H. H. Price1
This lecture is concerned mainly with paranormal cognition 2 and its bearings on theories of human personality. The importance of the phenomena from a philosophical point of view is that they do not fit in with the current Western educated outlook. This is not because they cast any doubt on the validity of scientific method. But they do conflict with the materialistic conception of human personality. The theory which they suggest is a dualistic interaction theory, but a different one from the dualistic theory of Descartes.
Parapsychology, or psychical research as we usually call it in my country, may be roughly defined as the scientific investigation of paranormal phenomena. These phenomena have usually been divided into two main classes -- mental and physical. The mental phenomena include the various forms of paranormal cognition: telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition. The physical phenomena include what is called psychokinesis or telekinesis -- where some human being causes physical objects to move without bodily contact and without the use of any known physical intermediary.
In this lecture, however, it is the implications of the mental group of phenomena which I chiefly wish to discuss. Telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition are the best established of all paranormal phenomena; and if
Reprinted from the Journal of Parapsychology, volume 23 ( 1959), pp. 178-195, by permission of the author and editors.