Parapsychology, Philosophy, and Spirituality

A Postmodern Exploration

By David Ray Griffin

Subjects: Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Constructive Postmodern Thought
Paperback : 9780791433164, 362 pages, January 1997
Hardcover : 9780791433157, 362 pages, January 1997

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Table of contents


Introduction to SUNY Series in Constructive Postmodern Thought

Introduction: Parapsychology, Philosophy, and Spirituality

1. Parapsychology and Postmodern Philosophy

2. White Crows Abounding: Evidence for the Paranormal

3. The Mind-Body Relation and the Possibility of Life after Death

4. Evidence for Life after Death: Mediumistic Messages

5. Evidence from Cases of the Possession Type

6. Evidence from Cases of the Reincarnation Type

7. Evidence from Apparitions

8. Evidence from Out-of-Body Experiences

9. Parapsychology and Postmodern Spirituality


Note on Supporting Center


Examines why parapsychology has been held in disdain by scientists, philosophers, and theologians, explores the evidence for ESP, psychokinesis, and life after death, and suggests that these phenomena provide support for a meaningful postmodern spirituality.


In this book, David Ray Griffin, best known for his work on the problem of evil, turns his attention to the even more controversial topic of parapsychology. Griffin examines why scientists, philosophers, and theologians have held parapsychology in disdain and argues that neither a priori philosophical attacks nor wholesale rejection of the evidence can withstand scrutiny.

After articulating a constructive postmodern philosophy that allows the parapsychological evidence to be taken seriously, Griffin examines this evidence extensively. He identifies four types of repeatable phenomena that suggest the reality of extrasensory perception and psychokinesis. Then, on the basis of a nondualistic distinction between mind and brain, which makes the idea of life after death conceivable, he examines five types of evidence for the reality of life after death: messages from mediums; apparitions; cases of the possession type; cases of the reincarnation type; and out-of-body experiences. His philosophical and empirical examinations of these phenomena suggest that they provide support for a postmodern spirituality that overcomes the thinness of modern religion without returning to supernaturalism.

David Ray Griffin is Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Theology, School of Theology at Claremont and Claremont Graduate School. He is the author of Evil Revisited: Responses and Reconsiderations and coeditor (with Sandra Lubarsky) of Jewish Theology and Process Thought, both published by SUNY Press, and has authored or edited sixteen other books.


"This elegantly written book shows a greater command of the empirical data than any other work on the subject by a philosopher, and no other philosophical work on the survival of death deals with the conceptual issues with greater subtlety or thoroughness. " — Stephen E. Braude, author of ESP and Psychokinesis: A Philosophical Examination and The Limits of Influence: Psychokinesis and the Philosophy of Science

"This is a very thorough integration of the data from parapsychology, both experimental and anecdotal, into the philosophical discussions concerning the nature and role of consciousness. The scholarship is sound, and the issues raised in this book are very hot topics in the academic community, especially among philosophers and cognitive scientists. " — Richard S. Broughton, Director, Institute for Parapsychology

"An informative book about parapsychology that I can recommend highly to all philosophers and theologians. " — Ian Stevenson, M. D., Carlson Professor of Psychiatry, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center