transcendental physics

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2. IQlilY IIBRAKI joh>7"frye CHINESE- LIBRAP.Y 3. Jit UB 4. TRANSCENDENTAL PHYSICS. 5. BALLANTVNE. HANSON AND CO KUINUl/ROIl ANU LONDON 6. ;TRANSCENDENTAL PHYSICS. ^n Srrount of ^xprrimrntal3?nof5:tigaticns. JFromtJjrScicnttttr^TrratisrsJOHAXX GAEL FEIEDEICH ZOLLNEE, IProfessor of PhysicalAstronomy at the University of Leijysic :Member of the Royal Saxon Society of Sciences ;Foreign Member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Londonof the Imperial Academy of Natural Philosophers at Moscow :Honorary Member of the Physical Association at Franlfort-on-the-Main .of the " Seient(^^ Society of Psychological Studies," at Paris:and of the " British National Association of Spiritualists," at London. (ZCransIateu from tije (Serman,iuitl) a iprefacc anH appcntJices, bpCHAELES CAELETOX MASSEY, OF I.IKCOLSS INK, BARRISTER-AT-I.AW.LONDON:W. H.HAEEISON, 33 MUSEUMSTEEET,W.C.1880. 7. BIOLOC D WMor AIN UBRAftVJOHN FRYERCHINESE LIBRARY 8. CONTENTS.Translators Preface . xviiAuthors Dedication to Mr. William Crookes, F.R.S... xlvCHAPTERI.Gausss and Kants Theory of Space The Practical Application of the Theory in Experiments with Henry Slade True Knots pro-duced upon a Cord withits ends in view and sealed together .iCHAPTERIT.Magnetic Experiments Physical Phenomena Slate-Writing underTest Conditions 22 4CHAPTER III.Permanent Impressions obtained of Hands and Feet ProposedChemical Experiment Slades Abnormal Vision Impressionsin a Closed SpaceEnclosed Space of Three Dimensions opento Four-Dimensional Beings48CHAPTERIV.Conditions of Investigation UnscientiticMen of Science SladesAnswerto Professor Barrett62751656 9. AroNTENTS.< M.MTKKPruiliictiitn fKnotsin iin KntllcHH Strin;; Further Experinientn HantlH DiHnppcnrnnco and HenpiH^nranco of Miitorinlisiition of Solid OhjrctM A Table Vanislu-s, and afterwards IVscondo fromtlio Cciliii;; inFullLirivate house,and under the observed conditions, That Psycho is not worked by Mr. Ma.skeljTie himself from the stagehy means of a ma^iict lias been repeatedly demonstrated.t See Appendix C. 21. TRANSLATORS PREFACE.XXVof wliicli themost noticeable is the apparent pas-sivity of Slade duringall these occurrences, are to beascribed to any conscious operation of his,we canhardly avoid attributing to him scientific discoveries,or the possession of secrets of nature at least equallyremarkable.But in that case he could,andit wouldclearly be his interest to produce theseand similarastonishing effects with constant regularity.Pro-fessor Lankester would have witnessed them no lessthan Professor Zollner, and Slade would long agohave amassed a fortune by his exhibitions.The factthat he cannotcommandthese phenomena, at leastthe most striking of them, at will, points to conditionsof their production varying with hisown physicaland mentalstates, and probably with thosealso ofthe persons resorting to him.Andthis is the reasonwhy these phenomena, though as capable of verifica-tion byscientific men andtrainedobservers (bywhomthey have in fact been repeatedly verified), asby anyone else, are not exactly suitable for scientificverification.There is a clear distinction between thetwo things.Scientific verification supposes that theconditions of anexperiment are ascertained, thatthey can be regularly provided, and the experimentrepeated at pleasure. One hearsoccasionally of offersfrom men of science to investigate and attest certainphenomena of Spiritualism, selectedby themselves,provided they can witness them under conditions oftheirownprescribing.These, in some cases well-meant overtures, proceedon the assumption that the 22. XXVI TRANSLATORS PREFACE.l>lionomonn, if gcnuiiio, reqiiirc nothingbut the merephysical presence of themedium, and thatit is onlynecessary to take adcfpiate precautions (no matter^vhat these are) against deceptionhytlielatter, inorder to obtain a scientific demonstration. Whensuch an offer is rejected or neglected, the inference ofcourse is drawn thattlje ** phenomena" only occur whenfacilities for theirfraudulent production are allowed.Yetit is equally consistent with the mediums know-ledge that the conditions (of which he ishimselfignorant) cannot be controlled, and with his con-sequent indisposition to be put upon a formal trialwhich may result infailure anddiscredit. Syste-matic investigation of this subject by men of scienceis much to be desired, but it must not be undertakenin a magisterial spirit, with the imposition of a test,and the demand of an immediate result. The onlyclaim which spiritualists make upon scientists is tliatthey shall not, in entire ignorance and contempt ofthe evidence, sanction and encourage the public pre-judice bytheir authority.