For centuries, we have looked at magic, and failed to see what is going on. The methods of conjurors have been exposed, and the psychological techniques have been explained. In the process, we have come to look at magic in a different way, yet still we fail to see what is going on. The magician continues to show us things that appear to be impossible. In this talk, I reveal some of the ways in which we have looked at magic, and some of the things we have failed to see.
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. His most recent book, Extraordinary Beliefs: A Historical Approach to a Psychological Problem, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013.