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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]


• 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)


• 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


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. 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". 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,
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,
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.


• Blackwell, Richard J.; de Lucca, Robert (1998). Cause, Principle and Unity: And Essays on Magic by Giordano Bruno. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-59658-9.
• Blum, Paul Richard (1999). Giordano Bruno. Munich: Beck Verlag. ISBN 978-3-406-41951-5.
• 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 <>

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


Primary Sources


[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.
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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.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Parapsychology

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


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 <> [Dean I. Radin] [mail to: URL *]

Who is Dean I. Radin?


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

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


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."


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.)


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.


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."

[Job applicant, Winston Zeddmore, at Ghostbuster headquarters]

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

[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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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:


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>


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>


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>


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>


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.


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: 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: 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: 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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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>.


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


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?


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.


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.)


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.


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

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

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


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)


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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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Parapsychological Association
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/24/20

The Parapsychological Association (PA) was formed in 1957 as a professional society for parapsychologists following an initiative by Joseph B. Rhine. Its purpose has been "to advance parapsychology as a science, to disseminate knowledge of the field, and to integrate the findings with those of other branches of science." The work of the association is reported in the Journal of Parapsychology and the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research.[1]

The Parapsychological Association became affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1969, and it is still an affiliate as of 2019.[2][3][4][5][6][7]


The Association was created in Durham, North Carolina, on June 19, 1957. Its formation was proposed by Rhine, then Director of the Duke Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke University, at a Workshop in Parapsychology held there. Using the occasion afforded by this wide representation of the field, Rhine proposed that the group form itself into the nucleus of an international professional society in parapsychology.[citation needed]

Its first president was R. A. McConnell, then of the Biophysics Department, University of Pittsburgh, and the first vice-president was Gertrude R. Schmeidler of the Department of Psychology, City College of New York. Rhea White was named Secretary Treasurer. Four others were elected to the Council, bringing the total to seven: Margaret Anderson, Remi J. Cadoret, Karlis Osis, and W. G. Roll. One of the co-founding supporters of PA was anthropologist Margaret Mead.[8]


In 1969 the association became formally affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).[9][10] The work of the association is reported in the Journal of Parapsychology and the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research.[1]

The current president of the PA is American clinical psychologist James C. Carpenter.[11]


The association has its critics, including physicist John Archibald Wheeler, who tried but failed to convince the AAAS to expel the organization in 1979.[12] During his presentation Wheeler incorrectly stated that J. B. Rhine had committed fraud as a student and retracted that statement in a letter to the Science journal.[13]

See also

• American Society for Psychical Research
• International Association for Near-Death Studies
• Society for Psychical Research
• List of parapsychology topics


1. "Psi Journals & Publications". Parapsychological Association. Archived from the original on 2002-12-11. Retrieved 2010-05-20. (primary source)
2. "Parapsychology and the Integrity of Science". The Washington Post. Fred Ryan. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
3. "List of AAAS Affiliates". AAAS. American Association for the Advancement of Science. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
4. "About The Parapsychological Association". Parapsychological Association. Parapsychological Association. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
5. "Parapsychology". Annalisa Ventola. Annalisa Ventola. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
6. "What is Parapsychology?". Parapsychology and Magic. Russian Information Network.
7. "What on earth?". Halfway There.
8. Melton, J. G. (1996). Parapsychological Association. In Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. Thomson Gale. ISBN 978-0-8103-9487-2.
9. Etzel Cardeña (Online Jan 27, 2014). "A call for an open, informed study of all aspects of consciousness". Frontiers of Human Neuroscience ( 8:17). 8: 17. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00017. PMC 3902298. PMID 24478682. Check date values in: |date= (help)
10. "AAAS Affiliates". American Association for the Advancement of Science. Retrieved 2010-05-20.
11. "Board of Directors - The Parapsychological Association".
12. Wheeler, John Archibald. "Drive the Pseudos out of the Workshop of Science". Archived from the original on 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2008-12-29.
13. Wheeler, J. A. (1979). "Parapsychology - A correction". Science. 205 (4402): 144.

External links

• Official website


History of the PA Presidency
Accessed: 6/27/20

1957-58 / Robert A. McConnell
1959 / Gertrude R. Schmeidler
1960 / J. Gaither Pratt
1961 / Karlis Osis
1962 / Margaret Anderson
1963 / Caroll B. Nash
1964 / William G. Roll
1965 / Ramakrishna Rao
1966 / Montague Ullman
1967 / E. Douglas Dean
1968 / Ian Stevenson
1969 / Hans Bender
1970 / Robert Van de Castle
1971 / Gertrude Schmeidler
1972 / John Beloff
1973 / Rex G. Stanford
1974 / Robert L. Morris
1975 / Charles Honorton
1976 / Martin Johnson
1977 / Charles T. Tart
1978 / Ramakrishna Rao
1979 / John Palmer
1980 / Ian Stevenson
1981 / Irvin Child
1982 / John Beloff
1983 / Stanley Krippner
1984 / Rhea A. White
1985 / Robert L. Morris
1986 / Debra H. Weiner
1987 / Richard S. Broughton
1988 / Dean I. Radin
1989 / Hoyt Edge
1990 / Ramakrishna Rao

Koneru Ramakrishna Rao (born 1932) is a philosopher, psychologist, parapsychologist, educationist, teacher, researcher and administrator. The Government of India awarded him the civilian honour of Padma Shri in 2011.


Rao was born on 4 October 1932, in the Delta region of Coastal Andhra, Madras Presidency, India. He did his college and graduate work at Andhra University, Waltair, India (B.A. hons., philosophy 1953; M.A. hons., psychology 1955; PhD, 1962). He was a lecturer in the Departments of Philosophy and Psychology at Andhra University from 1953–58 under the tutelage of professors Saileswar Sen and Satchidananda Murthy. He left in 1958 to come to the United States as a Fulbright scholar. His stay at the University of Chicago was extended a year with a Rockefeller Fellowship with Richard McKeon at the University of Chicago and received PhD and D.Litt. degrees. He returned to India in 1960 as chief librarian at Andhra University (1960–61), but then moved to North Carolina to work with J. B. Rhine at the Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke University, North Carolina and later headed his Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man as its executive director. He is currently serving as chancellor at GITAM University, Vishakaptnam, India.

He returned to Andhra University in the mid-1960s and in 1967 established the Department of Parapsychology, the only such university department of its kind in the world. In the meantime he had become a charter member of the Parapsychology Association and was elected as its secretary in 1963 and its president in 1965. (He was again elected president in 1978). In 1977 he became the director of the Institute for Parapsychology, but again in 1984 went back to Andhra to become the university's vice-chancellor. The following year he established the Institute for Yoga and Consciousness at Andhra and became its director. In 1987 he again became head of the Institute for Parapsychology, where he has remained to the present. Most recently, he has served as the Chairman of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research for the Indian Government. He visited and lectured at universities in USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Greece, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, Thailand, Singapore and Sri Lanka.

In a 2002 festschrift, one of his former students described Rao as "a man of many interests... cross-cultural and cosmopolitan.... His writings are a blend of Eastern and Western traditions. They are an attempt to bring about, to use his own expression, the sangaman (confluence) of East-West streams of thought. Dr. K. Ramakrishna Rao is to Indian psychology what Dr. S. Radhakrishnan is to Indian philosophy".

Awards received by Rao include Padma Shri (Literature and Education category) from Indian Government in 2011, Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) degrees from Andhra and Kakatiya Universities, and a Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) degree from Acharya Nagarjuna University.

Main publications

Books (sole author)

• Rao, Koneru Ramakrishna (2020). A Child of Destiny. ISBN 978-8124610305.[5] - an autobiography.[6]
• Rao, Koneru Ramakrishna (2017). Gandhi's Dharma. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199477548. OCLC 1019894276.
o Reviewed[7]
• K. Ramakrishna Rao. Foundations of Yoga Psychology. Singapore: Springer Nature, 2017. ISBN 9789811054099 doi:10.1007/978-981-10-5409-9
• K. Ramakrishna Rao. Consciousness studies: Cross-cultural perspectives. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2002. ISBN 0-7864-1382-4

CULTIVATING CONSCIOUSNESS; AN EAST-WEST JOURNEY by K. Ramakrishna Rao et al. Visakhapatnam, India: GITAM University Press, 2014. Pp. viii + 380. $40 (hardback). ISBN 13-978-81-246-0717-6.

... Ramakrishna Rao outlines the Yogic, Vedic and Buddhist viewpoints and then summarises the East-West correspondences and differences...

This book is a revised and expanded edition of the original which was published in 1992. The expanded part is the Eastern perspective written by Rao as Part II of the book, and which are revised versions of chapters from his book Consciousness Studies, which was published in 2002, and the final chapter is a revised version of a paper published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies. The chapters in Part I are from a conference on "Cultivating Consciousness," held in Durham, NC, in 1991, where the various articles were first presented. Thus we need to be aware that these papers were written more than 20 years ago and so the concepts and information are no longer quite so new! This, of course, is especially pertinent for the bibliography.

The introduction is by Ramakrishna Rao, in which he outlines the work by Louisa Rhine and emphasizes how any study of consciousness has to incorporate findings from parapsychology and spontaneous psychic experiences.

-- Cultivating Consciousness; an East-West Journey, by Roney-Dougal, Serena M.

• K. Ramakrishna Rao. The Basic Experiments in Parapsychology. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1984.
• K. Ramakrishna Rao. Mystic Awareness. Mysore, India, 1972.
• K. Ramakrishna Rao. Gandhi and Pragmatism. Calcutta & Oxford, N.p., 1968.
• K. Ramakrishna Rao. Experimental Parapsychology. Springfield, Ill.: Charles C. Thomas, 1966.
• K. Ramakrishna Rao. Psi Cognition. India: Tagore Publishing House, 1957.

Books (jointly authored or edited)

• Rao, K. Ramakrishna; Paranjpe, Anand C. (2016). Psychology in the Indian Tradition. New Delhi; Heidelberg: Springer. ISBN 8132224396.
• K. Ramakrishna Rao, Anand C. Paranjpe, & Ajit K. Dalal (Eds.). Handbook of Indian psychology. New Delhi, India: Cambridge University Press India/Foundation Books, 2008. ISBN 978-81-7596-602-4
• K. Ramakrishna Rao. J. B. Rhine: On the Frontiers of Science. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1982. ISBN 0-89950-053-6
• K. Ramakrishna Rao and K. S. Murty. Current Trends in Indian Thought. New Delhi, 1972.
• K. Ramakrishna Rao and P. Sailaja. Experimental Studies of the Differential Effect in Life Setting. N.p., 1972.

1991 / Steve E. Braude

Who is Stephen E. Braude?

Stephen E. Braude is Professor of Philosophy and Chairman of the Philosophy Department at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

He studied Philosophy and English at Oberlin College and the University of London, and in 1971 he received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

After publishing a number of articles in the philosophy of language, temporal logic, and the philosophy of time, he turned his attention to several related problems in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of mind — in particular, questions concerning causality, scientific explanation generally, and psychological explanation specifically. One of his overriding concerns was to demonstrate the inadequacy of mechanistic theories in psychology and cognitive science.

Prof. Braude also examined the evidence of parapsychology to see whether it would provide new insights into these and other traditional philosophical issues.

After that, he shifted his focus to problems in philosophical psychopathology, writing extensively on the connections between dissociation and classic philosophical problems as well as central issues in parapsychology—for example, the unity of consciousness, multiple personality and moral responsibility, and the nature of mental mediumship.

Prof. Braude is past President of the Parapsychological Association and the recipient of several grants and fellowships, including Research Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the BIAL Foundation in Portugal. He has published more than 50 philosophical essays in such journals as Noûs;The Philosophical Review; Philosophical Studies; Analysis; Inquiry; Philosophia; Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology; The Journal of Scientific Exploration; and The Journal of Trauma and Dissociation.

He has written three books: ESP and Psychokinesis: A Philosophical Examination (Temple University Press, 1979), The Limits of Influence: Psychokinesis and the Philosophy of Science (Routledge, 1986; revised edition, University Press of America, 1997), and First Person Plural: Multiple Personality and the Philosophy of Mind (Routledge, 1991; revised edition, Rowman & Littlefield, 1995).

Recently, Prof. Braude completed a new book on the evidence for life after death.

He is also a professional pianist and composer and a prize-winning stereo photographer.

Selected Publications:


ESP and Psychokinesis: A Philosophical Examination (Revised Edition). Brown Walker Press. ISBN: 1-58112-407-4. 2002

ESP and Psychokinesis: A Philosophical Examination. Philadelphia: Temple Uni­versity Press, 1979

The Limits of Influence: Psychokinesis and the Philosophy of Science. New York & London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986 (2nd ed., 1991).

The Limits of Influence: Psychokinesis and the Philosophy of Science. Revised Edition. Lanham, New York, London: University Press of America (1997).

First-Person Plural: Multiple Personality and the Philosophy of Mind. New York & London: Routledge, 1991.

First-Person Plural: Multiple Personality and the Philosophy of Mind. Revised Edition. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield (1995).

Immortal Remains: The Evidence for Life After Death (in preparation).


On the Meaning of "Paranormal." In Jan K. Ludwig (ed.) Philosophy and Parapsychology. New York: Prometheus Press, 1978: 227-44.

Telepathy. Noûs 12 (1978): 267-30l.

Objections to an Information-Theoretic Approach to Synchronicity. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 73 (1979): 179-193.

Reply to Dr. Gatlin. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 73 (1979): 325-330.

Reply to Drs. Rudolph and Stanford. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 74 (1980): 258-263.

The Observational Theories in Parapsychology: A Critique. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 73 (1979): 349-366.

