Parapsychology, Frontier Science of the Mind: A Survey of the Field, the Methods, and the Facts of ESP and PK Research

By J. B. Rhine; J. G. Pratt | Go to book overview

Chapter I
A Field of Science

I. L Definition of the Field

The science of parapsychology began with the interest aroused by the reports of spontaneous human experiences and events that are familiarly known as "psychic." These puzzling phenomena have never been claimed by any of the conventional branches of science, and until comparatively recent decades they had been ignored by all but a few scientists. Yet records of such occurrences have come from peoples of all cultures and periods and, simply as reported human experiences, they would manifestly have some proper claim on the attention of science. Moreover, they raise some very distinct and important questions for experimental investigation. At this point, however, these odd types of experiences are mentioned only to help in identifying the subject matter of the new science with which this volume is concerned.

It should from the very beginning be made clear that the phenomena with which parapsychology deals are all, without exception, events of nature. In other words, the field of problems belongs entirely to natural science. As the next chapter will indicate, the observations and experiments are dealt with strictly in the established manner of scientific inquiry. Accordingly, whatever comes out of the investigations of this field belongs, just as in any other branch of science, to the body of organized knowledge known as natural law.

More specifically, the observations and events dealt with in parapsychology--parapsychical phenomena--are associated in some central way with living organisms, as distinguished from inanimate matter. To limit the area still further, this science deals only (as far as we know) with behaving organisms; not, for ex-

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Parapsychology, Frontier Science of the Mind: A Survey of the Field, the Methods, and the Facts of ESP and PK Research
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Part I - Present Knowledge 3
  • Chapter 1 - A Field of Science 5
  • Chapter 2 - Objective Research Methods 17
  • Reference 43
  • Additional Reading 44
  • Chapter 3 - The Facts About Psi and Its Types 45
  • Chapter 4 - Psi and the Physical World 66
  • Chapter 5 - The Psychology of Psi 78
  • Chapter 6 - Psi Research and Other Related Fields 101
  • Part II - Testing Techniques 129
  • Chapter 7 - Psychological Recommendations for Psi Testing 131
  • Chapter 8 - Some Basic Psi Test Procedures 139
  • Additional Reading 168
  • Chapter 9 - Statistical Methods 170
  • Tables 189
  • Some Significant Events In Parapsychology 199
  • Glossary 205
  • Name Index 211
  • Subject Index 213
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