are as reasonable, or logical, as possible"?

My task in these notes, however, is not to traverse big questions in the psychology or the logic of discovery, but to deal with matters of a perhaps more preliminary nature. By way of informal analysis, I have thus tried to make some useful suggestions about the identity and kinds of guesses, and to help clarify the standard sense of a word that is, at least in the literature of parapsychology, a very common noun.


NOTES
1
Heywood, R. "Notes on Changing Mental Climates and Research into ESP". In J. R. Smythies (Ed.), Science and ESP. New York: Humanities Press, 1967, p. 56.
2
Roll, W. G., and Burdick, D. S. "Statistical Models for the Assessment of Verbal and Other ESP Responses". Journal A.S.P.R., Vol. 63, July, 1969, 287-302. Quotation from p. 299.
3
I do not wish to imply that all scientific hypotheses are guesses. It has become commonplace to observe that a solution to a problem sometimes comes as an intuition, a vision, or a revelation where from the first the problem-solver is sure that the answer he has thus "seen" is right -- at least in outline -- even though it must yet be subjected to empirical test (when, of course, it may prove to be wrong despite the certainty attending its conception). In such cases, presumably, we are still dealing with hypotheses, but not with guesses.
4
The word utterance is ambiguous in that it refers both to a sentence that I wrote or spoke at time t and to my writing or speaking it at t. It is the latter sense that is meant when I say that an utterance may constitute a guess.
5
I note that the points of these last two sentences have also been made by Richard Taylor in a context in which they are incidental to a most interesting discussion of deliberation. In Action and Purpose ( Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1966), Taylor remarks that "speculation, inference, and even guesswork . . . all presuppose ignorance, in the absence of which they can only be shammed" (p. 174).
6
Although not that he disbelieved it, which he may very well have done. Consider a situation where as a guesser I am presented with five possibilities only one of which will prove to be actual -- say the five represented by the symbols in a deck of Zener cards. In this situation, in the absence of evidence that would indicate which one of the five is actual, it is surely rational for me to disbelieve that the target is a star, for instance, even though I guess that it is.
7
Skinner, B. F. "Are Theories of Learning Necessary?" Psychological Review, Vol. 57, July, 1950, 193-216.
8
Eric Partridge, Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English ( New York: Macmillan, 2nd ed., 1959) contains the following entry: "guess (v, hence n): M[iddle] E[nglish] gessen: perh[aps] of Scan[dinavian] origin, but prob[ably] imm[ediately] from M[edieval] D[utch] gessen, var[iant] gissen: akin, ult[imately], to O[ld] N[orse] geta, to get . . ." (p. 270). And on p. 253 of this work, links are traced between get and the notions of finding, taking, stealing, grasping, and holding.
9
Ryle, G. Dilemmas. London: Cambridge University Press, 1954, p. 18.
10
I believe this result is consistent, however, with Ryle's point that "[g]uessers are neither reliable nor unreliable" ( 9, p. 18).
11
Hanson, N. R. Patterns of Discovery. London: Cambridge University Press, 1958, p. 200.
12
Polya, G. Mathematical Discovery. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1965. (Vol. 2.), ch. 13.

-254-

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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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