The New Prometheans

By | 17 March 2018

The New Prometheans In A World Increasingly Shut In By The Iron Clad Determinism Of Victorian Physics, The Society For Psychical Research, Founded In , Tasked Itself With Finding Scientific Evidence For Phenomena Science Had All But Denied The Point Was Not To Refute Physical Explanation, But To Give It Pause, Turning Its Attention Away From Nature S Routines Toward Its Mysterious Intervals Psychical Research Was A Fully Academic Discipline Concerned Only With Mental As Opposed To Supernatural Phenomena, Yet Its Scheme Of Evidence Was Of The Most Extraordinary Kind Telepathy, Mesmerism, Clairvoyance, Apparitions, Psychokinesis, Et Al Though It Concerned Itself Mainly With Establishing The Facts, The Implications Of Its Data Were Profound Consciousness Was An Objective Structure Of Reality There Was Also The Corresponding Inner Truth Already Mined By Poets, Mystics, Psychonauts, And Spirit Mediums Every Individual Consciousness Maintained Some Connection To The Greater Whole Psychical Research Managed To Take This Romantic View Of Consciousness And Affirm It Within An Empirical Theory Of Academic Psychology It Thus Offered A Critical Intervention In The Moral Relations Between Science And Society At A Particularly Urgent Moment, Just As Psychiatry Was Deconstructing The Self And Physics Was Divesting Itself Of All Certainty The Book Plots The Lives Of Four Leading British Intellectuals, All Brought To Psychical Research By Questions Their Own Disciplines Could Not Answer The Depth Psychologist Frederic Myers, The Chemist William Crookes, The Physicist Oliver Lodge, And The Anthropologist Andrew Lang They All Had Exceptionally High Profiles In Both The Scientific And Psychical Communities, And Moral Energies That Brought Them Out Of Academic Circles And Into The Public Sphere Their Lives Intersect In Friendship And Collaboration, As Well As In A Fugue Of Related Themes By Layering Their Scholarly Papers, Textbooks, And Lectures With Intimate Texts Like Diaries, Letters, And Literary Compositions, This Book Opens A Window Onto An Important Historical Moment, A Time When The Victorians Attempted To Draw The Mystical Into Modern Science And Bring Modern And Sacred Knowledge Into A New Concordance

  • Paperback
  • 448 pages
  • 022663535X
  • The New Prometheans
  • Courtenay Raia
  • 17 March 2018