Posts Tagged ‘ Sonu Shamdasani ’

British Psychological Society History of the Psychological Disciplines Seminar Series

British Psychological Society History of the Psychological Disciplines Seminar Series

Friday 17th May

Dr. Fabio De Sio (Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf) and Dr. Chantal Marazia (Europa-Universität Viadrina)

“The Psychic Hans Effect. Experimental Animal psi from Karl Krall to the present.”

This paper explores the issue of animal psi experimentation in the twentieth century (ca. 1920s-1970s). The passage from what has been called the “anecdotal phase” of animal psychology to the experimental phase had a rather precise parallel in psi research. From sources of marvel and anecdotal evidence of paranormal phenomena, in the course of the twentieth century animals progressively became elements of a specific experimental setting. More specifically, rigorous animal experimentation was seen as a way of overcoming a number of problems and strictures deriving from the very nature of psi experiences.

Animals were seen as a source of “genuine” instances of psychic phenomena, unaltered by human culture and communication, as well as standardizable research material, allowing to overcome the scarcity and ephemerality of human cases. Nevertheless, the need to develop animal-specific paradigms raised as many problems as it was supposed to resolve. Making the animal (either in the wild or in the lab) the centre of experimental psychic research entailed the definition of a number of issues that were common to psychic research, animal psychology, physiology and zoology: the issue of animal subjectivity and individuality; that of the evolutionary stand of psychic powers (at what level of the evolutionary ladder were they supposed to belong, their correlation with the evolution of the nervous system, etc.); finally, that of the human-animal relation in the experimental setting (whether the process of bonding between animals and humans was to be considered part of the procedure or a source of confusion). By considering different examples of psi research on animals (both observational and experimental), we explore the ambiguous roles and meanings given to animals in experimental research.

Sponsored by the British Psychological Society. Open to the public.

Organiser: Professor Sonu Shamdasani (UCL)

Time: 6pm to 7.30 pm.

Location:

UCL Institute of the Americas, Room 105
51 Gordon Square
London WC1H

UCL Centre for the History of Psychological Disciplines Seminar Series

UCL Centre for the History of Psychological Disciplines Seminar Series* Sponsored by the British Psychological Society

 

Open to the public

Organiser: Professor Sonu Shamdasani (UCL)

*Tuesday 12th March*

Dr. Hereward Tilton (University of Exeter) – “The Path of the Serpent: Gnosis, Alchemy and the Esoteric Antecedents of Analytical Psychology”

C. G. Jung influentially asserted that the alchemical corpus constituted the missing link in an ‘uninterrupted intellectual chain’ leading from ancient Gnosticism to his own analytical psychology. Nevertheless, recent studies in the history of Western esotericism have problematised both Jung’s interpretation of alchemy and his historiography. Although certain doctrines and practices within the ancient Gnostic milieu can legitimately be considered distant precursors to analytical psychology, in this seminar we will discover that the chief conduit of their transmission to modernity was the Kabbalah in its Jewish, Christian and post-Christian occult incarnations. Particular attention will be directed to techniques for the attainment of heavenly ascent, conceived as a reversal of the cosmogony in the microcosm of the human body and depicted within Gnostic and Kabbalistic traditions — as in Indo-Tibetan Tantra — as ‘the path of the serpent’. Although it would be misleading to use the term ‘alchemy’ to describe what is essentially a species of theurgy, we will also explore the emergence of nineteenth-century Freemasonic and Theosophical notions of ‘spiritual alchemy’ from the Christian Cabalistic tradition of conceiving this heavenly ascent in alchemical terms. As I will argue, it is this alchemically conceived theurgy rather than alchemy /per se /that truly constitutes the ‘secret thread’ of esotericism leading to Jung’s work.

Location: UCL Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, Room 544,* 5th Floor, 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HB

Directions: From the main reception, go through the double doors at the back and turn left, walk the length of this corridor and at the very end turn left again – you will find yourself in front of the ‘West’ Lifts. Take these to 5th Floor. On exiting the lift, turn right through double doors and then left through single door, walk the length of this corridor pass through another door and then turn right – you will see a marble table ahead. Room 544 is straight ahead.

British Psychological Society History of the Psychological Disciplines Seminar Series

Sponsored by the British Psychological Society. Open to the public.

Organiser: Professor Sonu Shamdasani (UCL)

Tuesday 22nd January

Professor Saulo de Freitas Araujo (Universidade de Federal de Juiz de Fora, Brazil)

The Role of Philosophy in Wundtian Psychology: Towards a New Interpretation of Wundt’s Psychological Project

Despite the numerous and important contributions brought by Wundt scholarship in recent decades, some aspects of his work remain unclear and poorly understood. The aim of this talk is to explore one of these aspects, namely, the relationship between philosophy and psychology in Wundt’s thought. To this end, we shall discuss an important yet neglected moment in Wundtian psychology, which remains unexplained to date: why did Wundt abandon his early theory of the unconscious? According to the interpretation offered here, this can only be adequately explained by his intense philosophical studies in the period preceding the publication of the Grundzüge in 1874, especially in relation to Kant. Finally, we will point out some implications of this analysis to the general interpretation of Wundt’s psychological project.

Time: 6pm to 7.30pm

Location: UCL Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, Room 544,* 5th Floor, 1‑19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HB

Directions: From the main reception, go through the double doors at the back and turn left, walk the length of this corridor and at the very end turn left again ‑ you will find yourself in front of the ‘West’ Lifts. Take these to 5th Floor. On exiting the lift, turn right through double doors and then left through single door, walk the length of this corridor pass through another door and then turn right ‑ you will see a marble table ahead. Room 544 is straight ahead.

CfP: Psychical research in the history of medicine and the sciences (London, September 2012)

ucl

CALL FOR PAPERS:

PSYCHICAL RESEARCH IN THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE AND THE SCIENCES

14-15 SEPTEMBER 2012, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

Keynote speakers:
PROF. IVOR GRATTAN-GUINNESS
& PROF. SONU SHAMDASANI

The UCL Centre for the History of Psychological Disciplines invites original papers for a two-day conference on social, intellectual, epistemological and methodological aspects of psychical research and parapsychology in relation to orthodox medicine and the sciences in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Abstracts for 20-minutes papers should be around 300 words long and must be submitted by 15 June 2012.

We plan to publish a selection of papers in an edited volume.

For enquiries and abstract submissions, please e-mail a.sommer@ucl.ac.uk

Deadline for abstract submissions: 15 June 2012

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