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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 15.djvu/595

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THE

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY.

 

SEPTEMBER, 1879.


 

SPIRITUALISM AS A SCIENTIFIC QUESTION.
AN OPEN LETTER TO PROFESSOR HERMANN ULRICI, OF HALLE,
By Professor WILHELM WUNDT,
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF LEIPSIC.

TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN BY EDWIN D. MEAD.[1]

RESPECTED SIR: In the latest number of your “Zeitschrift für Philosophie und philosophische Kritik” I have read a paper from your valued pen, in which you embody a detailed discussion of the spiritualistic phenomena observed here in Leipsic in the presence of the American medium, Mr. Henry Slade. You remark that, according to your conviction, the reality of the facts attested by eminent men of science can no longer be doubted, and that the so-called spiritualism has thus become a scientific question of the highest importance. I should have no occasion to enter upon a discussion of this view of yours, except for the fact that in connection with references to certain of my colleagues in the course of your article, my own name is mentioned in a way which makes it desirable for me to remove every doubt, which you and your readers may have, as to my attitude toward the “scientific question” which you have raised.

You remark that there were present at the séances held with Mr. Slade in Leipsic, besides those scientific men who became convinced of the actuality of the spiritualistic phenomena, certain other members

  1. Translator's Note.—To most regular readers of "The Popular Science Monthly" this letter will be its own sufficient explanation, yet an introductory word may not be superfluous. Spiritualism in Germany, as in England, presents certain phenomena almost precisely opposite to what is seen in America. With us, while the belief has obtained a great popular following, affecting almost all classes of society, becoming a kind of religion as it were, it has not succeeded in making converts of really scientific men, numbering almost no eminent scholars in its ranks—being simply neglected, for the most part, by