J. B. Rhine


Comments on "Science and the Supernatural"

CREDIT SIDE

Strange though it may seem, the publication of the George Price paper, "Science and the Supernatural," is, on the whole, a good event for parapsychology. It is not merely that it is better to be attacked than it is to be ignored. According to the ways of American science, a revolutionary finding has to be cuffed and kicked through the entrance in order to gain admittance. When unorthodox issues are concerned, only critical articles, and the rougher the better, are likely to be accepted by the scientific periodicals. In fact, one can easily fancy (as some readers have) that Price deliberately undertook to sell parapsychology to American science by disguising a really informative article as a slanderous critique, with charges so utterly exaggerated that they would not be believed even by skeptics of ESP. At any rate, as a way to get a lot of instruction on parapsychology into Science, it worked as well as if it had been planted.

It is also of value to parapsychology to have Price portray so vividly the potential importance of psi abilities. He has even more clearly appreciated the great potential applications of ESP than have many of the workers in the field. It is true that he has overlooked the limitation owing to the unconscious level on which this elusive function operates; but if (as is not unreasonable to expect) that limitation can be overcome through

Reprinted from Science 123 ( 1956) No. 3184, pp. 11-14, by permission of the author and editor.

-178-

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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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