Article ID: CBB345353036

Julian Ochorowicz's experiments with Eusapia Palladino 1894: The temporality of mass media and the crisis of local credibility (2022)


Julian Ochorowicz (1850–1917) belonged to the first generation of psychologists who regarded this discipline as a scientific, positive endeavor. At the same time, he was a representative of psychic sciences, following a strictly positivist attitude to researching psychic phenomena. This article discusses the key event of his career, experiments with the famous medium Eusapia Palladino, in Warsaw, between late 1893 and early 1894. Ochorowicz's séances with Palladino attracted wide local and international attention and improved his standing as an internationally leading psychic researcher. In Warsaw, however, these experiments were fiercely controversial and, as a result, Ochorowicz was discredited and left the city. As I argue, this dissociation of credibilities was the outcome of a changing media landscape in the late nineteenth century. While Ochorowicz's strategy of boundary-work and asserting his credibility aimed at scholarly media, it proved fatal when facing intensive, daily coverage in the popular press.

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Authors & Contributors
Alvarado, Carlos S.
Evrard, Renaud
Wolffram, Heather
Bevis Beauvais
Pratte, Erika Annabelle
Lethen, Tim
History of the Human Sciences
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
History of Psychiatry
Ziran Kexueshi Yanjiu (Studies in the History of Natural Sciences)
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Science in Context
Springer International Publishing
University of Illinois Press
Cambridge University Press
Parapsychology; psychic phenomena
Occult sciences
Hypnosis and hypnotism
Palladino, Eusapia
Otero Acevedo, Manuel
Chiaia, Ercole
Rand, Rose
Ellwood, Charles Abram
Zilsel, Edgar
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century
18th century
United States
Great Britain
Vienna Circle

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