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Crimes of Reason

On Mind, Nature, and the Paranormal

Stephen E. Braude

Crimes of Reason brings together expanded and updated versions of some of Braude’s best previously published essays, along with new essays written specifically for this book. Although the essays deal with a variety of topics, they all hover around a set of interrelated general themes. These are: the poverty of mechanistic theories in the behavioral and life sciences, the nature of psychological explanation and (at least within the halls of the Academy) the unappreciated strategies required to understand behavior, the nature of dissociation, and the nature and limits of human abilities. Braude’s targets include memory trace theory, inner-cause theories of human behavior generally, Sheldrake’s theory of morphogenetic fields, widespread but simplistic views on the nature of human abilities, multiple personality and moral responsibility, the efficacy of prayer, and the shoddy tactics often used to discredit research on dissociation and parapsychology. Although the topics are often abstract and the issues deep, their treatment in this book is accessible, and the tone of the book is both light and occasionally combative.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 234Size: 6 x 8 3/4
978-1-4422-3575-5 • Hardback • July 2014 • $74.00 • (£49.95)
978-1-4422-7590-4 • Paperback • July 2016 • $35.00 • (£23.95)
978-1-4422-3576-2 • eBook • July 2014 • $34.99 • (£23.95)
Stephen E. Braude is an American philosopher and parapsychologist. He is a past president of the Parapsychological Association, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Scientific Exploration, and an Emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.


1 Memory Without a Trace
2 Radical Provincialism in the Life Sciences: A Review of Rupert Sheldrake's
A New Science of Life
3 In Defense of Folk Psychology: Inner Causes vs Action Spaces
4 The Creativity of Dissociation
5 Multiple Personality and Moral Responsibility
6 Parapsychology and the Nature of Abilities
7 Some Thoughts on Parapsychology and Religion
8 Credibility Under Fire: Advice to the Academically Marginalized

Crimes of Reason is another excellent philosophical contribution to psychical research. The book consists of a collection of 'expanded and updated versions of previously published essays', and the resulting volume is well worth reading. . . .Braude’s book is excellent. . . .I highly recommend this book for all people interested in psi phenomena.
Journal of the Society for Psychical Research

Braude writes with a clarity and subtlety . . . His examples are great (and copious and often funny), and he’s not one to hold punches. He is subtle in his analysis but blunt in his views. Braude’s conclusions often don’t conform to those of many in parapsychology, but he offers his arguments and conclusions straightforwardly and, like any good academic, urges us all to engage in the discussion . . . This book offers a nice overview of some of his important work over the past several decades; it’s a fitting dessert for a grand meal. Now we’ll wait and see if he offers us sherry and cigars.
Journal Of Parapsychology

Each essay is a unique contribution in itself. . . .Braude’s commentaries are at a high level of professional philosophical analysis. . . .Braude writes with an eye toward clarity, gives many examples which increase understandability, and at times provides delightful humor based on his own life experiences. . . .I hope that I have shown the depth of the waters which Braude has stirred up by his penetrating analyses, and encouraged others to follow yet other paths through the essays in this book.
Journal of Scientific Exploration

Braude covers diverse ground in this collection. . . .This is a collection of previously published essays . . . that deserve to be read by a broader audience of paranormal enthusiasts and researchers. . . .The book comprises useful ideas to advance the work of parapsychologists as well as humanities scholars looking to collaborate with the sciences.
Fortean Times

Without a doubt, Braude remains one of the most serious and knowledgeable philosophers in this area. His approach to the evidence is one of even-handedness in an otherwise hostile sea of shouting denouncement (from so-called skeptics) or insufficiently critical theorizing (by proponents of psi phenomena). Braude's latest is a compilation of expanded and updated earlier essays along with some new entries spanning various topics which are unified by the fact that they all have some bearing upon or relevance to research in parapsychology. . . .This book is of great value not only because it provides several impressive challenges to dominant models of mind but also because Braude is self-critical with respect to his major field of interest. It will be a rewarding read for anyone with a sincere interest in the topics covered.
Metapsychology Online Reviews

Stephen Braude is a professional philosopher and well-established author both of books and articles who is particularly noted for two things. One is for his work in certain Borderland areas in which topics within philosophy, psychology, parapsychology and psychiatry meet, overlap and interact (or should interact). Some of these are topics at which high-and-dry practitioners in the areas concerned are prone to sniff and turn up their noses. But equally it must be said that if Braude’s views are correct – and they are certainly cogently argued – these topics are potentially of considerable and wide-ranging importance, and the sniffers are narrow-minded and misguided. The other is for the clarity and pithiness of expression with which he handles abstruse and difficult issues. He has a gift for analogies, often amusing ones, which cut through layers of nonsense (often pretentious nonsense loaded with jargon) and expose the nub of a question.
Alan Gauld, University of Nottingham