Commentary on Hyman's "Pathological Science". Zetetic Scholar No. 6 (1980): 42-43. Reprinted in R. Hyman, The Elusive Quarry (Buffalo: Prometheus, 1989): 254-56.

Taxonomy and Theory in Psychokinesis. In B. Shapin & L. Coly (eds.), Concepts and Theories of Parapsychology. New York: Parapsychology Foundation, 1981: 37-54.

The Holographic Analysis of Near-Death Experiences: The Perpetuation of Some Deep Mistakes. Essence: Issues in the Study of Aging, Dying and Death 5 (1981): 53-63.

Precognitive Attrition and Theoretical Parsimony. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 76 (1982): 143-155.

Radical Provincialism in the Life Sciences: A Review of Rupert Sheldrake's A New Science of Life. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 77 (1983): 63-78.

Reply to M.H. Coleman. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 53 (1986): 244-246.

Psi and Our Picture of the World. Inquiry 30 (1987): 277-294.

When Science is Non-Scientific. Journal of Near Death Studies 6 (1987): 113-118.

Death by Observation: A Reply to Millar. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 82 (1988): 273-280.

How to Dismiss Evidence Without Really Trying. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (1987): 573-574.

Some Recent Books on Multiple Personality and Dissociation. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 82 (1988): 339-352.

Mediumship and Multiple Personality. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 55 (1988): 177-195.

Evaluating the Super-Psi Hypothesis. In G.K. Zollschan, J.F. Schumaker, and G.F. Walsh (eds), Exploring the Paranormal: Perspectives on Belief and Experience. Dorset: Prism, 1989: 25-38.

Survival or Super-Psi? Journal of Scientific Exploration 6 (1992): 127-144. Reprinted in Darshana International 32 (1992): 8-28.

Reply to Stevenson. Journal of Scientific Exploration 6 (1992): 151-155.

Getting Clear About Wholeness. In K.R. Rao (ed.) Cultivating Consciousness. New York: Praeger, 1993: 25-37.

Psi and the Nature of Abilities. Journal of Parapsychology 56 (1992): 205-228. Also in J. Morris (ed.) Research in Parapsychology 1991. Metuchen, N.J. & London: Scarecrow Press, 1994: 193-220.

The Fear of Psi Revisited, or It's the Thought that Counts. ASPR Newsletter 28, No. 1 (1993): 8-11.

Does Awareness Require a Location?: A Response to Woodhouse. New Ideas in Psychology 12 (1994): 17-21.

Dissociation and Survival: A Reappraisal of the Evidence. In L. Coly & J.D.S. McMahon (eds.), Parapsychology and Thanatology. New York: Parapsychology Foundation (1995): 208-228.

ESP Phenomena, Philosophical Implications Of. In D.M. Borchert (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Supplement. New York: Macmillan (1996): 146-147.

Postmortem Survival: The State of the Debate. In M. Stoeber and H. Meynell (eds), Critical Reflections on the Paranormal. Albany: SUNY Press (1996): 177-196.

Braude's Reply to Almeder's "Recent Responses to Survival Research". Journal of Scientific Exploration 10 (1996): 519-523.

Some Thoughts on Parapsychology and Religion. In C. Tart (ed), Body, Mind, Spirit. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads (1997): 118-127.

Reply to Dr. Cook's Review. Journal of Parapsychology 6 (1997): 49-52.

Peirce on the Paranormal. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 34 (1998): 199-220.

Terminological Reform in Parapsychology: A Giant Step Backwards. Journal of Scientific Exploration 12 (1998): 141-150.

Paranormal Phenomena. In E. Craig (ed), Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London & New York: Routledge (1998).

Dissociation and Latent Abilities: The Strange Case of Patience Worth. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation 1 (2000): 13-48.

The Problem of Super Psi. In F. Steinkamp (ed), Parapsychology, Philosophy, and the Mind: A Festschrift in Honor of John Beloff's 80th Birthday. Jefferson, NC & London: McFarland (forthcoming).

Out-of-Body Experiences and Survival of Death. International Journal of Parapsychology 12 (2001): 77-122.

1992 / John Palmer

Who is John Palmer?

John A. Palmer graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in psychology and received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. After spending two years on the psychology faculty at McGill University, he entered parapsychology on a full-time basis. In addition to heading the graduate program in parapsychology at John F. Kennedy University from 1977-1981, he has held research positions at the University of Virginia, University of California at Davis, and the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands. He has served twice as President of the Parapsychological Association. He is presently Director of Research at the Rhine Research Center in Durham, NC, where he also edits the Journal of Parapsychology and serves as Director of their Summer Study Program for students. Dr. Palmer has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters, and he is co-author of the book Foundations of Parapsychology: Exploring the Boundaries of Human Capability.

Director of Research, Rhine Research Center Durham, NC
President of the Parapsychological Association 1971, 1979, 1992.
Editor, Journal of Parapsychology

Selected Publications:
Palmer, J. (2000). Covert psi in computer solitaire. Journal of Parapsychology, 64, 195-211.

Palmer, J. (1998). Comments on the extraversion-ESP meta-analysis by Honorton, Ferrari, & Bem. Journal of Parapsychology, 62, 277-282.

Palmer, J. (1997). Hit-contingent response biases in Helmut Schmidt’s automated precognition experiments. Journal of Parapsychology, 61, 135-141.

Palmer, J. (1997). The challenge of experimenter psi. European Journal of Parapsychology , 13, 110-122.

Palmer, J. (1996). External psi influence on ESP task performance. Journal of Parapsychology, 60, 193-210.

Palmer, J. (1996). Evaluation of a conventional interpretation of Helmut Schmidt’s automated precognition experiments. Journal of Parapsychology, 60, 149-170.

Kennedy, J. E., Kanthamani, H., & Palmer, J. (1994). Psychic and spiritual experiences, health, and well-being. Journal of Parapsychology, 58, 353-383.

Palmer, J. (1994). Explorations with the Perceptual ESP Test. Journal of Parapsychology, 58, 115-147.

Palmer, J. (1993). Psi in the context of ultimate reality: A critical appreciation of Griffin's paper. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 87, 309-327.

Kanthamani, H., & Palmer, J. (1993). A ganzfeld experiment with "subliminal sending". Journal of Parapsychology, 57, 241-257.

Palmer, J. (1992). From survival to transcendence: Reflections on psi as anomalous. [Revised version of Presidential Address presented at the meeting of the Parapsychological Association, Las Vegas, NV, August, 1992] Journal of Parapsychology, 56, 229-254.

Palmer, J. (1992). Effect of a threatening stimulus on the Perceptual ESP Test: A partial replication. Journal of Parapsychology, 56, 189-204.

Palmer, J., & Johnson, M. (1991). Defensiveness and brain-hemisphere stimulation in a perceptually mediated ESP task. Journal of Parapsychology, 55, 329-348.

Palmer, J. (1990). Reply to Gilmore - Round two. Journal of Parapsychology, 54, 59-61.

Rao, K. R., & Palmer, J (1990). Researching data and searching for a theory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 13, 387-389.

Palmer, J. (1989). A reply to Gilmore. Journal of Parapsychology, 53, 341-344.

Palmer, J. (1987). Dulling Occam's Razor: The role of coherence in assessing scientific knowledge claims. European Journal of Parapsychology, 7, 73-82.

Palmer, J., & Rao, K. R. (1987). Where lies the bias? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 10, 618-627.

Palmer, J. (1987). Are the conventional explanations adequate? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 10, 601-602.

Rao, K. R., & Palmer, J. (1987). The anomaly called psi: Recent research and criticism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 10, 539-555.

Palmer, J. (1987). Have we established psi? Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 81, 111-123.

Palmer, J., & Kramer, W. (1987). Release of effort in RNG PK: An attempted replication and extension. Journal of Parapsychology, 51, 125-136.

Palmer, J. (1987). Controversy and the Journal of Parapsychology. Journal of Parapsychology, 51, 33-48.

Palmer, J. (1986). Progressive skepticism: A critical approach to the psi controversy. Journal of Parapsychology, 50, 29-42.

Palmer, J., & Kramer, W. (1986). Sensory identification of contaminated free-response ESP targets: Return of the greasy fingers. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 80, 265-278.

Palmer, J. (1986). Comments on the "Joint Communique". Journal of Parapsychology, 50, 377-382.

Palmer, J., & Weiner, D. H. (1985). Technical Note: A check for local singlet biases in the Rand tables. Journal of Parapsychology, 49, 367-370.

Palmer, J., & Kramer, W. (1984). Internal state and temporal factors in psychokinesis. Journal of Parapsychology, 48, 1-25.

Palmer, J. (1983). Sensory contamination of free-response ESP targets: The greasy fingers hypothesis. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 77, 101-113.

Palmer, J., & van der Velden, I. (1983). ESP and hypnotic imagination: A group free-response study. European Journal of Parapsychology, 4, 413-434.

Palmer, J. (1983). In defense of parapsychology: A reply to James E. Alcock. Zetetic Scholar, No. 11, 39-70, 91-103.

Tart, C. T., & Palmer, J. (1979). Some psi experiments with Matthew Manning. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 50, 224-228.

Palmer, J., Tart, C. T., & Redington, D. (1979). Delayed PK with Matthew Manning: Preliminary indications and failure to confirm. European Journal of Parapsychology, 4, 413-434.

Palmer, J., Khamashta, K., & Israelson, K. (1979). An ESP ganzfeld experiment with Transcendental Meditators. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 73, 333-348.

Tart, C. T., Palmer, J., & Redington, D. (1979). Effects of immediate feedback on ESP performance over short time periods. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 73, 291-301.

Palmer, J. (1979). A community mail survey of psychic experiences. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 73, 221-251.

Tart, C. T., Palmer, J., & Redington, D. (1979). Effects of immediate feedback on ESP performance: A second study. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 73, 152-165.

Palmer, J., Bogart, D. N., Jones, S. M., & Tart, C. T. (1977). Scoring patterns in an ESP ganzfeld experiment. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 71, 122-145.

Palmer, J., Tart, C. T., & Redington, D. (1976). A large-sample classroom ESP card-guessing experiment. European Journal of Parapsychology, 1(3), 40-56.

Whitson, T. W., Bogart, D. N., Palmer, J., & Tart, C. T. (1976). Preliminary experiments in group "remote viewing". Proceedings of the IEEE, 1550-1551.

Palmer, J. (1975). Three models of psi test performance. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 69, 333-339.

Stanford, R.G., & Palmer, J. (1975). Free-response ESP performance and occipital alpha rhythms. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 69, 235-243.

Palmer, J., & Lieberman, R. (1975). The influence of psychological set on ESP and out-of-body experiences. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 69, 235-243.

Palmer, J., & Vassar, C. (1974). ESP and out-of-body experiences: An exploratory study. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 68, 257-280.

Palmer, J. (1972). Scoring in ESP tests as a function of belief in ESP. Part II. Beyond the sheep-goat effect. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 66, 1-26.

Palmer, J. (1971). Scoring in ESP tests as a function of belief in ESP. Part I. The sheep-goat effect. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 65, 373-408.

Books and Monographs: Palmer, J. (in press). Dulling Occam’s Razor: Essays on the psi controversy. San Juan, PR: Puente Publications.

Palmer, J. A., Honorton, C., & Utts, J. (1989). Reply to the National Research Council study on parapsychology. Research Triangle Park, NC: The Parapsychological Association.

Edge, H. L., Morris, R. L., Palmer, J., & Rush, J. H. (1986). Foundations of parapsychology: Exploring the boundaries of human capability. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Palmer, J. A. (1985). An evaluative report on the current status of parapsychology. Contract DAJA 45-84-M-0405. U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Alexandria, VA.

Book Chapters:
Palmer, J. (1995). Toward a general theory of survival. In L. Coly & J. D. S. McMahon (Eds.), Parapsychology and thanatology: Proceedings of an international conference held in Boston, Massachusetts, November 6-7, 1993 (pp. 1-32). New York: Parapsychology Foundation.

Palmer, J. (1993). The PSI controversy. In K. R. Rao (Ed.), Charles Honorton and the impoverished state of skepticism: Essays on a parapsychological pioneer (pp. 177-189). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Palmer, J. (1993). Confronting the experimenter effect. In L. Coly & J. D. S. McMahon (Eds.), Psi research methodology: A re-examination: Proceedings of an international conference held in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, October 29-30, 1988 (pp. 44-64). New York: Parapsychology Foundation.

Palmer, J. (1986). Criticisms of parapsychology: Some common elements. In B. Shapin & L. Coly (Eds.), Current trends in psi research: Proceedings of an international conference held in New Orleans, Louisiana, August 13-14, 1984 (pp. 255-276). New York: Parapsychology Foundation.

Palmer, J. (1982). ESP research findings: 1976-1978. In S. Krippner (Ed.), Advances in parapsychological research 3 (pp. 41-82). New York: Plenum.

Palmer, J. (1982). Review of J. B. Rhine's ESP research. In K. R. Rao (Ed.), J. B.. Rhine: On the frontiers of science (pp. 37-52). Jefferson, NC: McFarland. Palmer, J. (1979). Extrasensory perception: Research findings. In S. Krippner (Ed.), Advances in parapsychological research 2: Extrasensory perception (pp. 59-243). New York: Plenum.

Palmer, J. (1978). Consciousness localized in space outside the body. In D. S. Rogo (Ed.), Mind beyond the body: The mystery of ESP projection (pp. 35-42). New York: Penguin Books. New York: Penguin Books.

Palmer, J. (1977). Attitudes and personality traits in experimental ESP research. In B. B. Wolman (Ed.), Handbook of parapsychology (pp. 175-201). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

1993 / Dean I. Radin

Who is Dean I. Radin?

