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After death-- what? [electronic resource].

By: Lombroso, Cesare, 1835-1909.
Contributor(s): Kennedy, William Sloane, 1850-1929 [tr.].
Publisher: Boston : Small, Maynard & Co., [c1909]Description: xii, 363 p. ; cm.Uniform titles: Ricerche sui fenomeni ipnotici e spiritici. English Subject(s): Spiritualism | SpiritualismAdditional physical formats: OriginalOnline resources: Fulltext available via EBSCOhost - Shibboleth login required Also issued in print.Summary: "When, at the close of a career--richer in fierce logomachy and struggle than in victory--in which I have figured as a champion of the new trend of human thought in psychiatry and criminal anthropology, I began investigations into the phenomena of spiritism and afterwards determined to publish a book on the subject, my nearest friends rose against me on every side, crying, "You will ruin an honorable reputation,--a career in which, after so many contests, you had finally reached the goal; and all for a theory which the whole world not only repudiates, but, worse still, thinks to be ridiculous." But all this talk did not make me hesitate for a single moment. I thought it my predestined end and way and my duty to crown a life passed in the struggle for great ideas by entering the lists for this desperate cause, the most hotly contested and perhaps most persistently mocked at idea of the times. It seemed to me a duty that, up to the very last of the few days now remaining to me, I should unflinchingly stand my ground in the very thick of the fight, where rise the most menacing obstructions and where throng the most infuriated foes. And one cannot in conscience blame these opponents, because spiritistic phenomena, as commonly conceived, seem designed to break down that grand idea of monism which is one of the most precious fruits of our culture, retrieved by so sore a conflict from the clutches of superstition and prejudice; and because, furthermore, when contrasted with the precision of experimental phenomena--always accurately tallying with each other in time and space--spiritistic observations and experiments, so frequently varying with different mediums, according to the time of day and according to the mental state of the participants in the s�ance, notwithstanding their frequent repetition and reinforcement by accurate mechanical instruments, and however carefully sifted out by the most severely scientific experimenters (one need only name such men as Crookes, Richet, Lodge, James, Hyslop), are always wrapped in a dim atmosphere of uncertainty and show a tinge of mediaeval science. But note this well, that, however doubtful each separate case may appear, in the ensemble they form such a compact web of proof as wholly to baffle the scalpel of doubt. In psychical matters we are very far from having attained scientific certainty. But the spiritistic hypothesis seems to me like a continent incompletely submerged by the ocean, in which are visible in the distance broad islands raised above the general level, and which only in the vision of the scientist are seen to coalesce in one immense and compact body of land, while the shallow mob laughs at the seemingly audacious hypothesis of the geographer"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).
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"When, at the close of a career--richer in fierce logomachy and struggle than in victory--in which I have figured as a champion of the new trend of human thought in psychiatry and criminal anthropology, I began investigations into the phenomena of spiritism and afterwards determined to publish a book on the subject, my nearest friends rose against me on every side, crying, "You will ruin an honorable reputation,--a career in which, after so many contests, you had finally reached the goal; and all for a theory which the whole world not only repudiates, but, worse still, thinks to be ridiculous." But all this talk did not make me hesitate for a single moment. I thought it my predestined end and way and my duty to crown a life passed in the struggle for great ideas by entering the lists for this desperate cause, the most hotly contested and perhaps most persistently mocked at idea of the times. It seemed to me a duty that, up to the very last of the few days now remaining to me, I should unflinchingly stand my ground in the very thick of the fight, where rise the most menacing obstructions and where throng the most infuriated foes. And one cannot in conscience blame these opponents, because spiritistic phenomena, as commonly conceived, seem designed to break down that grand idea of monism which is one of the most precious fruits of our culture, retrieved by so sore a conflict from the clutches of superstition and prejudice; and because, furthermore, when contrasted with the precision of experimental phenomena--always accurately tallying with each other in time and space--spiritistic observations and experiments, so frequently varying with different mediums, according to the time of day and according to the mental state of the participants in the s�ance, notwithstanding their frequent repetition and reinforcement by accurate mechanical instruments, and however carefully sifted out by the most severely scientific experimenters (one need only name such men as Crookes, Richet, Lodge, James, Hyslop), are always wrapped in a dim atmosphere of uncertainty and show a tinge of mediaeval science. But note this well, that, however doubtful each separate case may appear, in the ensemble they form such a compact web of proof as wholly to baffle the scalpel of doubt. In psychical matters we are very far from having attained scientific certainty. But the spiritistic hypothesis seems to me like a continent incompletely submerged by the ocean, in which are visible in the distance broad islands raised above the general level, and which only in the vision of the scientist are seen to coalesce in one immense and compact body of land, while the shallow mob laughs at the seemingly audacious hypothesis of the geographer"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).

Also issued in print.

Electronic reproduction. Washington, D.C. : American Psychological Association, 2012. Available via World Wide Web. Access limited by licensing agreement. s2012 dcunns

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