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Journal Articles Journal of the Society for Psychical Research Year : 2020

Charles Richet and the emancipation of metapsychics


Whilst best known as a Nobel laureate physiologist, Charles Robert Richet (1850-1935) was also a pioneer of psychology and parapsychology. Beginning in 1875, Richet played a leading role in the academic and scientific integration of hypnosis, in the institutionalisation of both psychology and psychical research in France, and in the introduction of methodological innovations. This article synthesises the historical literature on his roles and contributions in the field of parapsychology or, as he called it, "metapsychics." This review examines his network, affiliations and institutional contributions; his contributions to what he considered to be the two sides of this discipline, subjective and objective metapsychics; his sceptical contributions; and also how he supported a kind of emancipation of metapsychics, after having struggled with most of his contemporary fellow psychologists' resistance to the integration of this research in the scientific domain. Although Richet is a major figure of French parapsychology, in part because of his high social and scientific status, he cannot be taken as representative of the research and opinions of all the other protagonists of that time.


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hal-02925507 , version 1 (29-08-2020)


  • HAL Id : hal-02925507 , version 1


Renaud Evrard. Charles Richet and the emancipation of metapsychics. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 2020, 84 (2), pp.93-109. ⟨hal-02925507⟩
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