Thursday, Dec 14, 2017, 7:10 PM

Peter Lamont

Professor of Psychology, University of Edinburgh

Belief in Psychic Phenomena: What, How, Where and Why?

Why do people believe in psychic phenomena? We have been asking that question for a very long time, but it is not the only question. There is the matter of what: what are the things in which people believe, and what do they believe about these things? There is the matter of how: how have they come to this conclusion, and how have they maintained this position in the face of widespread skepticism? There is also the matter of where: if we wish to study such beliefs, then where is the best place to look? And then, finally, there is the matter of why: why do people believe in psychic phenomena, why do we keep asking that question?

Peter Lamont is a senior lecturer at the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh. He is a past winner of the Jeremiah Dalziel Prize for British History, a former Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts, and a past Secretary of the British Psychological Society (History and Philosophy of Psychology Section). He is also a former professional magician, an Associate of the Inner Magic Circle, and a Past President of the Edinburgh Magic Circle. He has published extensively on the history and psychology of magic and the paranormal, including his latest book, Extraordinary Beliefs: A Historical Approach to a Psychological Problem (Cambridge University Press in 2013). His next book, The Secret History of Magic (written with Jim Steinmeyer), is due to appear in 2018 with Penguin Random House.

The event will be held in English