On Skepticism and the Paranormal

Episode 108 · October 13th, 2021 · 1 hr 19 mins

About this Episode

Modern skeptics pride themselves on being immune to unreason. They present themselves as defenders of rationality, civilization, and good sense against what Freud famously called the "black mud-tide of occultism." But what if skepticism was more implicated in the phenomena it aims to banish than it might appear to be? What if no one could debunk anything without getting some of that black mud on their hands? In this episode, Phil and JF discuss the weird complicity of the skeptic and the believer in the light of George P. Hansen's masterpiece of meta-parapsychology, The Trickster and the Paranormal.


George P. Hansen, The Trickster and the Paranormal

James Randi, stage magician and paranormal debunker
Michael Shermer, American science writer
CSICOP, Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, Publisher of the Skeptical Inquirer
Rune Soup, Interview with George P. Hansen
Weird Studies, Episode 24 with Lionel Snell
Weird Studies, Episode 89 on Ishmael Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo
Victor Turner, The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure
Wouter Hanegraaff, Dutch professor of esoteric philosophy
Shannon Taggart, Seance
Society for Psychical Research
Weird Studies, Episode 44 on William James’s Psychical Research
G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
Robert Anton Wilson, American author
Aleister Crowley, Magic Without Tears