*But even this claim can-not be preferred with confidence. Since the Councilof the Royal Society refused,by its rejection of JIr.Crookess paper, *On the Experimental Investigationof anew Force," to be informed of the evidence, itmust be considered that the Fellows of that distin-guished body do, in general, dispose of the questionon a priori grounds, and hold that no quantity or For example, by(lcscril)inp; Spiritualism as "a kiudof intellectualwhoredom." Irofcssor Tyndall. 23. TRANSLATORS PREFACE.XXVUquality of Iniinan testimony can suffice to establishfacts of this description, orevenii prima facie case infavour of them.Sofar as this peremptory rejectionappeals to the principle of incredulity expounded inHumes celebrated Essay onMiracles,it shows an utterignorance of the reasoning by which that monstrousfallacy, and the contradictions in whichits authorinvolvedhimself,have beenrepeatedly exposed.This has never been better done than in the intro-duction to Mr. Alfred Eussel Wallaces book, entitled" Miracles and Modern Spiritualism."There is, how-ever, another propositioncommonly put forwardtodispose a iJriori of unacceptable testimony, substan-tially,but not logically,equivalent to Humes, andwhich embodies a fallacy no less demonstrable, thoughsowidely prevalentas to necessitateparticularexamination.This proposition is, that evidence, tocommand assent, should be proportional to the pro-bability or improbability of the fact to be proved.Two years ago the writer dealt with itat some lengthin a paper read before the Psychological Society,andwhich is reprinted in an Appendix at the end of thisvolume.* Inasmuchas the fallacy in question, andthe loose and inaccurate phrases, applied to the wholeclass of facts nowin evidence, are in the nature ofpreliminary objections to the testimony about to beadduced, the reader is urgently referred to that essay,which cannot be conveniently comprised within thelimits of a preface. * Appendix A."On the value of testimony in matters extraordinaiy." 24. -XXVlll TRANSLATORS PREFACE. Every opponent who recognises the oLligalion ofdealing seriously with evidence, whether by explicitlyohjocting toits admissibility, or by questioning its in-trinsic value, must be fairly and squarely encountered.To writers in the presswho nevermiss an oppor-tunity of discrediting Spiritualism, by derisive articleson the "exposures,"real orreputed,of mediums,and on the occasionalfollies of spiritualists, only al)assing word can be spared. To the present writer, atleast,so-calledSpiritualismrepresents no religiouscraze or sectarian belief, but an aggregation (not yetto be called a system) ofproven facts of incalculableimportance to scienceand speculation.Those whoso regard the subjectwould be unmoved intheirconvictions ofits truth and importance though itwere proved that every medium was a rogue, andthatmanyspiritualistswere their willingdupes.Muchof the evidence on which they rely has pro-ceeded on tljat very assumption, and on the precau-tions which wore accordingly taken,lii none ofitwhich is imparted to the public does the element ofpersonal confidence in the mediumenter in thesmallest deforce, thoufjh that feelinfr doubtless doesand must oftenexist, especially when the manifes-tations occur, as they often do, in private families,and with persons whose characters are beyond allsuspicion. As regards the medium, HenrySladc, with whomProfessor Zollners investigationswere carried on, allthe world knows, or didknowa few years ago, that he 25. TRANSLATORS PREFACE. XXIXwas convicted at Bow Street Police Court, under thefourth section of the Vagrant Act, of using " subtlecrafts and devices, by palmistry or otherwise," todeceive Professor E.Kay Lankester, F.R.S., and cer-tain others; that he was sentenced by Mr. Flowers,the magistrate, to three months imprisonment withhard labour;and that the conviction was afterwardsC[uashed on appeal to the Middlesex Sessions, for aformal error in the conviction, as returned totliatCourt. Professor Zollner gives the whole report of thevarious proceedings from beginning to end, at length,in his book, but it has not been thought necessaryto reproduceithere.Itmay be stated generallythat ProfessorLankester hadtwo sittins^swithSlade, at each ofwhich he believed himself to havedetected the modein which the writing was producedon theslate. Onthe second occasion he was accom-panied by a friend. Donkin, whose evidenceDr.agreed with his own.The modus operandi, accord-ing tothese gentlemen, was thisSlade took one of :hisownslates,and held it for a time, concealed fromthe view of his visitors, between himself and the table,before placingit" inposition," that is,pressedagainst the under surface of the corner of the table,forthepretended purpose of obtaining" Spirit-writing."During thisinterval the observers de-tected sounds as of writing,and observed motions ofSlades arm, suggestive that hewas employed in writ-ing on the slate, held, probably, between his legs.Asto other " messages," obtained while the slatewas 26. ZXXTRAXSLATOUS position, tluy supposed Slatlcto iudite them liymciius of a bit of pencil stuck in the nail of one ofhis fingers. At length, after hearing writi