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Nitrous Oxide

Decent Essays
After James began to consider the possible different explanations for the ambiguities that exist in human consciousness, he began to experiment with drugs, specifically nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is a chemical that is more commonly known at laughing gas that is used most commonly in dental offices and it is a substance that alters the conscious state of a person. In an article published in 1996 in the Atlantic, Dmitri Tymoczko explores the often unknown influence of Nitrous Oxide on the thought of James. Unbeknown to most people, James began to experiment with this drug while he was trying to uncover the secrets of human consciousness. In an article published by James anonymously in The Atlantic Monthly in 1874, James argued that “the secrets…show more content…
The supernatural movement was in full swing in the late nineteenth century, and James was not one to miss out on the movement. James conducted years and years of research on the super natural, but according to Carlos S Alvarado in his article, “William James”, some of James most important research were with mediums, and more specifically Leonora Piper (“William James”). After several years studying Leonora Piper, James came to the startling conclusion that,
If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black, you mustn’t seek to show that no crows are; it is enough if you prove one single crow to be white. My own white crow is Mrs. Piper. In the trances of this medium, I cannot resist the conviction that knowledge appears which she had never gained by ordinary waking use of her eyes ears and wits. (qtd. In alverado, “William
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The ASPR was founded in 1885 by a distinguished group of scholars one of which who was William James. Furthermore, many well-known and well-regarded scientists were a part of this society including both Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, both of which were interested in the human conscious and subconscious. According to their modern website, the original goal established by the ASPR was to “investigate hypnosis, dreams, the states of consciousness to telepathy, clairvoyance, recognition, psychokinesis, healing, and questions of survival after death” (“About the Society”). Basically, their goal was to study these ambiguous, out of the ordinary occurrence as to come up with a conclusion on their existence. James was an active member of the ASPR and after he was elected president he stated that he believed “we (the ASPR) have restored continuity to history. We have shown some reasonable basis for the most superstitious aberrations of the foretime. We have bridged the chasm, healed the hideous rift that science, taken in a certain narrow way, was shot into the human world’” ( qtd. In Alverado,“William
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