Part Two The Interviews

This chapter and the next five chapters – one for each sampling day – present annotated transcripts of our interviews with Melanie. We remind the reader of the context of the interviews. This was understood to be a private, personal exercise between Russ and <span class='Hi'>Eric</span> – the result of Russ saying to <span class='Hi'>Eric</span>, let’s you and I, who have publicly opposed positions, perform some sampling together and see what happens. Russ has long sampling experience, but perhaps he’s been “captured” by his own history; opening the process to a skeptical outsider might expose aspects of the procedure that he has overlooked. <span class='Hi'>Eric</span>, on the other hand, has a public role as a skeptic, but perhaps he has overstated that skepticism; confronting the concrete reality of another’s inner experience might alter his perspective. <span class='Hi'>Eric</span> can be said to be at a triple disadvantage in this situation: First, he’s “playing in Russ’s court” for the first time, while Russ has been performing interviews for decades. Second, the sampling interviews took place with Russ and Melanie together in Russ’ office and <span class='Hi'>Eric</span> participating by speakerphone from his office hundreds of miles away. Third, it was Russ who recruited Melanie, and therefore he had a (small) prior relationship with her. Apart from informing Melanie of the anticipated presence of a philosopher interested in exploring the method, the setup was standard DES procedure (for details, see Hurlburt and Heavey, 2006, and Hurlburt, 1990.
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