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Natural Causes and Supernatural Seemings

Natural Causes and Supernatural Seemings


Part of Cambridge Library Collection - Spiritualism and Esoteric Knowledge

  • Date Published: May 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108072700

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About the Authors
  • First published in 1886, this comprehensive analysis of nineteenth-century spiritual experiments questions our long tradition of encounters with the supernatural, and why it appeared to have declined in influence in the writer's era. Maudsley (1835–1918), a medical psychologist and pioneer psychiatrist, sets out to bring such alleged spiritual phenomena under scientific investigation. Emphasising the natural defects and errors of human observation and reasoning, as well as the prolific activity of the imagination, this inquiry into the causes of belief in the supernatural suggests that much of it can be explained though hallucination, mania, and delusion. The book is divided into three parts: the first section concentrates on the causes of fallacies in the sound mind, while the second considers unsound mental action. The focus of part three is theopneusticism, or the attainment of supernatural knowledge by divine inspiration. This second edition appeared in 1887.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108072700
    • length: 388 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Statement of the argument
    Part I. Fallacies Incident to the Natural Operations of Sound Mind:
    1. The natural defects and errors of observation and reasoning
    2. The natural defects and errors of observation and reasoning continued
    3. The activity of imagination
    Part II. Unsound Mental Action:
    1. Mental malformities
    2. Hallucinations and illusions
    3. Hallucinations and illusions continued
    4. Mania and delusion
    5. Natural and supernatural religion
    Part III. Theopneuticism, the Attainment of Supernatural Knowledge by Divine Inspiration
    1. Ecstatic intuition
    2. Ecstasy of feeling
    3. Intuition of the heart
    4. The physical basis of ecstatic intuition
    5. Theological illumination
    6. Isolation of spiritual knowledge
    7. Theology and metaphysics
    Statement of the conclusion.

  • Author

    Henry Maudsley

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