When the Leipzig astrophysicist Johann F. Zöllner tested his theory of a fourth dimension of space by having a medium experimentally reproduce poltergeist-style phenomena, this became an explosive political issue during the infancy of modern professionalised psychology in Germany. Zöllner, who was supported by physicists like Gustav Theodor Fechner, was publicly attacked by Wilhelm Wundt, Fechner’s disciple and the founder of the first German laboratory of experimental psychology. Wundt’s main worry was that scientific interest in the phenomena of spiritualism threatened the social and religious foundations of civilisation.
As one enamored neither of spiritualism nor science, it was refreshing to read rational historians casting a cold fisheye on the clay feet of their own. Thanks for the link.
> where does the scientist begin and the spiritualist end?
> who or what draws the lines
> The Tacit Supernaturalism of Popular Science