Ph.D., University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Topher Cooper, MS., Kurzweil Artificial Intelligence, Cambridge, MA, USA
Edwin May, Ph.D., SAlC, Palo Alto, CA, USA
Roger Nelson, Ph.D., Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
Ephraim Schechter, Ph.D., University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
James Spottiswoode, MS., Spottiswoode Assoc., Beverley Hills, CA, USA
Charles Tart, Ph.D., University of California, Davis (Emeritus), CA, USA
Zoltan Vassy, Ph.D., Eotvos Lonmd University of Budapest, Hungary

Editor, Dean Radin, Ph.D., University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV, USA

General Disclaimer: All contributions to this FAQ are personal opinions and do not reflect or imply official positions of any organizations, companies, or universities.

-- Dean

-------------------------------------------------------------------------- Consciousness Research Laboratory 702-895-1480 lab
University of Nevada, Box 454009 702-895-1602 fax
4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154-4009 dradin@nevada.edu

Roger D. Nelson 5/31/95, 16:02 Comments on FAQ III

Date: Wed, 31 May 95 17:02:33 PDT
Originator: pdl@jsasoc.com
Reply-To: <pdl@jsasoc.com>
Sender: pdl@jsasoc.com
Version: 5.5 -- Copyright (c) 1991/92, Anastasios Kotsikonas
From: "Roger D. Nelson"<rdnelson@phoenix.Princeton.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list <pdl@jsasoc.com>
Subject: Comments on FAQ III

Dean,

The FAQ is quite a fine foundation, and will grow in a healthy way in response to new questions and new contributions. I've a few suggestions to make that are general and may need comment, and then some editing notes I can send directly to you.

1. The sections and subsections, maybe the paragraphs, should be numbered to allow easy search from an up-front contents list. (probably you already have this intention.)

2. For PR reasons, we should avoid words like "avoid." The intro paragraph on the broad expected audience could begin with:

"Because our expected audience is so broad, we have touched only briefly on many technical subjects and specialty topics that underlie interesting issues and debates within the field. The approach here ... "


3. In a similar context within the "Why is parapsychology interesting?" section, I would suggest ending the second paragraph as follows:

"Thus, in deference to the broad readership expected for this document, we present in the following Technical Note some of the implications of psi, acknowledging that this section must necessarily be relatively speculative.

Technical Note: History and Philosophy

In general, ... "


4. In the section on "What are the major experiments today," there is some imbalance of content detail. Perhaps we should add a bit of summary info to those without it, e.g., in the RNG section the last sentence might be:

"A meta-analysis of the database in 1989 examined 800 experiments by more than 60 researchers over the preceding 30 years. The effect size was found to be very small, but remarkably consistent, resulting in an overall statistical deviation of approximately 15 sigma, indicating that human consciousness can affect behavior of a random physical system. Furthermore, while experimental quality had significantly increased over time, this was uncorrelated with the effect size, in contradiction to a frequent, but apparently unfounded skeptical criticism."


5. Under "Why is parapsychology controversial?" paragraph two, we might say:

"Second, even if someone wants to study the evidence, much of the persuasive work is published only in limited circulation professional journals. These often can be found in [SENTENCE OBSCURED BY CIA DECLASSIFICATION CODE] in many cases, scholars must request reprints and technical reports from their authors. This FAQ was produced partially to alleviate the ,- problem, and provide references to various resources. See the section "Where can 1 get more information."


6. Section to follow "State-of-theory": (this is a short, top-of-the-head list)

WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?

Most experimental research is published in one of the following journals:

European Journal of Parapsychology
Journal of the American Society of Psychical Research
Journal of Parapsychology
Journal of Scientific Exploration
Journal of the Society of Psychical Research
Zeitschrift fuer Psychologische Grenzgebiete

Other professional journals that have published parapsychology material include:

Foundations of Physics
Proc. IEEE
Psychological Bulletin
Statistical Science

The major research groups also produce technical reports that may be available to scholars on request.

7. under "Help, what am 1 missing ... programs," I would suggest after Rhine, or after SRI (I don't know the chronology very well):

"[During this decade] A major step toward automated, computer-based psi research was taken by the physicist Helmut Schmidt, who developed equipment and protocols for experiments in micro-PK. Schmidt used radioactive decay and electronic noise as sources of true random events, and showed that the distribution of those events was susceptible to changes correlated with the intentions of human subjects. He also developed protocols for remote and off-time experiments and elaborated early theoretical models based on quantum mechanics."
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