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 Information Biology (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

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)

Selected Publications:
Radin, D. I. (2000). What’s ahead? Journal of Parapsychology, 64, 353-364.

Radin, D. I. (2000). Is there a sixth sense? Psychology Today.

Radin, D. I. (1998). Moving mind, moving matter. Noetic Sciences Review, 46, 20-25.

Radin, D. I. & Rebman, J. M. (1998). Seeking psi in the casino. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 62 (850), 193-219.

Radin, D. I. (1997). El Laboratorio para la Investigacion de la Consciencia. Revista Argentina de Psicologia Paranormal. 8, 3 (31).

Radin, D. I. (1997). Unconscious perception of future emotions: An experiment in presentiment. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 11 (2), 163-180.

Bierman, D. J. & Radin, D. I. (1997). Anomalous anticipatory response on randomized future conditions. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 84, 689-690.

Radin, D. I. (October , 1997). On science and psychic phenomena. The New Times, 13 (5), 1,6

Radin, D. I. (1997). El laboratorio para la investigación de la consciencia. Revista Argentina de Psicologia Paranormal, 8 (3-31), 209-216.

Radin, D. I. (1997). Review of The Lotto Effect. European Journal of Parapsychology, 13, 134-135.

Radin, D. I. (1996). Towards a complex systems model of psi performance. Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine, 7, 35-70.

Dalton, K. S., Morris, R. L., Delanoy, D., Radin, D. I., & Wiseman, R. (1996). Security measures in an automated ganzfeld system. Journal of Parapsychology, 60, 129-147.

Rebman, J. M., Wezelman, R. Radin, D. I., Hapke, R. A. & Gaughan, K. (1996). Remote influence of the autonomic nervous system by focused intention. Subtle Energies, 6, 111-134.

Radin, D. I. & Rebman, J. M. (1996). Are phantasms fact or fantasy? A preliminary investigation of apparitions evoked in the laboratory. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 61 (843), 65-87.

Radin, D. I., Rebman, J. M. & Cross, M. P. (1996). Anomalous organization of random events by group consciousness. Journal of Scientific Exploration. 10 (1), 143-168.

Radin, D. I., Taylor, R. D. & Braud, W. (1995). Remote mental influence of human electrodermal activity: A pilot replication. European Journal of Parapsychology, 11, 19-34.

Radin, D. I. (1994). Hi-tech consciousness. Retreat Magazine, 5, 19-21.

Radin, D. I. (1994). On complexity and pragmatism. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 8 (4), 523-534.

Radin, D. I., McAlpine, S. & Cunningham, S. (1994). Geomagnetism and psi in the ganzfeld. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 59 (834), 352-363.

Radin, D. I. (1993). Environmental modulation and statistical equilibrium in mind-matter interaction. Subtle Energies, 4 (1), 1-30.

Radin, D. I. (1993). Neural network analyses of consciousness-related patterns in random sequences. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 7 (4), 355-374.

Radin, D. I. (1992). Beyond belief: Exploring interactions among mind, body and environment. Subtle Energies, 2 (3), 1 - 40.

Radin, D. I. (1990-1991). Statistically enhancing psi effects with sequential analysis: A replication and extension. European Journal of Parapsychology, 8, 98 - 111.

Radin, D. I. & Ferrari, D. C. (1991). Effects of consciousness on the fall of dice: A meta-analysis. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 5(3), 61-84.

Radin, D. I. (1990). Testing the plausibility of psi-mediated computer system failures. Journal of Parapsychology, 54, 1-19.

Radin, D. I. (July, 1990). Executive ESP. Leaders, 13, 123-124.

Radin, D. I. (April, 1990). On the scientific validity of astrology. Leaders, 13, 8.

Radin, D. I. (1990). On “pathological science.” Physics Today, 43, 3, 110.

Radin, D. I. (1990). Putting psi to work. Parapsychology Review, 21, 5-9.

Radin, D. I. (1989). Searching for “signatures” in anomalous human-machine interaction research: A neural network approach. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 3(2), 185-200.

Radin, D. I. & Nelson, R. D. (1989). Evidence for consciousness-related anomalies in random physical systems. Foundations of Physics, 19, 1499-1514.

Radin, D. I. & Utts, J. M. (1989). Experiments investigating the influence of intention on random and pseudorandom events. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 3(1), 65-79.

Radin, D. I. (February, 1989). Parapsychology bushwacked. Fate, 36-43.

Radin, D. I. (1988). Effects of a priori probability on psi perception: Does precognition predict actual or probable futures? Journal of Parapsychology, 52, 187 - 212.

Radin, D. I. & Nelson, R. D. (1988). Repeatable evidence for anomalous human-machine interactions. In M. L. Albertson, D. S. Ward, & K. P. Freeman (Eds.), Paranormal Research, Fort Collins, CO.: Rocky Mountain Research Institute, 306 - 317.

Nelson, R. D. & Radin, D. I. (1987). When immovable objections meet irresistible evidence. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 10, 600-601.

Radin, D. I. & Bosworth, J. L. (1987) On statistics for “psientists” and skeptics. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 81, 277-290

Radin, D. I. (1985). Pseudorandom number generators in psi research. Journal of Parapsychology, 49, 303-328.

Radin, D. I. & Bosworth, J. L. (1985) Response distributions in a computer-based perceptual task: Test of four models. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 79, 453-483.

Radin, D. I. (1982). Experimental attempts to influence pseudorandom number sequences. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 76, 359-374.

Radin, D. I. (in press). Seeking spirits in the laboratory. Chapter in Houran (Ed.), A Haunting Question of Perception: Scientific Perspectives on Hauntings and Poltergeists.

Radin, D. I. (in press). Time-reversed human experience: Experimental evidence and implications. Chapter in Leonard, G. (Ed.), Frontiers of mind-matter interaction, Shambala/Random House Publishers.

Radin, D. I. (in press). Where, when and who is the Self? Chapter in Raman (Ed.). Primacy of mind.

Radin, D. I. (2000). La conscience invisible: Le paranormal à l’épreuve de la science. Paris, France: Presses du chátelet.

Radin, D. I. (1999). The conscious universe. Seoul, Korea: Yangmoon Publishing

Radin, D. I. (1997). The conscious universe: The scientific truth of psychic phenomena. San Francisco: HarperEdge.

Weiner, D. H. & Radin, D. I. (1986). Research in parapsychology 1985, Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press.

1994 / Deborah L. Delanoy

Who is Deborah Delanoy?

Past President of the Parapsychological Association (1994)

Co-editor of the European Journal of Parapsychology, 1990 - 1999

Selected Publications
Delanoy, D.L. and Solfvin, J.F. (1996). Exploring psychological variables of free-response ESP targets and their relationships to psi-scoring. In E. May (Ed.) Proceedings of the Parapsychological Association 39th Annual Convention, supplement, pp. 1-15. San Diego, CA: Parapsychological Association, Inc.

Delanoy, D.L. (1996). Consistency, significance and relevance of psi research. Forschende Komplementaermedizin, 3, 158-161.

Delanoy, D.L. (1996). Experimental evidence suggestive of anomalous consciousness interactions. In D.N. Ghista (Ed.) Biomedical and Life Physics, Proceedings of the Second Gauss Symposium, 2-8 August, 1993, pp. 397-410. Braunschweig/Wiesbaden: Vieweg.

Dalton, K.S., Morris, R.L., Delanoy, D.L., Radin, D.I., Taylor, R. and Wiseman, R. (1996). Security measures in an automated ganzfeld system. Journal of Parapsychology, 60, 129-148.

Delanoy, D.L. (1997). Important psi-conducive practices and issues: Impressions from six parapsychological laboratories. European Journal of Parapsychology, 13, 62-68.

Delanoy, D.L. and Morris, R.L. (1998-99). A DMILS training study utilising two shielded environments. European Journal of Parapsychology, 14, pp. 52-67.

Delanoy, D.L. (1999). The reporting of methodology in ESP experiments. In A Brief Manual For Work In Parapsychology, pp. 35-49, New York: Parapsychology Foundation, Inc.

Delanoy, D.L. Unity and divisions within the Parapsychological Association. In N. Zingrone and D. Bierman (Eds.) Research in Parapsychology 1994. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, Inc.

Delanoy, D.L., Morris, R.L. and Watt, C.A. (in press). A study of free-response ESP performance and mental training techniques. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research.

1995 / Carlos Alvarado

Who is Carlos Alvarado?

Chairman: Domestic & International Programs
Parapsychology Foundation, Inc.
228 East 71st Street
New York, NY 10021, USA
TEL: 1-212-628-1550
FAX: 1-212-628-1559

Carlos S. Alvarado, Ph.D., is a past president (1995) and President-Elect (2002-2003) of the Parapsychological Association. He has conducted research on the psychology and the features of out-of-body experiences (and other parapsychological phenomena) in Puerto Rico, Scotland and in the United States. Alvarado is also known for his reviews of the historical literature of the field. He is currently working at the Parapsychology Foundation, where he is the Chairman of Domestic and International Programs, the series editor of the Foundation's Parapsychological Monographs and the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Parapsychology.

Selected publications
(2002). Dissociation in Britain During the Late Nineteenth Century: The Society for Psychical Research, 1882-1900. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 3, 9-33. (PDF File)

(2001) Features of out-of-body experiences in relation to perceived closeness to death. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 189, 331-332.

(2000) Getting started in parapsychology: A brief overview of English-language materials. International Journal of Parapsychology, 11,199-211.

(2000) Out-of-body experiences. In E. Cardeña, S.J. Lynn, & S. Krippner (Eds.), Varieties of anomalous experiences (pp. 183-218). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

(1999). Apuntes para una introducción a la parapsicología [In Spanish: Notes for an introduction to parapsychology] New York: Parapsychology Foundation.

(1998-99) (First author, with N.L. Zingrone, & K.S. Dalton). Out-of-body experiences: Alterations of consciousness and the Five-Factor Model of personality. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 18, 297-317.

(1998-99). (Second author, with N.L. Zingrone & K. Dalton). Psi experiences and the "Big Five": Relating the NEO-PI-R to the experience claims of experimental subjects. European Journal of Parapsychology, 14, 31-51.

(1998). ESP and altered states of consciousness: An overview of conceptual and research trends. Journal of Parapsychology, 62, 27-63.

(1998). (First author, with N.L. Zingrone). Anomalías de interacción con el ambiente: El estudio de los fenómenos parapsicológicos [In Spanish: Anomalies of interaction with the environment: The study of parapsychological phenomena]. Revista Puertorriqueña de Psicología, 11, 99-147.

(1997) Mapping the characteristics of out-of-body experiences. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 91, 13-30.

(1996). Exploring the features of spontaneous psychic experiences. European Journal of Parapsychology, 12, 61-74.

(1992) The psychological approach to out-of-body experiences: A review of early and modern developments. Journal of Psychology, 126, 237-250.

1996 / Richard Broughton

Who is Richard Broughton?

Twice past president and long-time Board member of the Parapsychological Association

Selected Publications:

Books: Broughton, R. S. Parapsychology: The Controversial Science, New York: Ballantine, 1991. Translated editions published in Italy, France, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Israel.

Intuition Laboratories, Inc.
R. S.

Broughton, R. S. Taking Psi Ability Seriously. In L. Coly and J.D.S. McMahan (Eds.) Psi Research Methodology: A Re-examination (pp 21-43), New York: Parapsychology Foundation, 1993.

Broughton, R.S. The New Technology: A Man and his Tools (Commemoration of C. Honorton) Journal of Parapsychology, 57, 111-127.

Broughton, R. S. Parapsychology on the couch. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1987, 10, 575-576.

Broughton, R. S. Publication Policy and the Journal of Parapsychology. Journal of Parapsychology. 1987, 51, 21-32.

Broughton, R. S. Computer Methodology. In B. Shapin and L. Coly (Eds.) Parapsychology and the Experimental Method (pp. 24-36) New York: Parapsychology Foundation, 1982.

Broughton, R. S. The use of computers in psychical research (Chapter 19). In I. Grattan-Guinness (Ed.), Psychical Research: A guide to its history, principles and practices. Wellingborough, UK: Aquarian Press, 1982.

Broughton, R. S. Computer methodology: Total control with a human face. Parapsychology Review, 1982, 13, 1-6.

Broughton, R. S. An experiment with the Head of Jut. European Journal of Parapsychology, 1979, 2, 337-357.

Broughton, R. S. Repeatability and experimenter influence: Are subjects really necessary? Parapsychology Review, 1979, 10, 11-14.

Broughton, R. S. Possible brain laterality effects on ESP performance. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research. 1976, 48, 384-399.

Broughton, R. S. Psi and the two halves of the brain. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research. 1975, 47, 133-147.

Broughton, R. S. and Perlstrom, J. R. PK in a competitive computer game: A replication. Journal of Parapsychology, 1992, 56, 292-305.

Broughton, R. S. and Perlstrom, J. R. PK experiments with a competitive computer game. Journal of Parapsychology, 1986, 50, 193-211.

Burdick, D. S. and Broughton, R. S. Conditional displacement analyses. Journal of Parapsychology, 1987, 51, 117-123.

1997-1998 / Edwin C. May

Who is Edwin May?

