or the possibilities of collusion.

Another experiment would then be necessary, and the arguments would begin all over again. On this question I am in agreement with Schiller, and I favor a quite different method of approach.

The main obstacle to the acceptance of parapsychological phenomena is the apparent rarity of the people who can produce them under even reasonable conditions of control. Now this rarity I believe to be apparent rather than real. We do not know the signs by which to distinguish these exceptional card-guessers and so we waste time and effort in testing the wrong kind of people. There is increasing reason to believe that we shall not discover them in university populations and that it is a waste of time to experiment with students. But experience of the last few months has indicated that it is among the less sophisticated types that we should pursue our search -- especially among children living in rural communities or in backward countries.

I think there is little doubt that with an increasing number of such high-scoring subjects much of the prejudice of ordinary scientific workers will disappear. When more and more competent Experimenters report on cases of high-scoring subjects, the hypothesis of collusion will become as extinct as the dodo. While it is, in the last resort, possible to suggest that two or three Experimenters have faked their results, this will not be possible when scores of competent investigators produce their reports on similar cases. I suggest to Price, therefore, that efforts should be directed toward the discovery of the personality characteristics of these people who make averages of 8 or 10 hits per 25 over considerable periods, the sort of communities in which they may be successfully found, and so on. In other words we should aim at repeatability by more and more investigators.


NOTES
1.
G. R. Price, Science 122, 359 ( 1955).
2.
S. G. Soal and F. Bateman, Modern Experiments in Telepathy ( Yale Univ. Press, New Haven, Conn., 1954).
3.
E. J. Dingwall, review of Modern Experiments in Telepathy by S. G. Soal and F. Bateman , in Nature 175, 741 ( 1955)
4.
J. E. Coover, Experiments in Psychical Research ( Stanford Univ. Press, Stanford, Calif., 1917).
5.
C. E. Kellogg, Sci. Monthly 45, 331 ( 1937).
6.
D. H. Rawcliffe, The Psychology of the Occult ( Ridgway, London, 1952).
7.
G. S. Brown, Nature 172, 154 ( 1953).

-177-

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Philosophy and Parapsychology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 7
  • Preface 13
  • Philosophy & Parapsychology 17
  • Notes 36
  • Section I - Parapsychology and Philosophy 41
  • The Relevance of Psychical Research to Philosophy 43
  • Symposium: is Psychical Research Relevant to Philosophy? 64
  • Notes 108
  • Review of Kneale, Robinson, and Mundle Symposium 110
  • Notes 116
  • The Science of Nonphysical Nature 117
  • The Philosophical Importance of "Psychic Phenomena" 128
  • Notes 141
  • Section II - The Argument from the Posselbility of Fraud 143
  • Science and the Supernatural 145
  • On "Science and the Supernatural" 172
  • Notes 177
  • Comments on "Science and the Supernatural" 178
  • Notes 186
  • Compatibility of Science and Esp 187
  • Probability, Logic, and Esp 191
  • Where is the Definitive Experiment? 196
  • Notes 200
  • The Experiment Should Fit the Hypothesis 202
  • Notes 204
  • Section III - Conceptual Issues in Parapsychology 205
  • Describing and Explaining 207
  • Notes 225
  • References 226
  • On the Meaning of 'Paranormal' 227
  • Notes 244
  • Notes on Guessing 245
  • Notes 254
  • Conceptualizations of Experimental Clairvoyance 255
  • Notes 262
  • Parapsychology Revisited: Laws, Miracles, and Repeatability 263
  • The Problem of Repeatability in Psychical Research 270
  • Notes 283
  • Section IV - Precognition and Its Problems 285
  • The Philosophical Implications of Foreknowledge 287
  • The Causal Objection to Precognition 313
  • Does the Concept of Precognition Make Sense? 327
  • Notes 340
  • Mundle, Broad, Ducasse and the Precognition Problem 341
  • Notes 348
  • Section V - Parapsychology and the Philosophy of Mind 351
  • Explaining the Paranormal, with Epilogue - 1977 353
  • Parapsychology and Human Nature 371
  • Notes 386
  • New Frontiers of the Brain 387
  • Notes 399
  • Central-State Materialism and Parapsychology 401
  • Notes 404
  • Section VI - Historical Postscript 405
  • Final Impressions of a Psychical Researcher 407
  • Bibliography 423
  • Contributors 451
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