report showing that the late Harry Price, one-time honorary secretary of the University of London Council for Psychical Investigation and author of The Most Haunted House in England, himself faked some of the evidence for the haunting of Borley Rectory. But in connection with phenomena so subtle as to be detectable only by statistical tests, my feeling was that it would be quite difficult to prove in 1955 that A had whispered something to B in 1945.

Soal complains that I wrote "a diatribe of unsupported conjecture." But I did not. My conjectures that parapsychologists might be capable of fraud were supported by the eminent authority Soal himself: 8

"There is unfortunately among American investigators an atmosphere of showmanship which has created in the minds of British scholars a deep distrust. British scientists for instance are not favourably impressed by Rhine's discovery of a telepathic horse (or was it a precognitive clairvoyant pony?), by the sudden vanishing of Dr. Reiss' phantom percipient into the blue of the Middle West, by the perfect scores of 25 cards correct in 25 successive guesses alleged to have been made by Pearce and the child Lilian, by the card-guessing feats of Pearce while sitting in a motor car and similar marvels.

"Such things simply do not happen in England, or if occasionally they appear to happen they are quickly exposed as frauds or conjuring tricks. In America they are not exposed; they are proclaimed genuine with a blare of trumpets."


CONCLUSION

Rhine has stated that publication of my paper is "on the whole, a good event for parapsychology." It would be wiser for him to see it not as a good event but as a good opportunity. This challenge has presented him with the opportunity to achieve at one stroke the scientific recognition for which he has been struggling for almost thirty years. But if he and Soal continue to evade the challenge, then publication of the paper will prove to have been a very bad event indeed for parapsychology.


NOTES
1.
G. R. Price, Science 122. 359 ( 1955).
2.
R. P. Angier et al. J. Parapsychol. 3.29 ( 1939).
3.
J. G. Pratt and J. L. Woodruff, ibid. 3, 121 ( 1939).
4.
B. F. Skinner, Am. Scientist 36. 456. 482 ( 1948).

-200-

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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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