Edwin C. May, Ph.D. is internationally known for his work in parapsychology. Having spent the first part of his research career in his chosen Ph.D.-degreed discipline, Low Energy, Experimental Nuclear Physics, he became interested in serious parapsychology in 1971. At that time, he was peripherally involved in a psychokinesis (i.e. putative mind over matter) experiment that was being conducted informally in the physics department at the University of California at Davis. Starting in August 1974, Dr. May spent nearly a year in India researching so-called psychic phenomena with Yogis and other Masters. In 1975, he returned to the States and worked for eight months with Charles Honorton at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. It was there where he was introduced to formal research parapsychology. Beginning in 1976, Dr. May joined the on-going, U.S. Government-sponsored work at SRI International (formerly called Stanford Research Institute). In 1985, he inherited the program directorship of what was now called the Cognitive Sciences Program. Dr. May shifted that program to Science Applications International Corporation in 1991. Dr. May’s association with government-sponsored parapsychology research ended in 1995, when the program, now called STAR GATE, was closed.

Dr. May has managed complex, interdisciplinary research projects for the US federal government since 1985. He presided over 70% of the funding ($20M+) and 85% of the data collection for the government’s 22-year involvement in parapsychological research. His responsibilities included fund raising, personnel management, project administration and planning, and he was the guiding force for the technical research effort. Currently, Dr. May is the Executive Director of the Cognitive Sciences Laboratory, which now resides within the Laboratories for Fundamental Research.

He accumulated over 12 years experience in experimental nuclear physics research, which included the study of nuclear reaction mechanism and nuclear structure. Dr. May’s accelerator experience includes a variety of tandem Van de Graaff generators and cyclotrons operating under 50 million electron volts. Other specialize experience includes four years of ?-ray spectroscopy, one year of trace-element analysis (x-ray, and a-particle techniques), numerical analysis, Monte Carlo techniques, digital signal processing, and cardiac blood flow research. In addition, he has conducted physiology research through the careful investigation of the efficacy of biofeedback in a clinical setting.

Dr. May is fluent in a variety of 3-GL and 4-GL computer languages including C, FORTRAN, IDL, Visual Basic, various machine codes, and SQL.

Dr. May’s eclectic background has provided him with significant expertise in a variety of seemingly unrelated disciplines; thus, he is ideally suited and experienced to direct interdisciplinary research. His Dissertation was “Nuclear Reaction Studies via the (p,pn) Reaction on Light Nuclei and the (d,pn) Reaction on Medium to Heavy Nuclei.” B. L. Cohen, advisor. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA (1968). He is the author or co-author of a total of 130 reports: 16 papers in experimental nuclear physics: 30 papers presented at technical conferences on anomalous cognition; 19 abstracts presented at professional conferences on physics; 79 technical or administrative reports to various clients; and 14 miscellaneous reports and proposals. The Parapsychological Association, an affiliate member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, granted him the Outstanding Achievement Award for his contribution for research excellence. He was President, The Parapsychological Association for 1997.

For more detailed information on Stargate, go to Cognitive Sciences Laboratory website.

Further Reading:

The American Institutes for Research Review of the Department of Defense's STAR GATE Program: A Commentary by Edwin May

May, E. C., Utts, J. M., Humphrey, B. S., Luke, W. L. W., Frivold, T. J., and Trask, V. V. (1990). Advances in Remote-Viewing Analysis. Journal of Parapsychology, 54, 193-228.

May, E. C. and Vilenskaya, L. (1992). Overview of Current Parapsychology Research in the Former Soviet Union. Subtle Energies, 3, No. 3, 45-67.

May, E. C., Spottiswoode, S. J. P., and James, C. L. (1994). Managing the Target-Pool Bandwidth: Possible Noise Reduction for Anomalous Cognition Experiments. Journal of Parapsychology, 58, 303-313.

May, E. C., Spottiswoode, S. J. P. and James, C. L. (1994). Shannon Entropy: A Possible Intrinsic Target Property. Journal of Parapsychology, 58, 384-401.

1998-1999 / Dean I. Radin
1999-2000 / Marilyn J. Schlitz

Who is Marilyn J. Schlitz?

Marilyn Schlitz is Director of Research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and senior scientist at the Geraldine Brush Cancer Research Institute at the California Pacific Medical Center. Trained in Medical anthropology and psi research, Marilyn has published numerous articles on cross-cultural healing, consciousness studies, distant healing and the discourse of controversial science. She has conducted research at Stanford University, Science Applications International Corporation, the Institute for Parapsychology, and the Mind Science Foundation. Has taught at Trinity, Stanford and Harvard universities, and has lectured widely, including talks at the United Nations and the Smithsonian Institution. She serves on the Editorial Board of Alternative Therapies, is the leader of Esalen's Center for Theory and Research Working Group on Distant Healing Intentionality, and is on the Scientific Program Committee for the Consciousness Center at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

Selected Publications:
Braud, W. & Schlitz, M. (1983). Psychokinetic influence on electrodermal activity. Journal of Parapsychology, 47, 95-119.

Braud W, Schlitz M. 1988. Possible role of intuitive data sorting in electrodermal biological psychokinesis (bio-PK). Research in Parapsychology 1987. Metuchen, NJ: 5-9.

Braud, W. & Schlitz, M. (1989). A methodology for the objective study of transpersonal imagery. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 3, 43-63.

Braud, W. & Schlitz, M. (1989). Possible role of intuitive data sorting in electrodermal biological psychokinesis (bio-PK). Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 83: 289-302.

Braud, W., Schlitz, M. & Schmidt, H. (1990). Remote mental influence of animate and inanimate target systems: A method of comparison and preliminary findings. In L. Henkel & J. Palmer (Eds), Research in Parapsychology 1989. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press. pp. 42-47.

Braud, W. G. & Schlitz, M. (1991) Consciousness interactions with remote biological systems: Anomalous intentionality effects. Subtle Energies, 2, pp. 1-46.

Hansen, G., Schlitz, M., and Tart, C.T. (1984). Summary of remote viewing experiments. In R. Targ, & K. Harary, The Mind Race. New York: Villard Books.

Schlitz, Marilyn. Toward A Noetic Model of Medicine. Noetic Sciences Review, Vol. 47, Winter 1998 No. 47, pages 45-52, (IONS).

Schlitz, M. & Gruber, E. (1980). Transcontinental remote viewing. Journal of Parapsychology, 44, 305-317.

Schlitz, M. & Braud W. (1997). Distant intentionality and healing: Assessing the evidence. Altern Ther Health Med. 3(6):62-73.

Schlitz, M. J. & Honorton, C. (1992). Ganzfeld psi performance within an artistically gifted population. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 86, 93-98.

Schlitz, M.& LaBerge, S. (1994). Autonomic detection of remote observation. Proceedings of Presented Papers, 37th Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association, Durham, North Carolina, USA, pp. 352-361.

Schlitz, M. & Wiseman, R. (1997). Experimenter effects and the remote detection of staring. Journal of Parapsychology, 61, Sep.

Targ, E., Schlitz, M., & Irwin, H.J. (2000). Psi-related experiences. In E. Cardeña, S.J. Lynn, & S. Krippner (Eds.), Varieties of anomalous experience: Examining the scientific evidence (pp. 219-252). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Wiseman, R. & Schlitz, M. (1998) Experimenter effects and the Remote Detection of Staring, Journal Of Parapsychology, 61, 197-208.

2000-2001 / Nancy L. Zingrone

Who is Nancy Zingrone?

Parapsychology Foundation, 228 East 71st St., New York, NY 10021 [email]

Nancy L. Zingrone has a Bachelor in Arts with Honors in psychology (Mundelein College), a Masters of Science in Education (Northern Illinois University) with a teaching speciality in college-level psychology, and was a doctoral candidate in history (Duke University) with specialities in the histories of science, medicine, psychiatry, and American social history. She completed a doctorate in psychology (University of Edinburgh) in 2006 with a thesis entitled “From Text to Self: The History of Criticism and Response in the English-language Literature of Academic and Scientific Parapsychology.”

Zingrone was an Adjunct Faculty in Psychology at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, Illinois where she courses of elementary and nonparametric statistics and introductory and research parapsychology (1979-1982). She was a Research Fellow (1982-1985) and a Visiting Scholar (1986-1993) at the Institute for Parapsychology in Durham, North Carolina (now known as the Rhine Research Center), where she conducted experimental ESP research. She has been an organizer of, and lecturer at the Summer Study Program of the Institute of Parapsychology (1983-1993, 2000) where she lectured on elementary statistics, spontaneous case research, experimental methodology and women in parapsychology. She has served several terms on the Board of Directors of the Parapsychological Association since the early 1990s, during which times she was also the Editor of PA News. She was elected President of the Parapsychological Association for the 2000-2001 term. She is currently a candidate for President of the PA for the 2003-2004 term.

In recent times, Zingrone has managed the publication of psychology journals in Puerto Rico through her publishing house Puente Publications. Currently she is the Director of Publications of the Parapsychology Foundation, the Executive Editor of the International Journal of Parapsychology, and the Associate Editor of the series Advances in Parapsychological Research.

VIDEO TAPE: The Effect of Criticism: Skeptics, Parapsychologists and Experiencers. (Perspective Lectures Series). New York: Parapsychology Foundation.

Selected Publications

(in press). (Second author, with C. S. Alvarado). Exploring the factors related to the after-effects of out-of-body experiences. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research.

(2001). Controversy and the problems of pararapsychology. Journal of Parapsychology, 66, 3-30.

(1998-99). (Second author, with C. S. Alvarado & K. S. Dalton). Out-of-body experiences: Alterations of consciousness and the Five-Factor Model of personality. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 18, 297-317.

(1998-99). (First author, with C. S. Alvarado & K. Dalton). Psi experiences and the “Big Five”: Relating the NEO-PI-R to the experience claims of experimental subjects. European Journal of Parapsychology, 14, 31-51.

(1998) (Second author, with C. S. Alvarado). Anomalías de interacción con el ambiente: El estudio de los fenómenos parapsicológicos. Revista Puertorriqueña de Psicología, 11, 99-147.

(1997-1998) (Second author, with C. S. Alvarado). Factors related to the depth of near-death experiences: Testing the “embellishment over time” hypothesis. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 17, 339-344.

(1997) (Second author, with C. S. Alvarado). Experiencias disociativas y sueños: Relación con frecuencia de recuerdo de sueños, sueños lúcidos y sueños vívidos [In Spanish: Dissociative experiences and dreams: Relationship with the frequency of dream recall, lucid dreams and vivid dreams]. Ciencias de la Conducta, 12, 17-43.

(1997) (Second author, with C. S. Alvarado). Relación entre la experiencia fuera del cuerpo y la absorción: Estudios con participantes Puertorriqueños y Norteamericanos [In Spanish: Relationship between out-of-body experiences and absorption: Studies with Puerto Rican and American participants]. Revista Argentina de Psicología Paranormal, 8, 249-261.

(1994). Images of women as mediums: Power, pathology and passivity in the writings of Frederic Marvin and Cesare Lombroso. In L.Coly & R.A. White (Ed.), Women and Parapsychology (pp. 90-121). New York: Parapsychology Foundation.

(1989) (Second author, with D. H. Weiner). In the eye of the beholder: Further research on the Checker Effect. Journal of Parapsychology, 53, 203-231.

(1989) (Second author, with C. S. Alvarado) William McDougall, Lamarckism, and psychical research. American Psychologist, 44, 446-447.

(1988) Authorship and gender in American parapsychology journals. Journal of Parapsychology, 52, 321-343.

(1988) (Second author, with C. S. Alvarado). Los síntomas de la histeria: Observaciones clínicas durante el siglo 19. Archivo Latinoamericano de Historia de la Psicología y Ciencias Afines, 1, 11-21.

(1987) (Second author, with C. S. Alvarado). Historical aspects of parapsychological terminology. Journal of Parapsychology, 51, 49-74.

(1986) (Second author, with D. H. Weiner). The Checker Effect revisited. Journal of Parapsychology, 50, 155-161.

2001-2002 / Mario P. Varvoglis
2002-2003 / Carlos Alvarado
2003-2004 / Nancy L. Zingrone
2004-2005 / Caroline Watt
2005-2006 / Dean I. Radin
2006-2007 / Rex G. Stanford
2007-2008 / Roger D. Nelson
2008-2009 / Etzel Cardena

We would like to thank Erlendur Haraldsson for compiling this listing.
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Joseph Banks Rhine
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/24/20

Joseph Banks Rhine
Born September 29, 1895
Died February 20, 1980 (aged 84)
Occupation Botanist, parapsychologist

Joseph Banks Rhine (September 29, 1895 – February 20, 1980), usually known as J. B. Rhine, was an American botanist who founded parapsychology as a branch of psychology, founding the parapsychology lab at Duke University, the Journal of Parapsychology, the Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man, and the Parapsychological Association. Rhine wrote the books Extrasensory Perception and Parapsychology: Frontier Science of the Mind.

Early life and education

Joseph Banks Rhine was the second child of five children born to Samuel Ellis Rhine and Elizabeth Vaughan Rhine in Waterloo, Juniata County, Pennsylvania. Samuel Rhine had been educated in a Harrisburg business college, had taught school and later been a farmer and merchant. The family moved to Marshallville, Ohio, when Joseph was in his early teens.[1]

He was educated at Ohio Northern University and the College of Wooster, after which he enlisted in the Marine Corps, and was stationed in Santiago. Afterwards, he enrolled at the University of Chicago, where he received his master's degree in botany in 1923 and a Ph.D. in botany in 1925.[2] While there, he and his wife Louisa E. Rhine were impressed by a May 1922 lecture given by Arthur Conan Doyle exulting the scientific proof of communication with the dead.[3] Rhine later wrote, "This mere possibility was the most exhilarating thought I had had in years."[1][4][5]

He taught for a year at Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, in Yonkers, New York. Afterwards, he enrolled in the psychology department at Harvard University, to study for a year with Professor William McDougall. In 1927, he moved to Duke University in Durham, North Carolina to work under Professor McDougall. Rhine began the studies that helped develop parapsychology into a branch of science; he looked at parapsychology as a branch of "abnormal psychology."


