reliable ones, for all man's inability to reproduce them at will. Control is usually just a question of further understanding of the phenomena concerned. In the case of ESP, lack of control is likely to be nothing that more and better researches will not correct.

In the meantime, scientists who open-mindedly wish to satisfy themselves about ESP have two main lines of action open. The preferable way would be to ascertain the essential precautions and psychological conditions that are already known and to conduct an exploratory ESP experiment, as many others have already done. Parapsychology owes much of its evidence and most of its eminent supporters to just such exploratory investigations.

The other way is, of course, the one more generally followed in science. It begins with the critical appraisal of the research literature of the field. This literature is vastly more extensive and important than the few names given by Price indicate. Indeed, all the work reported by Soal and myself (the two "exhibits" that Price used) could be set entirely aside without seriously weakening the case for ESP or even involving the very best controlled experiments. 12 During the last twenty years there have been scores of researches reported (mostly in the Journal of Parapsychology) that have adequately met a standard of requirements of safeguarding (even against fraud) well above that of science in general. Let anyone who is able and willing critically review the evidence for ESP to show cause, if he can, why and wherein these most qualified investigations should not be taken seriously! The Journal of Parapsychology will be open, as always, to the publication of such reviews.

Price has, I repeat, done parapsychology much good, as, for example, in neatly showing the fallacy of Bridgman's type of criticism. His crusading against evildoing in ESP only serves to make his blows against its critics more effective. It even helps to unbar the portals of respected periodicals. If this is the way a research field has to be opened up to broader scientific attention here in the United States, we in parapsychology must be willing to pay the price and be grateful for the net gain.

Meanwhile, then, the scientist can determine by the usual methods how far it is safe to credit the ESP reports.


NOTES
1.
J. B. Rhine, J. Parapsychol. 10, 162 ( 1946).
2.
J. G. Pratt and J. L. Woodruff, J. Parapaychol. 3, 121 ( 1939).

-204-

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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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