The course examines three different aspects of the relationship between science and the study of the paranormal. First, we discuss and define science as a social institution and the implications of science as a social institution. Second, we examine how the paranormal is studied scientifically. Studying in Edinburgh, Scotland, allows us to talk with some of the most active parapyschology researchers associated with the Koestler Parapyschology Unit, as well as to become familiar with the different methods used by these researchers. The Unit is part of the Department of Psychology which is located in the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. Finally, we conclude the course by examining issues raised by critics of parapyschological research and use our understanding of science to develop our own position concerning the issues they raise.
Edinburgh is capital of the ancient kingdom of Scotland. It is famed for its beauty, history, and hosting the world's largest annual salute to the Arts, the Edinburgh Festival. The city boasts dramatic views. Half its space is devoted to parkland and public space. Its center is divided between a medieval 'old' city and a 'new' Georgian city that dates from the 1700s. Edinburgh has been declared a World Heritage Site.
Abundant in nightlife, Edinburgh is close to the Scottish Highlands and Islands. The city is said to be one of the most haunted in Europe.
Edinburgh University is one of the foremost academic institutions in Europe. It was founded in 1583. Famous alumni include philosopher David Hume, novelists Walter Scott and Arthur Conan Doyle, and Charles Darwin. It currently has around 20,000 students.