Chapter

Fashions, Failures, Prospects

Paul Marshall

in Mystical Encounters with the Natural World

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780199279432
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603440 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199279438.003.0010
Fashions, Failures, Prospects

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Two general approaches to the explanation of extrovertive mystical experience have emerged as tenable, centred respectively on the intrapersonal psychological and biological factors of naturalistic science, and the transpersonal factors of religious and metaphysical thought. The contributions of religious and cultural context undoubtedly have a supporting role, but they do not appear to be fundamental. At present, it is not possible to decide between naturalistic or transpersonal explanation, but evidence from parapsychology, neuroscience, and physics may help to swing the matter one way or the other. The author favours explanation in which transpersonal factors are made fundamental, with intrapersonal, contextual, and collective factors given supporting roles.

Keywords: intellectual fashions; explanation; mysticism; parapsychology; neuroscience; physics; mind-body problem

Chapter.  3938 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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