Testimonies of precognition and encounters with psychiatry in letters to J. B. Priestley. PDF Yazdır e-Posta
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Cuma, 05 Eylül 2014 13:01
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Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci. 2014 Aug 27. pii: S1369-8486(14)00086-7. doi: 10.1016/j.shpsc.2014.07.006. [Epub ahead of print]

Testimonies of precognition and encounters with psychiatry in letters to J. B. Priestley.

Price K.

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Queen Mary University, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK. Electronic address: Bu e-Posta adresi istek dışı postalardan korunmaktadır, görüntülüyebilmek için JavaScript etkinleştirilmelidir .


Using letters sent to British playwright J. B. Priestley in 1963, this paper explores the intersection between patient-focused history of psychiatry and the history of parapsychology in everyday life. Priestley's study of precognition lay outside the main currents of parapsychology, and his status as a storyteller encouraged confidences about anomalous temporal experience and mental illness. Drawing on virtue epistemology, I explore the regulation of subjectivity operated by Priestley in establishing the credibility of his correspondents in relation to their gender and mental health, and investigate the possibility of testimonial justice for these witnesses. Priestley's ambivalent approach to madness in relation to visions of the future is related to the longer history of prophecy and madness. Letters from the television audience reveal a variety of attitudes towards the compatibility of precognition with modern theories of the mind, show the flexibility of precognition in relation to mental distress, and record a range of responses from medical and therapeutic practitioners. Testimonial justice for those whose experience of precognition intersects with psychiatric care entails a full acknowledgement of the tensions and complicities between these two domains as they are experienced by the witness, and an explicit statement of the hearer's orientation to those domains.

Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.