John Beloff

John Beloff

     STUDIED PHILOSOPHY and psychology at the University of London. He became Research Assistant at the University of Illinois in 1952, and Lecturer in Psychology at the Queen's University, Belfast the following year. In 1956 he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh. Here, acting as Supervisor, he has encouraged post-graduate studies in psychical research, and various promising parapsychologists have emerged.

Dr Beloff was elected President of the American-based International Parapsychological Association in 1972 and again for 1982, when he was to preside, at Trinity College, Cambridge, over the Centenary Conference of the Society for Psychical Research, concelebrated with the Silver jubilee of the Parapsychological Association.

Among his books are the trenchant The Existence of Mind (1962) and Psychological Sciences (1963). He edited New Directions in Parapsychology (1974) and has contributed to various symposia including Brain and Mind (1966), Astride the Two Cultures (1976), Parapsychology and Philosophy (1977) and an Encyclopaedia of Parapsychology (1978); and to many periodicals, among them Theoria to Theory, the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, and Encounter, as well as specialist parapsychological journals in Britain - including the Society's publications - Europe and the United States.

In his Presidential Address, published in SPR Proceedings in 1975, John Beloff surveyed the vast field of psychical phenomena, and the spectrum of belief in its observers from total sceptics to those who seek confirmation, from those who only trust in the results of laboratory work to the all too credulous. He suggested both that a multiplicity of view points should be encouraged and that in many cases judgment should be suspended. He also declared himself a dualist, convinced of the existence of both mind and body, and that paranormal phenomena 'make sense' only in the context of their interaction.

Source (with minor modifications): The Society for Psychical Research, 1882-1982: A History by Renée Haynes (1982, Macdonald & Co (Publishers) Ltd, London).



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