Zygon 50 (2):534-547 (2015)

Authors
Jianhui Li
Beijing Normal University
Abstract
From 1979 to 1999, a heated dispute over the science or pseudoscience of extraordinary power or extrasensory perception took place in China. During these two decades, many so-called “grandmasters” of ESP and Qigong emerged, and millions of people across the country studied with them; this was known as “Qigong Fever” or “ESP Fever.” The supporters of ESP argued that ESP existed, people could cultivate ESP through specific Qigong training, and ESP was a science; whereas the opponents of ESP denied all of these. Both sides of the dispute had many supporters. With the onset of Qigong Fever in China, some Qigong and ESP masters developed their Qigong organizations into Chinese-style religions. Qigong Fever ended when the religions were banned by the Chinese government. The rise of Qigong Fever demonstrated that basic questions about the boundaries between science and pseudoscience were not easy to answer. Different theoretical and practical consequences resulted from different answers to these questions
Keywords Qigong Fever  China  extraordinary power or extrasensory perception  science‐pseudoscience debate
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DOI 10.1111/zygo.12178
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Dialectics of Nature.Friedrich Engels & Institut Marksizma-Leninizma - 1940 - Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House.

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