Rhine lent an insight into the medium Mina Crandon's performances. Rhine was able to observe some of her trickery in the dark when she used luminous objects.[6] Rhine claimed to have observed Crandon in fraud in a séance in 1926. According to Rhine during the séance she was free from control and kicked a megaphone to give the impression it was levitating.[7]

Rhine's report that documented the fraud was refused by the American Society for Psychical Research, so he published it in the Journal of Abnormal Social Psychology. In response, defenders of Crandon attacked Rhine. Arthur Conan Doyle published an article in a Boston newspaper claiming "J. B. Rhine is an Ass."[7]

Rhine, who had caught Crandon free from control and kicking a megaphone during a séance, wondered why J. Malcolm Bird with three years of experience did not expose any of her tricks. Rhine suspected that Bird was a confederate of the medium.[7]

ESP research

Hubert Pearce with Joseph Banks Rhine.

Rhine tested many students as volunteer subjects in his research project. His first exceptional subject in this ESP research was Adam Linzmayer, an economics undergraduate at Duke. In 1931, Linzmayer scored very highly in preliminary Zener card tests that Rhine ran him through; initially, he scored 100% correct on two short (nine-card series) tests that Rhine gave him. Even in his first long test (a 300-card series), Linzmayer scored 39.6% correct scores, when chance would have been only 20%. He consecutively scored 36% each time on three 25-card series (chance being 20%). However, over time, Linzmayer's scores began to drop down much closer to (but still above) chance averages. Boredom, distraction, and competing obligations, on Linzmayer's part, were conjectured as possible factors bearing on the declining test results.[1] Linzmayer's epic run of naming 21 out of 25 took place in Rhine's car.[4]

The following year, Rhine tested another promising individual, Hubert Pearce, who managed to surpass Linzmayer's overall 1931 performance. (Pearce's average during the period he was tested in 1932 was 40%, whereas chance would have been 20%.[1]) However, Pearce was actually allowed to handle the cards most of the time. He shuffled and cut them.[4]

The most famous series of experiments from Rhine's laboratory is arguably the ESP tests involving Hubert Pearce and Joseph Gaither Pratt, a research assistant. Pearce was tested (using Zener cards) by Pratt, who shuffled and recorded the order of the cards in the parapsychology lab 100 yards from where Pearce was sitting in a campus library cubicle. The series comprised 37 25-trial runs, conducted between August 1933 and March 1934. From run to run, the number of matches between Pratt's cards and Pearce's guesses was highly variable, generally deviating significantly above-chance, but also falling dramatically below-chance. These scores were obtained irrespective of the distance between Pratt and Pearce, which was arranged as either 100 or 250 yards.[1]

In 1934, drawing upon several years of meticulous lab research and statistical analysis, Rhine published the first edition of a book titled Extra-Sensory Perception, which in various editions was widely read over the next decades.[1][8] In the later 1930s, Rhine investigated "psychokinesis" – again reducing the subject to simple terms so that it could be tested, with controls, in a laboratory setting. Rhine relied on testing whether a subject could influence the outcome of tossed dice – initially with hand-thrown dice, later with dice thrown from a cup, and finally with machine-thrown dice.[1]

In 1940 Rhine co-authored with Joseph Gaither Pratt and other associates at Duke Extra-Sensory Perception After Sixty Years,[8] a review of all experimental studies of clairvoyance and telepathy. It has been recognized as the first meta-analysis in the history of science.[9] During the war years, Rhine lost most of his male staff members to war work or the military. This caused something of an hiatus in the conduct of new research, but the opportunity was taken to publish the large backlog of experiments that had been conducted since the early 1930s on psychokinesis. After the war, he had occasion to study some dramatic cases outside the lab.[1]

Rhine's wife, Louisa E. Rhine, pursued work that complemented her husband's in the later 1940s, gathering information on spontaneous ESP reports (experiences people had, outside of a laboratory setting). Yet Rhine believed that a good groundwork should be laid in the lab, so that the scientific community might take parapsychology seriously. In the early 1960s, Rhine left Duke and founded the Institute for Parapsychology, which later became the Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man. In the 1970s, several high-scoring subjects – Sean Harribance, M.B. Dykshoorn, and Bill Delmore – were tested in the lab, shortly before Rhine's retirement.


Rhine, along with William McDougall, introduced the term "parapsychology" (translating a German term coined by Max Dessoir). It is sometimes said that Rhine almost single-handedly developed a methodology and concepts for parapsychology as a form of experimental psychology; however great his contributions, some earlier work along similar — analytical and statistical — lines had been undertaken sporadically in Europe, notably the experimental work of Oliver Lodge.[10]

Rhine founded the institutions necessary for parapsychology's continuing professionalization in the U.S. — including the establishment of the Journal of Parapsychology and the formation of the Parapsychological Association,[11] and also the Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man (FRNM), a precursor to what is today known as the Rhine Research Center. His parapsychology research organization was originally affiliated with Duke University, but is now separate.[citation needed]

He also had a huge influence on science fiction after John W. Campbell became obsessed with his theories about psionic powers and ideas about future human evolution.[12]


Rhine's results have never been duplicated by the scientific community.[13][14]

A number of psychological departments attempted to repeat Rhine's experiments, but failed. W. S. Cox (1936) from Princeton University with 132 subjects produced 25,064 trials in a playing card ESP experiment.[15] Cox concluded "There is no evidence of extrasensory perception either in the 'average man' or of the group investigated or in any particular individual of that group. The discrepancy between these results and those obtained by Rhine is due either to uncontrollable factors in experimental procedure or to the difference in the subjects."[15] Four other psychological departments failed to replicate Rhine's results.[16][17] The American psychologist James Charles Crumbaugh attempted to repeat Rhine's findings over a long period without success. Crumbaugh wrote:

At the time [1938] of performing the experiments involved I fully expected that they would yield easily all the final answers. I did not imagine that after 28 years I would still be in as much doubt as when I had begun. I repeated a number of the then current Duke techniques, but the results of 3,024 runs [one run consists of twenty-five guesses] of the ESP cards as much work as Rhine reported in his first book-were all negative. In 1940 I utilized further methods with high school students, again with negative results.[18]

It was revealed that Rhine's experiments into extrasensory perception (ESP) contained methodological flaws.[19] The psychologists Leonard Zusne and Warren Jones have written that "the keeping of records in Rhine’s experiments was inadequate. Sometimes, the subject would help with the checking of his or her calls against the order of cards. In some long-distance telepathy experiments, the order of the cards passed through the hands of the percipient before it got from Rhine to the agent."[20] The card-guessing method used in the Rhine experiments contained flaws that did not rule out the possibility of sensory leakage. Today, researchers discount the first decade of Rhine's work with Zener cards. Stimulus leakage or cheating could account for all his findings. Slight indentations on the backs of cards revealed the symbols embossed on card faces. Subjects could see and hear the experimenter, and note subtle but revealing facial expressions or changes in breathing. According to Terence Hines:

The methods the Rhines used to prevent subjects from gaining hints and clues as to the design on the cards were far from adequate. In many experiments, the cards were displayed face up, but hidden behind a small wooden shield. Several ways of obtaining information about the design on the card remain even in the presence of the shield. For instance, the subject may be able sometimes to see the design on the face-up card reflected in the agent’s glasses. Even if the agent isn’t wearing glasses it is possible to see the reflection in his cornea.[21]

In 1938, Harold Gulliksen wrote that Rhine did not describe his experimental methods clearly and used inappropriate mathematical procedures which overestimated the significance of his results.[22] Rhine published Extra-Sensory Perception After Sixty Years in 1940 with a number of colleagues, to address the objections raised. In the book, Rhine and his colleagues described three experiments—the Pearce-Pratt experiment, the Pratt-Woodruff experiment and the Ownbey-Zirkle series—which they believed demonstrated ESP. The psychologist C. E. M. Hansel wrote "it is now known that each experiment contained serious flaws that escaped notice in the examination made by the authors of Extra-Sensory Perception After Sixty Years".[23]

Rhine's experiments into psychokinesis (PK) were not replicated by other scientists.[24] John Sladek wrote:

His research used dice, with subjects 'willing' them to fall a certain way. Not only can dice be drilled, shaved, falsely numbered and manipulated, but even straight dice often show bias in the long run. Casinos for this reason retire dice often, but at Duke, subjects continued to try for the same effect on the same dice over long experimental runs. Not surprisingly, PK appeared at Duke and nowhere else.[25]

The science writer Martin Gardner wrote that Rhine repeatedly tried to replicate his work, but produced only failures that he never reported.[26] Gardner criticized Rhine for not disclosing the names of assistants he caught cheating:

His paper "Security Versus Deception in Parapsychology" published in his journal (vol. 38, 1974), runs to 23 pages... Rhine selects twelve sample cases of dishonest experimenters that came to his attention from 1940 to 1950, four of whom were caught 'red-handed'. Not a single name is mentioned. What papers did they publish, one wonders?

This has suggested to Gardner that Rhine practiced a "secrecy policy". Gardner claimed to have inside information that files in Rhine's laboratory contain material suggesting fraud on the part of Hubert Pearce.[27] Pearce was never able to obtain above-chance results when persons other than the experimenter were present during an experiment making it more likely that he was cheating in some way. Rhine's other subjects were only able to obtain non-chance levels when they were able to shuffle the cards, which has suggested they used tricks to arrange the order of the Zener cards before the experiments started.[28]

According to James Alcock, due to Rhine's errors, parapsychologists no longer utilize card-guessing studies.[29]

Rhine has been described as credulous as he believed the horse "Lady Wonder" was telepathic, but it was discovered the owner was using subtle signals to control the horse's behavior.[30]

Historian Ruth Brandon has written that Rhine's research was not balanced or objective, instead "motivated by the most extreme ideology" of vitalism.[31]


• Rhine, J. B. (1934). Extra-Sensory Perception. Boston, MA, US: Bruce Humphries.
• Rhine, J. B. (1937). New Frontiers of the Mind. New York, NY, US.
• Rhine, J. B., Pratt, J. G., Stuart, C. E., Smith, B. M., Greenwood, J. A. (1940). Extra-Sensory Perception After Sixty Years. New York, NY, US: Henry Holt.
• Rhine, J. B. (1947). The Reach of the Mind. New York, NY, US: William Sloane.
• Rhine, J. B. (1953). New World of the Mind. New York, NY, US: William Sloane.
• Rhine, J. B., & Pratt, J. G. (1957). Parapsychology: Frontier Science of the Mind. Springfield, IL, US Charles C. Thomas.
• Rhine, J. B., & Associates (Eds.). (1965). Parapsychology from Duke to FRNM. Durham, NC, US: Parapsychology Press.
• Rhine, J. B., & Brier, R. (Eds.). (1968). Parapsychology Today. New York, NY, US: Citadel.
• Rhine, J. B. (Ed.). (1971). Progress in Parapsychology. Durham, NC, US: Parapsychology Press.

