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Sketches of the Philosophy of Apparitions

Sketches of the Philosophy of Apparitions
Or, an Attempt to Trace Such Illusions to their Physical Causes


Part of Cambridge Library Collection - Spiritualism and Esoteric Knowledge

  • Date Published: January 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108027724

£ 30.99

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About the Authors
  • In this book of 1825, Samuel Hibbert (1782–1848) attempts to uncover the physical or physiological causes which might account for claims of seeing ghosts and other apparitions. Hibbert trained as a doctor, and uses anecdotal and case-study evidence to show that external physical circumstances - such as the use of stimulants, brain inflammation, hallucination during fever, or alcohol withdrawal - are most likely to be the causes of apparent sightings of supernatural phenomena. He explores the power of suggestion, whether derived from superstitions, folk tales or biblical imagery, on the imagination of the impressionable. Using the idea that the train of thought can be stimulated or depressed, and that different levels of semi-consciousness can admit of different levels of contemplation and concentration, Hibbert hypothesises that for each apparition or ghostly spectre there is a rational explanation.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108027724
    • length: 502 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.63kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Sketches of Certain Opinions, Ancient and Modern, which Have Been Entertained on the Subject of Apparitions
    Part II. The Particular Morbid Affections with which the Production of Phantasms is Often Connected
    Part III. Proofs that the Objects of Spectral Illusions Are Frequently Suggested by the Fantastic Imagery of Superstitious Belief
    Part IV. An Attempt to Investigate the Mental Laws which Give Rise to Spectral Illusions
    Part V. Slight Remarks on the Modifications which the Intellectual Faculty often Undergoes During Intense Excitements of the Mind
    Part VI. Summary of the Comparative Degrees of Faintness, Vividness, or Intensity Subsisting between Sensations and Ideas, during their Various Excitements and Depressions
    Part VI. Summary of the Comparative Degrees of Faintness, Vividness, or Intensity Subsisting between Sensations and Ideas, during their Various Excitements and Depressions.

  • Author

    Samuel Hibbert

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