Back Goldfinch looking backwards

Endnote 3 to Mind-Matter Argument 2

The refusal of academics to examine the evidence against materialism is not new. Writing one hundred years ago, William James complained,

. . . I invite eight of my scientific colleagues severally to come to my house at their own time, and sit with a medium for whom the evidence already published in our Proceedings had been most noteworthy. Although it means at worst the waste of the hour for each, five of them decline the adventure. I then beg the “Commission” connected with the chair of a certain learned psychologist in a neighboring university to examine the same medium, whom Mr. Hodgson and I offer at our own expense to send and leave with them. They also have to be excused from any such entanglement. I advise another psychological friend to look into this medium’s case, but he replies that it is useless, for if he should get such results as I report, he would (being suggestible) simply believe himself hallucinated. . . This friend of mine writes ex cathedra on the subject of psychical research, declaring (I need hardly add) that there is nothing in it; . . . and one of the five colleagues who declined my invitation is widely quoted as an effective critic of our evidence. So runs the world away! (James, 1986/1869–1909, p.194)

This is quoted from the same Neal Grossman article just cited.