The Evidence for Psi: Spontaneous Phenomena
This chapter and the next will examine the evidence for psi phenomena such as telepathy (direct mind-to-mind, or at least brain-to-brain, communication), precognition (the ability to “see” the future), clairvoyance (the ability to gain direct knowledge of a physical object by means other than the recognized physical senses) and psychokinesis (the ability of mind to directly influence matter remote from the physical body). Collectively, these ostensible phenomena are called “psi phenomena,” a term introduced by the parapsychologists Robert Thouless and B. P. Wiesner (Thouless & Wiesner, 1948; Wiesner & Thouless, 1942).
As the reader is no doubt aware, there is a vast (or, by orthodox science standards, moderately large) literature regarding attempts to demonstrate the existence of paranormal phenomena such as extrasensory perception (ESP) and psychokinesis (PK) in experimental studies. As will be discussed in detail in the next chapter, there is a great deal of controversy surrounding this literature. Many observers within the field of parapsychology contend that the existence of psi phenomena has been conclusively established and that the task of experimental parapsychology should now be to explore the nature of psi and the conditions that facilitate or inhibit the expression of...
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