Article ID: CBB864926140

Pierre Janet and the Enchanted Boundary of Psychical Research (2018)


Among the founders of French psychology, Pierre Janet (1859–1947) is recognized for both his scientific and institutional roles. The psychology born at the turn of the 20th century was initially partly receptive to, but then engaged in, a battle with the “psychical marvelous,” and Janet was no exception. He was involved in the split between psychology and parapsychology (or “metapsychics” in France), developed at that time, playing several successive roles: the pioneer, the repentant, and the gatekeeper. At first, he was involved in so-called experimental parapsychology, but quickly chose not to engage directly in this kind of research any longer. Janet seemed to become embarrassed by his reputation as psychical researcher, so he increased his efforts to side with the more conventional thought of his time. Janet’s attitude, in this, is an example of how French nascent psychology has explored “marvelous phenomena” before recanting. Yet this aspect of Janet’s work has been rarely commented on by his followers. In this article, we describe the highlights of his epistemological journey. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved) (Source: journal abstract)

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Authors & Contributors
Plas, Régine
Stéphane Gumpper
Lachapelle, Sofie
Bacopoulos-Viau, Alexandra
Bevis Beauvais
Evrard, Renaud
History of the Human Sciences
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Revue d'Histoire des Sciences
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
History of Science
History of Psychiatry
University of Notre Dame
University of Illinois Press
Presses Universitaires de Rennes
Johns Hopkins University Press
Belles lettres
Parapsychology; psychic phenomena
Occult sciences
Discipline formation
Janet, Pierre
Binet, Alfred
Palladino, Eusapia
Ribot, Théodule Armand
Taine, Hippolyte
Richet, Charles Robert
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
United States
Great Britain

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