[Letters to Editor]

Abstract

THE complete sentence in my review was: “It must now be admitted that the various kinds of lucidity and of ectoplasmic formation are facts of experience as actual, though as sporadic, as hypnotism, insanity, or physical deformity”. Mr. Campbell Swinton's protest is interesting, because it seems to imply that all facts of experience must be scientific facts and, inversely, that all scientific facts are common facts of experience. The gist of the review, as well as my previous communications on psychic phenomena (Oct. 23, p. 588, and Nov. 13, 1926, p. 693), is to the effect that no ‘proof’, in the strictly scientific sense, has been obtained of any supersensible phenomenon. Many facts of experience cannot be explained as yet by exact science, which requires a formula so that the experience may be repeated or prevented at will. Again, much of the phenomena of scientific laboratories are not general facts of experience and are accepted credulously and without understanding by the lay majority. Such common facts of experience, known to the majority as disease, deformity, dreams, and insanity, are admitted to be actual, but they do not, therefore, come under exact science, since the laws underlying these states of matter have not been clearly, that is scientifically, defined. Science has advanced and will continue to advance by discovering the laws underlying all facts of experience, thus bringing the latter under self-conscious control.

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L., W. [Letters to Editor]. Nature 120, 296–297 (1927). https://doi.org/10.1038/120296b0

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