Comments on Crabtree's "Hypnosis Reconsidered, Resituated, and Redefined"

Charles Tart

Abstract


I was very stimulated by Adam Crabtree’s article, and also a little embarrassed. I am always preaching to colleagues that you should be sensitive to the implicit and cultural assumptions you make, so how in the world could I have been so blithely ignorant of the cultural assumptions built into the process of defining hypnosis by biased lists of phenomena? I began reading extensively in the hypnosis literature as a young man, and by the time I was in my second year of college was quite well-informed about what was known at that time. I had seen many lists of hypnotic phenomena, and while intellectually I questioned the idea of “Authorities” in general—what young person doesn’t?—at that age I was still pretty accepting that the Authorities1 on hypnosis knew what they were talking about. I was aware that modern writers on hypnosis prejudicially left out any mention of the apparent parapsychological aspects of hypnosis, but I assumed they were otherwise accurate.


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