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July 1964

Phantasms of the Living.

Arch Intern Med. 1964;114(1):179. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.03860070225055

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This unusual book consists of two separate volumes. Mrs. Sedgwick's contributions to the Proceedings of the Psychical Research Society during the years 1886 to 1920 represent the first volume. The second volume is an abridgement of Gurney's two-volume work which was published in 1886. The author is regarded as the finest mind in the history of psychical research. Her collection of cases and analyses of them are considered classics of psychical research.

It is difficult to examine this volume without bias. Sedgwick and Gurney are founders of the English Society for Psychical Research whose goal is "to examine without prejudice and in the scientific spirit those faculties of man, real or supposed, which appear to be inexplicable." In this country psychic research is equated to the cultist or to the fraudulent. In contrast, European scientists have attempted to study the paranormal. Sedgwick, Gurney, Myers, and Podmore have suggested heuristic outlines

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