Philosophy of Religion

Chapter  5

Ghosts

 

The Quest after Ghosts

Ghosts are all around us: if we but have the eyes to see.

Is this so? Is it true?  What accounts for the current popularity of belief in ghosts and searching for them?

Can we trust reports of those who hunt for ghosts? Ghost Busters??  Ghost hunting television series

Can we trust these shows to present accurate information and careful study?

VIDEO: Penn and Teller  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diXHT8WDuMc

GHOST HUNTER HOAXES

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHYk2oVFp8o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es9w8oBSBw0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBBNupoyLro

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7HGvzUfYUg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pne3J6HXjYg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlM-Uy8ODYQ

Alternative Naturalistic Explanations of reports of encounters with ghosts:

Possible Psychological Phenomena in Experiences of Ghosts:

  • Misidentification

  • Psychology of atypical Perception

  • Depression

  • Dissociation

  • Attention deficit hyperactive disorder ADHD

  • Self Delusion

  • Hallucinations

  • Subjective biases

READINGS: offered through links to internet sites and some below

1. Matthew J Sharps, Eyewitness to the paranormal: The Experimental Psychology of the ‘Unexplained” Skeptical Inquirer 36(4):39-43

How accurate are observations of human beings?  How accurate when they are influenced by their motivations or surroundings?

VIDEOS:

How accurate are our memories?

VIDEOS:

How and why do people believe in what has little evidence to support it?

VIDEOS:

Psychology of Belief,, Part 1: Informational Influence http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1A9vrsw6Hw&feature=relmfu

Psychology of Belief, Part 2: Insufficient Justification  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkJc6c3nKMw&feature=relmfu

Psychology of Belief, Part 3: Confirmation Bias http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoCqftOYHX4&feature=fvwrel

Psychology of Belief, Part 4: Misinformation Effect  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJic51MeVaU&feature=related

Psychology of Belief, Part 5: Compliance Techniques http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1x19z5Jb_pg&feature=relmfu

Psychology of Belief, Part 6: Hallucinations http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwJsNTZFdcU&feature=relmfu

Psychology of Belief, Part 7: Projection http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCFLHGNc1wo&feature=relmfu

Psychology of Belief, Part 8: Need for Closure http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jHO-7aodbw&feature=relmfu

Psychology of Belief, Part 9: Agenticity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwP9QusSxfc&feature=relmfu

Psychology of Belief, Part 10: Summary and Conclusions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B09Lou1kv7M&feature=relmfu

 http://casualentropy.blogspot.com/2011/12/flow-chart-part-10.html

© Copyright Philip A. Pecorino 2013. All Rights reserved.

Web Surfer's Caveat: These are class notes, intended to comment on readings and amplify class discussion. They should be read as such. They are not intended for publication or general distribution.

Return to:                    Table of Contents for the Online Course Textbook