Darwin-L Message Log 4:14 (December 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.

<4:14>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Mon Dec  6 22:45:46 1993

Date: Mon, 06 Dec 1993 23:52:16 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Introductions, and historical spiritualists
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

(Now that's a catchy subject header. :-)

Many thanks to Michael Kenny for his very interesting introduction.  Other
subscribers who haven't introduced themselves are most welcome to do so.
Right after the list began we had a large round of introductions, and it
was fascinating to see the range of interests represented here.  Anyone who
would like to glance through some of those early messages can retrieve the
September log file by sending the message

   GET DARWIN-L 9309

to listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu.  The file is quite large, and will be
sent to you as regular e-mail in several segments.

With regard to Michael's interesting palaetiological spiritualist, Andrew
Jackson Davis, it occurred to me to ask whether any of these people who
claimed to be communing with spirits did so specifically for the purpose of
historical inquiry.  My stereotype of these things is that the spirits were
supposed to predict the future, or some such thing; but were they ever used
to provide supposedly factual information about the past?  For example, did
any historians try to contact, say, the spirit of Julius Caesar in order to
ask him what his real reasons were for crossing the Rubicon?  Had he been
suspicious of Brutus before the assasination?  It is instructive to remember
that Alfred Russel Wallace was a proponent of spiritualism, though I know
very little about his views on the subject.  Perhaps Michael or one of our
historians could tell us more.

Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner

Robert J. O'Hara (darwin@iris.uncg.edu)
Center for Critical Inquiry and Department of Biology
100 Foust Building, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A.

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