James H. Hyslop
|James H. Hyslop|
|Born||James Hervey Hyslop
August 18, 1854
Xenia, Ohio, US
|Died||June 17, 1920
Upper Montclair, New Jersey, US
|Occupation||Professor, philosopher, psychical researcher, parapsychologist, writer|
|Education||Wooster College, Ohio (B.A., 1877)
University of Leipzig (1882–84)
Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D., 1877)
|Subjects||Ethics, logic, psychics, mediumship, afterlife|
|Spouse(s)||Mary Hall Hyslop (nee Fry)|
|Children||George H. Hyslop
Mary Winifred Hyslop
Beatrice F. Hyslop
James Hervey Hyslop, Ph.D, LL.D, (August 18, 1854 – June 17, 1920) was a professor of ethics and logic at Columbia University, a psychologist, and a psychical researcher. From 1906 until his death he was the secretary-treasurer of the American Society for Psychical Research. He was one of the first American psychologists to connect psychology with psychic phenomena.
Education and academic career
He served as an instructor in Philosophy in Lake Forest University in Illinois during 1880–82 and 1884–85, as the head of Department of Philosophy in Smith College in Massachusetts during 1885–86, and as a faculty member in Bucknell University in Pennsylvania during 1888–89. From 1889–91 he worked as a tutor in philosophy, ethics and psychology. From 1891–95 he worked as an instructor in ethics and from 1895–1902 as the professor of logic and ethics in Columbia University.
During his years at Columbia University Hyslop wrote several textbooks, including Problems of Philosophy (1892), Elements of Ethics (1895), and Problems of Philosophy (1905), and also became deeply involved with psychical research.
Originally an agnostic and materialist, Hyslop's interest in psychic investigation increased after sessions with the Boston medium Leonora Piper, whom he first met as early as 1888. He believed that through her he had received messages from his father, his wife, and other members of his family, about which he reported in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research (London, 1901). He became an active member of the Society for Psychical Research and of its American branch, working closely with the secretary of the American group, Richard Hodgson, and with William James.
After retiring from his teaching post due to ill health, Hyslop founded the American Institute for Scientific Research in 1904 to stir interest and raise funds for psychical research. He had initially planned one section of it to be devoted to the study of abnormal psychology and another section to psychic research, believing, as he said, that "at certain points the two fields tend to merge and at others they are widely separated". However, the year following Richard Hodgson's death in 1905, the American Society for Psychical Research was dissolved. Hyslop revived ASPR as a section of his institute, and it soon absorbed and replaced the institute altogether.
Hyslop was the secretary-treasurer and director of the organization from 1907–1920. He assumed Hodgson's role as chief investigator of Leonora Piper's mediumship. He issued the first Journal in January 1907. He recruited both Hereward Carrington and Walter Franklin Prince to assist in the work.
Hyslop's first book on psychical research, Science and a Future Life, was published in 1905, and many more followed, including Enigmas of Psychic Research (1906), Borderland of Psychical Research (1906), Psychical Research and the Resurrection (1908), Psychical Research and Survival (1913), Life After Death (1918), and Contact with the Other World (1919). He wrote for the Journal and Proceedings of the ASPR and the SPR and for such publications as Mind, The Philosophical Review, and The Nation. He became convinced in the existence of afterlife.
"I regard the existence of discarnate spirits as scientifically proved and I no longer refer to the skeptic as having any right to speak on the subject. Any man who does not accept the existence of discarnate spirits and the proof of it is either ignorant or a moral coward. I give him short shrift, and do not propose any longer to argue with him on the supposition that he knows anything about the subject."—James H. Hyslop, Life After Death (1918)
Beginning in 1907, he worked with different mediums to investigate spirit possession and obsession. He made a deep study of multiple personalities and of obsession, and came to the conclusion that in many cases it could be attributed to spirit possession.
Personal life and family
Hyslop's twin sister died at birth and an older sister died a few years later; a younger brother and a sister both died of scarlet fever when Hyslop was ten. His parents were devout Presbyterians. As a youth he intended to enter the ministry as his parents expected, but while in college he went through a crisis of faith and became a materialist.
In 1891 he married Mary Fry Hall (1860–1900), an American woman who he had met while in Germany. A year after her death he suffered a nervous breakdown. They had one son, George H. Hyslop, and two daughters, Beatrice Fry Hyslop and Mary Winifred Hyslop.
For some time after his death his research assistant and longtime secretary, Gertrude O. Tubby, received what she believed were communications from Hyslop through many mediums in the United States, France and Britain. These messages, frequently containing apparent cross references to one another, were published in her collection entitled James H. Hyslop - X His Book (1929).
- The Elements of Logic: Theoretical and Practical (1892) (2009 reprint ISBN 1-115-80047-7)
- Hume's Treatise of Morals: And Selections from the Treatise of the Passions (1893) (2010 reprint ISBN 1-163-90299-3)
- Anomalies in Logic (1894)
- Freedom, Responsibility and Punishment (1894)
- The Elements of Ethics (1895)
- Elements of Psychology (1895) (2010 reprint ISBN 1-167-06373-2)
- Logic and Argument (1899) (2010 reprint ISBN 1-147-54700-9)
- Democracy: A Study of Government (1988) (2010 reprint ISBN 1-178-16951-0)
- Syllabus of Psychology (1989) (2005 reprint ISBN 1-4179-6252-6)
- The Wants of Psychical Research (1900)
- A Further Record of Observations of Certain Trance Phenomena (1901)
- The Ethics of the Greek Philosophers: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle (1903) (2010 reprint ISBN 1-176-46651-8)
- