Critical Exchanges on the Paranormal

chronicle-of-higher-edToday I came across an item that is a couple of years old, but it's worth taking a look at. It involves an essay by Jeffrey Kripal, who has been interviewed here at TheoFantastique previously on two occasions, once on his book on the paranormal and the sacred, and the second time on his book on comics and the paranormal. Kripal wrote a piece at The Chronicle of Higher Education titled "Embracing the Unexplained, Part 2." This essay responds in part to a critical piece that Jeffrey Coyne wrote for The New Republic in response to Kripal's first essay, "Visions of the Impossible", also written for the Chronicle. In his part of the critical exchange, Coyne accuses Kripal of being anti-science. In response, Kripal says that Coyne wrote a "materialist screed" that "effortlessly conflated science, rationalism, and materialism, as if there were no ways to be scientific and rational without adopting his own particular brand of antireligious materialism." Kripal goes on to point out how Coyne has misrepresented what he wrote, and sought to cut off argument and dialogue between science and the humanities. For those interested in the paranormal and how it is discussed among academics, this is an interesting exchange.

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