See also

• Extrasensory perception
• Psychokinesis
• Zener card


1. Denis, Brian. (1982). The Enchanted Voyager. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice–Hall[ISBN missing]
2. Joseph Banks Rhine: 1895–1980 American Journal of Psychology, December 1981, Vol. 94, No. 4, pp. 649–653.
3. Time-Life Books (1987), Psychic Powers. Mysteries of the Unknown, Alexandria, VA.: Time-Life Books, p. 50, ISBN 978-0-8094-6309-1, OCLC 16091540, retrieved February 26, 2010
4. Christopher, Milbourne (1970). ESP, Seers & Psychics: What the Occult Really Is. Thomas Y. Crowell. ISBN 0-690-26815-7.
5. Joseph Rinn. (1950). Sixty Years of Psychical Research: Houdini and I Among the Spirits. Truth Seeker Company.
6. Thomas Tietze. (1973). Margery. Harper & Row. ISBN 978-0060682354
7. Massimo Polidoro. (2001). Final Séance: The Strange Friendship Between Houdini and Conan Doyle. Prometheus Books. pp. 134-234. ISBN 978-1591020868
8. W. Edward Craighead and Charles B. Nemeroff (2001). "Rhine, Joseph Banks" in The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science, John Wiley, p. 1411.
9. Bösch, H. (2004). Reanalyzing a meta-analysis on extra-sensory perception dating from 1940, the first comprehensive meta-analysis in the history of science. In S. Schmidt (Ed.), Proceedings of the 47th Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association, University of Vienna, (pp. 1–13).
10. Mauskopf, S. H./McVaugh, M. R. (1980). The Elusive Science: Origins of Experimental Psychical Research. Baltimore, ML, US: Johns Hopkins University Press.
11. W. Edward Craighead and Charles B. Nemeroff (2001). "Rhine, Joseph Banks" in The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science, John Wiley, p. 1412.
12. Clarkesworld Magazine - Science Fiction & Fantasy : “Fans Are Slans”: A Study in Campbellian Influence
13. C. E. M. Hansel. (1980). ESP and Parapsychology: A Critical Re-evaluation. Prometheus Books. pp. 86-122. ISBN 978-0879751203
14. Terence Hines. (2003). Pseudoscience and the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. p. 122. ISBN 978-1573929790 "The procedural errors in the Rhine experiments have been extremely damaging to his claims to have demonstrated the existence of ESP. Equally damaging has been the fact that the results have not replicated when the experiments have been conducted in other laboratories."
15. Cox, W. S. (1936). An Experiment in ESP. Journal of Experimental Psychology 12: 437.
16. Joseph Jastrow. (1938). ESP, House of Cards. The American Scholar. Vol. 8, No. 1. pp. 13-22. "Rhine’s results fail to be confirmed. At Colgate University (40, 000 tests, 7 subjects), at Chicago (extensive series on 315 students), at Southern Methodist College (75, 000 tests), at Glasgow, Scotland (6, 650 tests), at London University (105, 000 tests), not a single individual was found who under rigidly conducted experiments could score above chance. At Stanford University it has been convincingly shown that the conditions favorable to the intrusion of subtle errors produce above-chance records which come down to chance when sources of error are eliminated."
17. Cited in C. E. M. Hansel The Search for a Demonstration of ESP. In Paul Kurtz. (1985). A Skeptic's Handbook of Parapsychology. Prometheus Books. pp. 105-127; ISBN 0-87975-300-5
§ Adam, E.T. (1938). A summary of some negative experiments. Journal of Parapsychology 2: 232-236.
§ Crumbaugh, J.C. (1938). An experimental study of extra-sensory perception. Masters thesis. Southern Methodist University.
§ Heinlein, C.P; Heinlein, J. H. (1938). Critique of the premises of statistical methodology of parapsychology. Journal of Parapsychology 5: 135-148.
§ Willoughby, R.R. (1938). Further card-guessing experiments. Journal of Psychology 18: 3-13.
18. Crumbaugh, J. (1966). A Scientific Critique of Parapsychology. International Journal of Neuropsychiatry 5: 521–29.
19. Charles M. Wynn, Arthur W. Wiggins. (2001). Quantum Leaps in the Wrong Direction: Where Real Science Ends...and Pseudoscience Begins. Joseph Henry Press. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-309-07309-7 "In 1940, Rhine coauthored a book, Extrasensory Perception After Sixty Years in which he suggested that something more than mere guess work was involved in his experiments. He was right! It is now known that the experiments conducted in his laboratory contained serious methodological flaws. Tests often took place with minimal or no screening between the subject and the person administering the test. Subjects could see the backs of cards that were later discovered to be so cheaply printed that a faint outline of the symbol could be seen. Furthermore, in face-to-face tests, subjects could see card faces reflected in the tester’s eyeglasses or cornea. They were even able to (consciously or unconsciously) pick up clues from the tester’s facial expression and voice inflection. In addition, an observant subject could identify the cards by certain irregularities like warped edges, spots on the backs, or design imperfections."
20. Leonard Zusne, Warren Jones. (1989). Anomalistic Psychology: A Study of Magical Thinking. Psychology Press. p. 158. ISBN 978-0805805086
21. Terence Hines. (2003). Pseudoscience and the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. pp. 119-120. ISBN 978-1573929790
22. Harold Gulliksen. (1938). Extra-Sensory Perception: What Is It?. American Journal of Sociology. Vol. 43, No. 4. pp. 623-634.
23. C. E. M. Hansel. The Search for a Demonstration of ESP. In Paul Kurtz. (1985). A Skeptic's Handbook of Parapsychology. Prometheus Books. pp. 97-127. ISBN 0-87975-300-5
24. Charles M. Wynn, Arthur W. Wiggins. (2001). Quantum Leaps in the Wrong Direction: Where Real Science Ends...and Pseudoscience Begins. Joseph Henry Press. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-309-07309-7 "The same Dr. Rhine who studied ESP also studied and felt he had evidence for PK. Attempts to replicate Rhine's findings under controlled conditions all failed. Successful tests of PK reported by him were the result of inadequate controls or falsification of data."
25. John Sladek. (1974). The New Apocrypha: A Guide to Strange Sciences and Occult Beliefs. Panther. pp. 172-174. ISBN 0-87281-712-1
26. Paul Kurtz. (2001). Skeptical Odysseys: Personal Accounts by the World's Leading Paranormal Inquirers. Chapter Confessions of a Skeptic by Martin Gardner. Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-57392-884-4
27. Kendrick Frazier. (1991). The Hundredth Monkey: And Other Paradigms of the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. p. 169. ISBN 978-0879756550
28. Lawrie Reznek. (2010). Delusions and the Madness of the Masses. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 54. ISBN 978-1442206052
29. James Alcock. (2011). Back from the Future: Parapsychology and the Bem Affair Archived 2011-12-31 at the Wayback Machine. Skeptical Inquirer. "Despite Rhine’s confidence that he had established the reality of extrasensory perception, he had not done so. Methodological problems with his experiments eventually came to light, and as a result parapsychologists no longer run card-guessing studies and rarely even refer to Rhine’s work."
30. Victor Stenger. (1990). Physics and Psychics: The Search for a World Beyond the Senses. Prometheus Books. p. 167. ISBN 978-0879755751
31. Ruth Brandon. (1983). The Spiritualists: The Passion for the Occult in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. pp. 94-95. ISBN 0-297-78249-5

Further reading

• Brian, Denis. (1982). The Enchanted Voyager. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice–Hall. (A full-length biography of Rhine).
• Evans, Bergen. (1954). The Spoor of Spooks: And Other Nonsense. Knopf.
• Gulliksen, Harold. (1938). Extra-Sensory Perception: What Is It?. American Journal of Sociology. Vol. 43, No. 4. pp. 623–634.
• Jastrow, Joseph. (1938). ESP, House of Cards. The American Scholar. Vol. 8, No. 1. pp. 13–22
• Gardner, Martin. (1988). The Obligation to Disclose Fraud. Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 3.
• Gardner, Martin. (1986). Fads and Fallacies: In the Name of Science. New American Library (second edition). Chapter 25: ESP and PK.
• Mauskopf, S. H., & McVaugh, M. R. (1980). The Elusive Science: Origins of Experimental Psychical Research. Baltimore, ML, US: Johns Hopkins University Press.
• Moore, R. L. (1977). In Search of White Crows: Spiritualism, Parapsychology, and American Culture. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

External links

• Review of the Pearce–Pratt Distance Series of ESP tests
• Rhine Research Center and Institute for Parapsychology, originally part of Duke University, now an independent research center.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:40 am

William McDougall (psychologist)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/24/20

William McDougall
Born: 22 June 1871, Chadderton, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Died: 28 November 1938 (aged 67), Durham, North Carolina, US
Nationality: British
Scientific career
Fields: Psychology
Doctoral advisor: W. H. R. Rivers
Influences: Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Carl Jung
Influenced: Thorstein Veblen,[1] Konrad Lorenz, Cyril Burt


William McDougall FRS[2] (/məkˈduːɡəl/; 22 June 1871 – 28 November 1938) was an early 20th century psychologist who spent the first part of his career in the United Kingdom and the latter part in the United States. He wrote a number of highly influential textbooks, and was particularly important in the development of the theory of instinct and of social psychology in the English-speaking world. He was an opponent of behaviourism and stands somewhat outside the mainstream of the development of Anglo-American psychological thought in the first half of the 20th century; but his work was very well-known and respected among lay people.


McDougall was educated at Owens College, Manchester and St John's College, Cambridge.[3] He also studied medicine and physiology in London and Göttingen. After teaching at University College London and Oxford, he was recruited to occupy the William James chair of psychology at Harvard University in 1920, where he served as a professor of psychology from 1920 to 1927. He then moved to Duke University, where he established the Parapsychology Laboratory under J. B. Rhine, and where he remained until his death. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society. Among his students were Cyril Burt, May Smith, William Brown and John Flügel.[4]

McDougall's interests and sympathies were broad. He was interested in eugenics, but departed from neo-Darwinian orthodoxy in maintaining the possibility of the inheritance of acquired characteristics, as suggested by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck; he carried out many experiments designed to demonstrate this process.[5] Opposing behaviourism, he argued that behaviour was generally goal-oriented and purposive, an approach he called hormic psychology (from Greek ὁρμή hormḗ "impulse").

However, in the theory of motivation, he defended the idea that individuals are motivated by a significant number of inherited instincts, whose action they may not consciously understand, so they might not always understand their own goals. His ideas on instinct strongly influenced Konrad Lorenz, though Lorenz did not always acknowledge this. McDougall underwent psychoanalysis with C. G. Jung, and was also prepared to study parapsychology.

Because of his interest in eugenics and his unorthodox stance on evolution, McDougall has been adopted as an iconic figure by proponents of a strong influence of inherited traits on behaviour, some of whom are regarded by most mainstream psychologists as scientific racists. He wrote:

"...; the few distinguished Negroes, so called, of America – such as Douglass, Booker Washington, Du Bois – have been, I believe, in all cases mulattoes or had some proportion of white blood. We may fairly ascribe the incapacity of the Negro race to form a nation to the lack of men endowed with the qualities of great leaders, even more than to the lower level of average capacity" (McDougall, William., The Group Mind, p.187, Arno Press, 1973; Copyright, 1920 by G.P. Putnam's Sons).

McDougall married at the age of 29 ("against my considered principles", he reports in his autobiographical essay, "for I held that a man whose chosen business in life was to develop to the utmost his intellectual powers should not marry before forty, if at all"). He had five children.

McDougall's book The Group Mind received "very hostile reviews" from psychologists but sold well to the public. The American Press was critical of McDougall as his lectures on national eugenics were seen as racist.[5]

Psychical research


McDougall was a strong advocate of the scientific method and academic professionalisation in psychical research. He was instrumental in establishing parapsychology as a university discipline in the US in the early 1930s.[6] In 1920, McDougall served as president of the Society for Psychical Research, and in the subsequent year of its US counterpart, the American Society for Psychical Research.[7]

McDougall was a member of the Scientific American committee that investigated the medium Mina Crandon.[5] He attended séances with the medium and was sceptical about her "ectoplasmic hand". He suspected that it was part of an animal, artificially manipulated to resemble a hand. McDougall's suspicion was confirmed by independent experts who had examined photographs of the hand.[5]

McDougall was critical of spiritualism, he believed that some of its proponents such as Arthur Conan Doyle misunderstood psychical research and "devote themselves to propaganda".[5] In 1926, McDougall concluded "I have taken part in a considerable number of investigations of alleged supernormal phenomena; but hitherto have failed to find convincing evidence in any case, but have found rather much evidence of fraud and trickery."[8]

McDougall, however, continued to encourage scientific research on psychic phenomena and in 1937 was a founding co-editor (with Joseph Banks Rhine) of the peer-reviewed Journal of Parapsychology, which continues to be published.



In 1911, McDougall authored Body and Mind: A History and Defence of Animism.

Animism (from Latin anima, "breath, spirit, life") is the belief that objects, places and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence. Potentially, animism perceives all things—animals, plants, rocks, rivers, weather systems, human handiwork and perhaps even words—as animated and alive. Animism is used in the anthropology of religion as a term for the belief system of many indigenous peoples, especially in contrast to the relatively more recent development of organised religions.

-- Animism, by Wikipedia

In the work he rejected both materialism and Darwinism and supported a form of Lamarckism where mind guides evolution. McDougall defended a form of animism where all matter has a mental aspect; his views were very similar to panpsychism as he believed that there was an animating principle in matter and had claimed in his work that there were both psychological and biological evidence for this position.[9]

Panpsychism is the view that mentality is fundamental and ubiquitous in the natural world. The view has a long and venerable history in philosophical traditions of both East and West, and has recently enjoyed a revival in analytic philosophy. For its proponents panpsychism offers an attractive middle way between physicalism on the one hand and dualism on the other. The worry with dualism—the view that mind and matter are fundamentally different kinds of thing—is that it leaves us with a radically disunified picture of nature, and the deep difficulty of understanding how mind and brain interact. And whilst physicalism offers a simple and unified vision of the world, this is arguably at the cost of being unable to give a satisfactory account of the emergence of human and animal consciousness. Panpsychism, strange as it may sound on first hearing, promises a satisfying account of the human mind within a unified conception of nature....

The word “panpsychism” literally means that everything has a mind. However, in contemporary debates it is generally understood as the view that mentality is fundamental and ubiquitous in the natural world. Thus, in conjunction with the widely held assumption (which will be reconsidered below) that fundamental things exist only at the micro-level, panpsychism entails that at least some kinds of micro-level entities have mentality, and that instances of those kinds are found in all things throughout the material universe. So whilst the panpsychist holds that mentality is distributed throughout the natural world—in the sense that all material objects have parts with mental properties—she needn’t hold that literally everything has a mind, e.g., she needn’t hold that a rock has mental properties (just that the rock’s fundamental parts do).

We can distinguish various forms of panpsychism in terms of which aspect of mentality is taken to be fundamental and ubiquitous. Two important characteristics of human minds are thought and consciousness. In terms of these characteristics we can distinguish the following two possible forms of panpsychism:

• Panexperientialism—the view that conscious experience is fundamental and ubiquitous
• Pancognitivism—the view that thought is fundamental and ubiquitous.

According to the definition of consciousness that is dominant in contemporary analytic philosophy, something is conscious just in case there is something that it’s like to be it; that is to say, if it has some kind of experience, no matter how basic.[7] Humans have incredibly rich and complex experience, horses less so, mice less so again. Standardly the panexperientialist holds that this diminishing of the complexity of experience continues down through plants, and through to the basic constituents of reality, perhaps electrons and quarks. If the notion of “having experience” is flexible enough, then the view that an electron has experience—of some extremely basic kind—would seem to be coherent (of course we must distinguish the question of whether it is coherent from the question of whether it is plausible; the latter will depend on the strength of the arguments discussed below).

Thought, in contrast, is a much more sophisticated phenomenon, and many doubt that it is correct to ascribe it to non-human animals, never-mind fundamental particles. The traditional view in analytic philosophy is that thoughts are mental states that can be modelled as psychological attitudes towards specific propositions: believing that Budapest is the capital of Hungary, hoping that war is over, fearing that there will be another Global Financial Crisis. Panpsychism is often caricatured as the view that electrons have hopes and dreams, or that quarks suffer from existential angst. However, whilst there have been some defenders of pancognitivism in history, it is panexperientialist forms of panpsychism that are taken seriously in contemporary analytic philosophy. From now on I will equate panpsychism with panexperientialism.

