On Psychic Forces and Doubles: The Case of Albert de Rochas


In the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries psychical research literature there were many speculations to explain physical mediumship consisting of the projection of nervous and vital forces from the body. The purpose of this paper is to present an example of these ideas consisting on a translation of part of an article published by Albert de Rochas in 1897 in the Annales des Sciences Psychiques. The article was devoted to séances with Eusapia Palladino and de Rochas suggested the projection of forces to explain telekinesis and materializations, a concept also involving the idea of a fluidic double. The ideas are presented in the context of previous speculations, and of the life and work of its author. The point of the article is not to defend or criticize the validity of the concept, but to contribute to the history of these ideas by rescuing de Rochas from oblivion, which in turn shows as well French contributions to nineteenth Century psychical research.

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