David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Religious Studies 20 (2):293 - 304 (1984)
Professor Wainwright's recent book is the first attempt at a systematic and rigorous assessment of mystical experience since the publication of W. T. Stace's influential Mysticism and Philosophy more than twenty years ago. It is also the first work in English during the period of the critical study of mystical experience inaugurated by Richard M. Bucke and William James at the beginning of this century to adequately formulate and extensively discuss the philosophical problems involved in assessing the cognitive value of mystical experience. Wainwright's conclusions are not unproblematic, but the publication of his work does provide an ideal opportunity for a review of the central problems associated with the assessment of mystical experience. In this paper, therefore, we wish to delineate and discuss the two major areas of difficulty, and to extend and amend some of Wainwright's suggestions in these areas
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