The Seybert Report
Rhetoric, Rationale, and the Problem of Psi Research
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This book is a rhetorical analysis of the "Seybert Report," based on the findings of the Seybert Commission formed in the nineteenth century at the University of Pennsylvania and tasked with investigating the paranormal phenomena alleged to arise in Spiritualist séances. The findings of the report are significant because they provide a historical benchmark for how “paranormal” research--or psi--has been addressed by academics for well over a century. Elizabeth Schleber Lowry examines academic discourse with respect to psi from such approaches as the rhetoric of science and scholarship in the history and philosophy of science.