-- Panpsychism, by Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

McDougall had defended the theory that mind and the brain are distinct but interact with each other though he was not a dualist or a monist as he believed his theory of animism would replace both the philosophical views of dualism and monism.[10][11] As a parapsychologist he also claimed telepathy had been scientifically proven, he used evidence from psychic research as well as from biology and psychology to defend his theory of animism.[12]

McDougall produced another work attacking materialism titled Materialism and Emergent Evolution (1929). In the book he had also criticised the theory of emergent evolution as he claimed it had ignored the evidence of Lamarckism and had ignored the evidence of mind guiding evolution. McDougall's last work on the subject titled The Riddle of Life (1938) criticised organicism as according to McDougall even though the theory of organicism had rejected materialism it had not gone far enough in advocating an active role for a nonphysical principle.[13]

Selected bibliography

By William McDougall:

• Physiological Psychology (1905)
• An Introduction to Social Psychology. Methuen & Co, p. x, 355 (London 1908). A second edition appeared in 1909.
This book has been reprinted several times. For example, in 1960, University Paperbacks, an imprint of Methuen & Co and Barnes & Noble, published a reprint of the 23rd edition.[14]
• Body and Mind: A History and a Defense of Animism (1913)
• The Group Mind: A Sketch of the Principles of Collective Psychology with Some Attempt to Apply Them to the Interpretation of National Life and Character (1920, reprinted 1973)
• Is America Safe for Democracy? Six Lectures Given at the Lowell Institute of Boston, Under the Title Anthropology and History, or the Influence of Constitution on the Destinies of Nations (1921)
• Outline of Psychology (1923)
• An Outline of Abnormal Psychology (1926)
• Character and the Conduct of Life (1927)
• Modern Materialism and Emergent Evolution (1929)
• Energies of Men (1932)
• The Riddle of Life (1938)

By Margaret Boden:

• Purposive Explanation in Psychology (1972)

See also

• Crowd psychology
• Group dynamics
• Social psychology
• Inheritance of acquired characteristics


1. Hodgson, Geoffrey M. 1998. "On the Evolution of Thorstein Veblen's Evolutionary Economics." Cambridge Journal of Economics. 22(4):415–431.
2. Greenwood, M.; Smith, M. (1940). "William McDougall. 1871-1938". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society. 3 (8): 39. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1940.0005.
3. "McDougall, William (MDGL890W)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
4. Wooldridge, Adrian (2006). Measuring the Mind: Education and Psychology in England C.1860-c.1990. Cambridge University Press. pp. 57–58. ISBN 9780521026185. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
5. Berger, Arthur S. (1988). Portrait of William McDougall. In Lives and Letters in American Parapsychology: A Biographical History, 1850–1987. McFarland. pp. 118–124. ISBN 0-89950-345-4
6. Asprem, E. (2010), "A Nice Arrangement of Heterodoxies: William McDougall and the Professionalization of Psychical Research", Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 46 (2):123–143.
7. Krantz, D L; Hall, R; Allen, D (1969), "William McDougall and the problem of purpose.", Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences (published January 1969), 5 (1), pp. 25–38, doi:10.1002/1520-6696(196901)5:1<25::AID-JHBS2300050104>3.0.CO;2-S, PMID 11610086
8. Valentine, Elizabeth R. (2011). Spooks and Spoofs: Relations Between Psychical Research and Academic Psychology in Britain in the Inter-War Period. History of the Human Sciences 25: 67–90.
9. The New international encyclopaedia, Volume 7, Dodd, Mead and company, 1923, p. 282
10. David Ray Griffin Parapsychology, philosophy, and spirituality: a postmodern exploration 1997, p. 139
11. William McDougall Body and mind: a history and a defense of animism Methuen, 1911
12. Janet Oppenheim The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England, 1850–1914 1988, pp. 263–264
13. Peter J. Bowler Reconciling science and religion: the debate in early-twentieth-century Britain 2001, pp. 181–184
14. McDougall, William (1960), An Introduction to Social Psychology (23rd ed.), University Paperbacks. Imprint of Methuen & Co (London) and Barnes & Noble (New York)., pp. xxi–xxii (Note: Preface to 23rd edition commences p.xxi, with date of this preface [October 1936] on p.xxii.)

Further reading

• Rose, Anne C. (2009). Psychology and Selfhood in the Segregated South (University of North Carolina Press). ISBN 978-0-8078-3281-3. (18 December 2010).
• Spiro, Jonathan P. (2009), Defending the Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, and the Legacy of Madison Grant, Univ. of Vermont Press, ISBN 978-1-58465-715-6, lay summary (29 September 2010)
• Tucker, William H. (2007), The funding of Scientific Racism: Wickliffe Draper and the Pioneer Fund, University of Illinois Press, ISBN 978-0-252-07463-9, lay summary (4 September 2010)

External links

• Works written by or about William McDougall at Wikisource
• Works by William McDougall at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about William McDougall at Internet Archive
• Autobiographical essay written in 1930.In Carl Murchison (ed.) A History of Psychology in Autobiography. Vol. 1. New York: Russell and Russell (1930): 191- 223. Retrieved 2008-05-26.
• Chris Brand (1997). William McDougall (1871–1938): heterodox and angry with psychologists by nature, nurture and circumstance. An essay presenting McDougall's intellectual concerns, positions and achievements. Retrieved 2008-05-26.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:04 am

Mina Crandon
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/24/20

Mina Crandon
Born: 1888, Ontario, Canada
Died: November 1, 1941, Beacon Hill, Boston
Occupation: Spiritualist medium

Mina "Margery" Crandon (1888–November 1, 1941) was a well known psychical medium who claimed that she channeled her dead brother, Walter Stinson. Investigators who studied Crandon concluded that she had no genuine paranormal ability, and others detected in her outright deception.[1][2] She became well-known as her alleged paranormal skills were touted by Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and were disproved by legendary magician Harry Houdini. Crandon was investigated by members of the American Society for Psychical Research and employees of the Scientific American.

Crandon was the wife of a wealthy Boston surgeon and socialite, Dr. Le Roi Goddard Crandon.
[3] Her life has been extensively documented in magic and psychical literature.


Born Mina Marguerite Stinson,[4] Crandon grew up on a farm in Princeton, Ontario, Canada, but moved to Boston as a young woman. While working as a secretary of a local church in Boston, she met and married Earl Rand, a grocer. They had one son.[5] She later met Dr. Crandon when she entered a Dorchester, Massachusetts, hospital for an unspecified operation,[6] possibly appendicitis.[7] Dr. Crandon was her surgeon. She and Dr. Crandon crossed paths again later that year when Dr. Crandon served as a lieutenant commander and head of surgical staff in a New England Naval hospital during the First World War and she served as a civilian volunteer ambulance driver who transported casualties to the hospital. Mina sued for divorce from Earl P. Rand in January 1918 and became Dr. Crandon's 3rd wife a few months later. She moved to Dr. Crandon's house at 10 Lime Street, with her son.[6] Dr. Crandon later adopted her son and changed his name to John Crandon.[7]

Scientific American

Crandon began experimenting with séances as a hobby, possibly to distract her older husband from a morbid obsession with mortality.[5] On June 23, 1924, her name was submitted as a candidate for a prize offered by Scientific American magazine to any medium who could demonstrate telekinetic ability under scientific controls. With a doctor as husband, Crandon was well prepared for the challenge, and her charm and lack of interest in personal monetary reward made her seem honest to the public eye. Her séance circles included members of the middle class as well as luminary members of the Boston upper class and Ivy League elite. Famous supporters such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gave her significant credibility.[7] She became so popular that her prayers were read by the U.S. Army [to soldiers].

Spiritualism had been on the wane for decades, but in the wake of World War I, as death touched tens of thousands of households on both sides of the Atlantic, the movement underwent a rebirth. Friends and relatives of fallen soldiers flocked to séances, desperate to receive some word or sign of ‘life beyond the veil.’

-- Mina Crandon & Harry Houdini: The Medium and The Magician, by HistoryNet

The Scientific American prize committee consisted of William McDougall, professor of psychology at Harvard; Harry Houdini, the famous professional magician and escape artist; Walter Franklin Prince, American psychical researcher; Dr. Daniel Frost Comstock, who introduced Technicolor to film; and Hereward Carrington, amateur magician, psychical researcher, author, and manager for the Italian medium Eusapia Palladino.[6]

From left to right. Walter Franklin Prince, Daniel Frost Comstock, Mina Crandon, O. D. Munn, Harry Houdini.

Mr. J. Malcolm Bird, an employee of Scientific American (not on the Prize Committee) notified Houdini of the possibility that "Margery" might win the prize. Houdini and other prize committee members attended two séances in Boston at Margery (and her husband's) home on July 23 and 24, 1924, and claimed to have observed Crandon's tricks. According to Houdini, Crandon had escaped control and stretched her foot to ring a bell in the séance room.[8] Houdini told the committee about the fraud and gave a practical demonstration; however, Bird in an article for Scientific American praised Margery's abilities and newspapers supported Bird's declarations.[8]

They visited again on August 23, 1924, for a few days. On the August visit, Houdini exposed the mechanics used during the séance, along with other people involved in creating the noises during the séance. Houdini asked her to wear an apparatus which prevented her from using her legs.[9] The apparatus was a large cabinet-box leaving only her head and hands sticking out. On August 25 with Dr. Comstock and Houdini in a séance Crandon was placed in the cabinet. A box with a bell was placed on a table in front of the cabinet. During the séance the bell made a noise but when the lights were turned on it was revealed the lid of the cabinet-box had been forced open. Houdini claimed Crandon had cheated and had rung the bell herself.[10]

There was much disagreement among the committee, and in the end, only Carrington voted in favor of Crandon.
However, committee Secretary Malcolm Bird leaked to the press that the committee was leaning toward a positive vote. Incensed, committee member Harry Houdini returned from abroad to submit his dissenting vote. His efforts to discredit Crandon became a part of his stage act, and he reproduced her effects for audiences as well as published a pamphlet that described how she achieved some of her more basic effects.[11][12]

On August 27, the investigator Dr. Comstock asked her to wear a similar device called, a "median control". The device consisted of a box into which Crandon and an investigator would put their feet. Connecting to the box was a board which was locked on top of the knees, preventing withdrawal of the feet. Crandon's hands were held by the investigator and the box with the bell was placed outside the control-box. Crandon agreed to be tested and, because of the strict control, no paranormal phenomena in the séance were observed. Margery did not win the prize money.[8]

Ruler incident

During a séance with the cabinet-box, Crandon requested that the sides be closed so she could move her hands freely inside the cabinet. A collapsible ruler was later found in the cabinet, Houdini suggested that Crandon had used the ruler with her neck to ring the bell. In response, Crandon accused Houdini and his assistant Jim Collins of placing the ruler inside the cabinet to discredit her.[10] Houdini and Collins were both questioned about the incident and denied placing the ruler in the cabinet.[10]

In 1959, author William Lindsay Gresham accused Collins of placing the ruler and quoted him as saying "I chucked it in the box meself. The Boss told me to do it. He wanted to fix her good".[13] However, doubts have been raised about this statement. Magic historian Milbourne Christopher dismissed the alleged statement as "sheer fiction". According to Christopher the source of the quotation was a rival magician to Houdini, Fred Keating, and is unreliable. In 2003, Massimo Polidoro noted that "the incident remains doubtful to this day."[14]


By 1925 due to the investigation of Crandon, the American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR) had been taken over by a spiritualist faction. The ASPR championed Crandon and suppressed any reports unfavorable to her.[15] In response, Walter Franklin Prince who was the Society's research officer resigned to establish the Boston Society for Psychical Research. Prince was accused by supporters of Crandon of being biased against paranormal phenomena.[15]

Crandon's husband was known for displaying nude photographs of her in her mediumship sessions. Mina Crandon was described as a very beautiful lady whom men found "too attractive for her own good." It was suggested that the psychical investigator J. Malcolm Bird actively conspired with the Crandons in stage-managing the séances in an attempt to have a sexual relationship with Mina. Reports, however, suggest that Mina found Bird repulsive. Instead she had amorous feelings for the psychical researcher Hereward Carrington, with whom she had an affair. Carrington also borrowed money he was unable to repay from Crandon. Critics have written that it is easy to imagine these factors could have biased his judgement regarding her mediumship.[7]

Crandon in 1924.

Crandon performed many of her séances in the nude, and was reported to throw herself onto the laps of her male sitters. She was also described as an alcoholic.[16] During séances, Eric Dingwall told Crandon to take off her clothes and sit in the nude. Crandon would also sometimes sprinkle luminous powder on her breasts and because of such activities William McDougall and other psychical researchers criticized Dingwall for having improper relations with Crandon.[7]

Historian Ruth Brandon has noted that as Bird, Carrington and Dingwall were all personally involved with Crandon, they were biased and unreliable witnesses.[17] Magician Fred Keating who had observed Crandon at her house suggested Carrington pretended some of her phenomena baffled him in an attempt to get financial backing for his own psychical laboratory.[18]

A review by the father of modern parapsychology, Dr. Joseph Banks Rhine, lent further insight into Crandon's performances. Dr. Rhine was able to observe some of her trickery in the dark when she used luminous objects.[19] Rhine claimed to have observed Crandon committing fraud in a séance in 1926. According to Rhine, during the séance she was free from control and kicked a megaphone to give the impression it was levitating.[8]

Rhine's report documenting the fraud was refused by the ASPR, so he published it in the Journal of Abnormal Social Psychology. In response, defenders of Crandon attacked Rhine. Arthur Conan Doyle published an article in a Boston newspaper claiming "J. B. Rhine is an Ass."[8]

Crandon continued to conduct séances and the English teacher, Grant Code, became a frequent visitor to the Crandon home and was enthralled by Crandon's later performances. Ultimately, he too was able to duplicate them. Code's exchange of letters with psychic investigator Walter Franklin Prince regarding Margery is currently held in the archives of the ASPR.[19]

An elaborate investigation was held by a committee of Harvard scholars. Finally, the Harvard committee also pronounced Crandon as fraudulent. On 30 June 1925, one of the Harvard investigators saw Crandon draw three objects from her lap. One object was shaped like a glove or flat hand, one resembled a baby's hand, and the third was described but not identified.

