C. J. Ducasse
In the title of this paper, the words "Psychic Phenomena" are put between quotation marks to indicate disclaim of any intention to beg the reality of the diverse queer kinds of occurrences that have variously been termed "psychic," "metapsychic," "parapsychological," "paranormal," or more briefly, "Psi" phenomena. The contention implicit in the paper's title is only that the many reports of phenomena of the kinds in view are philosophically important no matter whether the phenomena really occurred as reported, or not.
If they did not so occur, then the specificity and numerousness of the reports, and the fact that some of the witnesses, and some of the persons who accepted their reports, have been people of high intelligence and integrity, is exceedingly interesting from the standpoint of the psychology of perception, of delusion, illusion or hallucination, of credulity and credibility and of testimony. Whereas, if some of the phenomena did really occur as reported, they are equally important from the standpoint then of the psychology of incredulity and incredibility -- or, more comprehensively, of orthodox adverse prejudice, such as widely exists among persons having the modern western educated outlook towards reports of psychic phenomena. In this connection, a recent book, The Nature of Prejudice, by the Harvard psychologist, Prof. G. W. Allport, is not only good reading, but can be also very salutary reading if the insight one gains from it into the
Reprinted from The Journal of Philosophy, volume 51 ( 1954), pp. 810-823, by permission of the editors and Professor Ducasse's literary executor.