A Phenomenological Evolution of Parapsychology’s Philosophy of Science

Psychical Research
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Jacob Glazier, University of West Georgia, has written an interesting piece, recently featured in Paranthropology: Journal of Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal, which seeks to realign psychical research with the dominant scientific paradigm: 

“Parapsychology claims to be a scientific discipline. How has it adjudicated this claim? This article traces parapsychology’s understanding of its scientific practice beginning with William James, continuing through J. B. Rhine,and up until the present day. What this reveals is that Rhinean experimentalism has been insufficient to legitimize parapsychology as a widely established science. What’s more astonishing is that experimentalism’s philosophical assumptions may actually be incoherent with the nature of psi phenomena. Returning to an approach similar to that as articulated by William James, parapsychology can realign itself with a human method of science as foundin phenomenology. Flowing from this analysis, future directions are offered for parapsychology as it relates to using its philosophy of science as a commentary on legendary science and further exploring the tricky nature of psi.”

With the continued collapse of popular skepticism’s hold on the public discussion of these issues, Glazier’s article provides some guidelines for how to move forward in effectively addressing exceptional human experiences.  

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Image courtesy of the Society for Psychical Research

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