Do psychic phenomena exist?
The Chronicle of Higher Education is currently running a great article on Stephen E. Braude and his new book, The Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological Investigations—a fascinating not to mention entertaining exploration of the paranormal from an academic’s point of view. Scott Carlson writes for the Chronicle:
A professor of philosophy at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Braude is a past president of the Parapsychological Association, an organization that gathers academics and others interested in phenomena like ESP and psychokinesis, and he has published a series of books with well-known academic presses on such topics.
His latest, The Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological Investigations, is sort of a summing up of his career, filled with stories of people who claimed to have otherworldly abilities. The writing is so fluid that the book at times seems made for a screen adaptation. (In fact, Chris Carter, creator of The X-Files, contributes a blurb to the back of the book. Braude advised Carter on a screenplay he is writing.) But Braude also includes some dense philosophical arguments—especially in a chapter about synchronicity, in which he ponders whether humans can orchestrate unlikely coincidences through psychokinesis, the ability to move or influence objects with the mind.