Matter, Mind, and Meaning

Matter, Mind, and Meaning

Matter, Mind, and Meaning

Matter, Mind, and Meaning

Excerpt

The death of Mr. W. Whately Carington was a most grievous loss to Psychical Research; not least because he did not live to finish this book, to which I know he attached great importance. Fortunately he had written the first five chapters, more or less in their final form. I have only found it necessary to add a few footnotes and cross references. But with the last chapter, 'Mind and Matter', which, as he tells us himself, was to be 'in a sense the core of this book', the position is much less satisfactory. There were only a few fragmentary pencil notes, written during his last illness. Apparently there were two alternative versions, both very brief, which I have conflated as best I could; and Ch. VI, as now printed, is the result. I have thought it well to add three brief essays as appendices. I have chosen them from among a number of papers which Mrs. Carington kindly placed at my disposal, because they seem to me to illustrate some of the main themes of this book. Appendix I, 'Don't shoot the philosophers -- yet', is a more popular version of Ch. II, 'The Failure of Metaphysics'. Appendix II, 'Life after death, the need for an inversion of thought', should be compared with Ch. IV, 'Mind'. (Cf. also Carington's earlier book, Telepathy, Ch.XI.) Appendix III, 'Does to-morrow exist?' is a very ingenious and somewhat tantalizing sketch of a theory of Precognition, the most puzzling, perhaps, of all supernormal phenomena. I have included it partly for its own intrinsic interest, and partly because it illustrates the theory of normal perception which is stated in Ch. IV.

The book may be described as a contribution to the philosophy of Psychical Research. The development of Psychical Research has hitherto been somewhat one-sided. On the factual side great progress has been made in the last sixty . . .

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