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Occultism, Witchcraft, Magic
Record Type: Review   ID: 1204

Philosophy of Science and the Occult

Grim, Patrick (Ed.)

The editor notes that this collection can be viewed either as "an introduction to the philosophy of science through an examination of the occult or as a serious examination of the occult rigorous enough to raise central issues in the philosophy of science." The 5 major sections, each opening with an overview designed to raise specific issues of that section, emphasize points of continuity with other sections, and to note crucial patterns of argument in the section. Grim points out that in each section the initial selections are usually the simplest and are followed by pieces of increasing sophistication. The section titles are on Astrology; Science or Pseudoscience?: The Problem of Demarcation; Parapsychology; UFOs and Ancient Astronauts; and Other Approaches to the Occult. Each section closes with a list of suggested readings.

The section on parapsychology contains "Parapsychology: An Empirical Science" by Ruth Reinsel; "Coincidence and Explanation" by Galen K. Pletcher; "Parapsychology: Science or Pseudo-science?" by Antony Flew; "Philosophical Difficulties with Paranormal Knowledge Claims" by Jane Duran, "Precognition and the Paradoxes of Causality" by Bob Brier and Maithik Schmidt-Raghaven, and "Second Report on a Case of Experimeter Fraud" by J.B. Rhine. The suggested readings’ list standard sources dealing with the case for parapsychology, critical works of philosophical treatments, and reverse causality. The demarcation problem is of primary importance in all the sections.

Publisher Information:Albany: State University of New York Press, 1982. 336p. Bibl. by chap; 12 figs; Ind: 325-336; Sugg. rdg: 322-324; 4 tables
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