In Unruly Spirits, M. Brady Brower connects the study of seances, telepathy, telekinesis, materializations, and other parapsychic phenomena in modern France to an epistemological crisis that would eventually yield the French adoption of psychoanalysis. Skillfully navigating experiments conducted by nineteenth-century French psychical researchers, Brower situates the institutional development of psychical research at the intersection of popular faith and the emergent discipline of psychology. He reveals that, by acknowledging persistent doubt about the intentions of its participants, psychical research would result in the realization of a subjectivity that was essentially indeterminate and would thus clear the way for the French reception of psychoanalysis and the Freudian unconscious and its more comprehensive account of subjective uncertainty.
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Published October 4, 2010
by University of Illinois Press.
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