The American Society for Psychical Research wanted further investigation. In 1926, a committee of three professors (Knight Dunlap, Henry C. McComas and Robert Williams Wood) was sent to Boston. Crandon had a luminous star attached to her forehead, identifying the location of her face in the dark. After a few minutes, a narrow dark rod appeared over a luminous checkerboard which had been placed on the table opposite Crandon. It moved from side to side and picked up an object. As it passed in front of Wood he lightly touched it with the tip of his finger and followed it back to a point very near Crandon's mouth. Wood thought it probable she was holding the rod by her teeth. He took hold of the tip and very quietly pinched it. It felt like a knitting needle covered with one or two layers of soft leather. Though the committee had been warned that touching the ectoplasm could result in the illness or death of the medium, neither Crandon nor the "ectoplasm" rod showed any reaction to Wood's actions. At the end of the sitting, Wood dictated his actions to the stenographer. Upon hearing this, Crandon gave a shriek and fainted. She was carried out of the room and the committee was asked to depart. Wood was never invited again.[20]

The committee that consisted of Dunlap, McComas and Wood considered the phenomena to be fraudulent. They concluded that the rod was an animal intestine that had been "stuffed with cotton and stiffened with wire".[21] In 1939, Crandon's husband died and Crandon, an alcoholic, went into a deep depression. At one of her last séances she attempted to jump off the roof of the house.[8]


Mina Crandon with her "spirit hand" which was discovered to be made from a piece of carved animal liver.

Crandon's "teleplasmic hand" that allegedly appeared in photographs was said to resemble animal tissue and trachea, cut and sewn together.[22] Allegations were made by some conjuring historians of Houdini and mediumship that her surgeon husband had altered her genitalia and this was where she concealed her teleplasmic hand. The "hand" did not move after its appearance on the table before her. It lay still as if it were dead and then supposedly vanished. She refused to wear tights, or to be internally searched, but no proof that Crandon had been surgically altered has ever been published. The "hand" appeared only when Crandon sat next to her husband, who held or controlled her right hand.[6][23]

There are photos of the alleged teleplasmic hand and its position.[6] It appeared to be coming from Crandon's groin.[24] Various members of the audience in the séances touched the hand and described it as dead. It was also suggested that Crandon's husband may have sneaked it into the séance room.[25] The "teleplasmic hand" was later exposed as a trick when biologists examined the hand and found it to be made of a piece of carved animal liver.[26]

Crandon used a trick in an attempt to fool psychical researchers that the "spirit" voices in her séances did not come from her own mouth. According to magician John Booth this was performed by Crandon filling her mouth with water before the séance had started and when the lights were turned off, swallowing the water. Before the end of the séance she would refill her mouth with water from a corked test tube.[27] Crandon's reputation was also damaged when a fingerprint left on wax ostensibly by her channeled spirit, her deceased brother, Walter, was discovered to belong to her dentist Frederick Caldwell by a member of the Boston Society for Psychical Research. Her dentist divulged that he had taught her how to make these prints.[6][19]

In 1934, Walter Franklin Prince described the Crandon case as "the most ingenious, persistent, and fantastic complex of fraud in the history of psychic research."[28] Crandon continued to perform until her early death in 1941, at about the age of 53.[19]

Italian skeptic investigator Massimo Polidoro has written an entire history of Crandon's mediumship and documented her tricks.[29]

Secret accomplice

In 1933, Walter Franklin Prince wrote an article for the Scientific American that claimed J. Malcolm Bird intended to publish a confession in the ASPR in 1930 admitting that an act of fraud had taken place to trick Houdini in 1924. According to Prince the report "has not been printed and very few of the believers in Europe or America know of its existence."[8] Part of Bird's (rejected) report to the ASPR read:

The occasion was one of Houdini's visits to Boston for the purpose of the sitting... She [Crandon] sought a private interview with me and tried to get me to agree, in the event the phenomena did not occur, that I would ring the bell-box myself, or produce something else that might pass as activity by Walter... It seems to me of paramount importance, in that it shows her, fully conscious and fully normal, in a situation where she thought she might have to choose between fraud and a blank séance; and she was willing to choose fraud.[8]

Houdini had suspected Bird as an accomplice for Crandon in the Scientific American investigation in 1924. Bird resigned from the investigation after Houdini announced on a radio program: "I publicly denounce here Malcolm Bird as being an accomplice of Margery!".[8]

Joseph Banks Rhine, who caught Crandon free from control and kicking a megaphone during a séance, wondered why Bird, with three years of experience, did not expose any of her tricks. Rhine suspected that Bird was a confederate of the medium.[8] The psychical researcher William Henry Salter speculated that Crandon's husband may have been an accomplice and that blackmail may have been involved, he also noted that Hereward Carrington admitted to having a several months long affair with Crandon and, although she found Malcolm Bird "disgusting looking", he also claimed to have had a romance with her.[8]

Ruth Brandon also suspected Crandon's husband and wrote that he was "colluding with his wife in her frauds."[23]


Crandon with alleged ectoplasm on her face

Crandon in box device with Harry Houdini

Example of Crandon's automatic writing

Crandon with fraudulent materialized hand

Thumb-print on dental wax from a Crandon séance

The fraudulent materialized hand that was found to be made from carved animal liver

Walter Stinson, brother of Crandon

Le Roi Goddard Crandon, husband of Crandon


1. Edmunds, Simeon. (1966). Spiritualism: A Critical Survey. Aquarian Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-0850300130
2. Neher, Andrew.(2011). Paranormal and Transcendental Experience: A Psychological Examination. p. 216. ISBN 978-0486261676 "Margery Crandon was studied by at least half a dozen different set of investigators, all of whom reached the conclusion that there was no substantial evidence that any of her phenomena was paranormal and some of whom detected her in outright deception; once, she displayed some "spirit fingerprints" impressed on wax, which turned out to be those of her dentist."
3. "Psychic Exponent Passes Along". The Daily Mail. Hagerstown, Maryland. November 21, 1941. p. 12. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
4. Moreman, Christopher M. (2013-08-27). The Spiritualist Movement: Speaking with the Dead in America and around the World [3 volumes]: Speaking with the Dead in America and around the World. ABC-CLIO. pp. 130, 210. ISBN 9780313399480.
5. Silverman, Kenneth. (1996). Houdini!!!: The Career of Ehrich Weiss. Harper Collins Publishers. ISBN 978-0060169787
6. Christopher, Milbourne. (1975). Mediums, Mystics, & the Occult. Thomas Y. Crowell Company. ISBN 978-0690004762
7. Kalush, William; Sloman, Larry. (2006). The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero. Atria Books. ISBN 978-0743272087
8. Polidoro, Massimo. (2001). Final Séance: The Strange Friendship Between Houdini and Conan Doyle. Prometheus Books. pp. 134-234. ISBN 978-1591020868
9. Christopher, Milbourne. (1969). Houdini: The Untold Story. Thomas Y. Crowell Company. pp. 187-199. ISBN 978-0891909811
10. Polidoro, Massimo. (2003). Secrets of the Psychics: Investigating Paranormal Claims. Prometheus Books pp. 136-140. ISBN 978-1591020868
11. Houdini's prototype Margery bell box resides in the magic collection of Ken Klosterman Sr.
12. Houdini, Harry. (1953). Houdini on Magic. Dover Publications. Contains a reprint of the Margery pamphlet.
13. Gresham, William Lindsay. (1959). Houdini: The Man Who Walked Through Walls. Holt. p. 254
14. Polidoro, Massimo. (2003). Secrets of the Psychics: Investigating Paranormal Claims. Prometheus Books. pp. 140-142. ISBN 978-1591020868 "The source of this story, though not given by Gresham, was Fred Keating, a magician who had been a guest of the Crandons in their house on Lime Street at the time Carrington was investigating the medium. Keating, however, was not unbiased. Several days before Gresham spoke to him, Keating had seen an unpublished manuscript in this author's collection in which Houdini, while praising Keating as a magician, had commented in unflattering terms on Keating's abilities as an investigator of psychic phenomena. In this writer's opinion, the story of Collins' admission is sheer fiction. (Christopher, 1969, p. 198). The incident remains doubtful to this day. It could have been revealing if at the time a laboratory could have examined the ruler found inside the box for fingerprints or other useful traces. Evidently the Scientific American committee was not that scientific after all."
o Christopher, Milbourne. (1969). Houdini: The Untold Story. Thomas Y. Crowell Company. p. 198. ISBN 978-0891909811
15. Chéroux, Clément. (2005). The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0300111361
16. Keene, M. Lamar. (1997). The Psychic Mafia. Prometheus Books. pp. 74-75. ISBN 978-1573921619
17. Brandon, Ruth. (1993). The Life and Many Deaths of Harry Houdini. Secker & Warburg. p. 265. ISBN 0-436-20060-0
18. Christopher, Milbourne. (1975). Mediums, Mystics & the Occult. Thomas Y. Crowell. p. 202
19. Tietze, Thomas. (1973). Margery. Harper & Row. ISBN 978-0060682354
20. Seabrook, William. (1941). Wood as a Debunker of Scientific Cranks and Frauds-and His War with the Mediums in Doctor Wood. Harcourt, Brace and Company.
21. Moreman, Christopher M. (2013). The Spiritualist Movement: Speaking with the Dead in America and Around the World. Volume 1: American Origins and Global Proliferation. Praeger. pp. 241-242. ISBN 978-0-313-39947-3
22. Stein, Gordon. (1996). The Encyclopedia of the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. p. 396. ISBN 978-1573920216
23. Brandon, Ruth. (1983). The Spiritualists: The Passion for the Occult in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. p. 188. ISBN 0-297-78249-5
24. Keene, M. Lamar. (1997). The Psychic Mafia. Prometheus Books. p. 135. ISBN 978-1573921619
25. Russell, Francis. (1987). The Knave of Boston: & Other Ambiguous Massachusetts Characters. Quinlan Press. p. 159. ISBN 978-0933341791
26. Righi, Brian. (2008). Ghosts, Apparitions and Poltergeists: An Exploration of the Supernatural through History. Llewellyn Publications. p. 52. ISBN 978-0738713632 "One medium of the 1920s, Mina Crandon, became famous for producing ectoplasm during her sittings. At the height of the séance, she was even able to produce a tiny ectoplasmic hand from her navel, which waved about in the darkness. Her career ended when Harvard biologists were able to examine the tiny hand and found it to be nothing more than a carved piece of animal liver."
27. Booth, John. (1986). Psychic Paradoxes. Prometheus Books. pp. 180-181. ISBN 978-0879753580
28. Hansel, C. E. M. (1989). The Search for Psychic Power: ESP and Parapsychology Revisited. Prometheus Books. p. 245. ISBN 978-0879755331
29. Polidoro, Massimo. (1998). Houdini v. the Blond Witch of Lime Street: A Historical Lesson in Skepticism. Skeptic 5: 90–97.

Further reading


• Simeon Edmunds. (1966). Spiritualism: A Critical Survey. Aquarian Press.
• Carolyn Gray. (2007). The Elmwood Visitation. Scirocco Drama.
• Harry Houdini. (1924). Houdini Exposes the Tricks Used by the Boston Medium "Margery". Adams Press.
• David Jaher (2015). The Witch of Lime Street: Seance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World. Crown Publishers
• William Kalush, Larry Sloman. (2006). The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Super Hero. Atria Books.
• Henry C. McComas. (1937). Ghosts I Have Talked With. Williams and Wilkins Company.
• Massimo Polidoro. (2001). Final Séance: The Strange Friendship Between Houdini and Conan Doyle. Prometheus Books.
• Massimo Polidoro. (2003). Secrets of the Psychics: Investigating Paranormal Claims. Prometheus Books.
• Joseph Rinn. (1950). Sixty Years Of Psychical Research: Houdini And I Among The Spiritualists. Truth Seeker.
• Thomas Tietze. (1973). Margery. Harper & Row Publishers.
• Walter Franklin Prince. (1926). A Review of the Margery Case. American Journal of Psychology 37: 431–441.
• Walter Franklin Prince. (1933). The Case Against Margery. Scientific American. Vol. 148, issue 5, pp. 261-263.
• Joseph Banks Rhine, Louisa Rhine. (1927). One Evening's Observations on the Margery Mediumship. Journal of Abnormal Social Psychology 21: 401-421.
• Mark Wyman Richardson, J. Malcolm Bird, E. E. Dudley, Josephine L. Richardson. The Thumbprint and Cross-Correspondence Experiments Made With the Medium Margery During 1927 and 1928. American Society for Psychical Research.

External links

• Houdini v. The Blond Witch of Lime Street: A Historical Lesson in Skepticism
• Mina Crandon & Harry Houdini: The Medium and The Magician
• Library of Congress Archives of newspaper articles regarding Houdini and Mina Crandon
• Interview with Anna Thurlow, great granddaughter of "Margery" - Wild About Harry (Houdini) blog
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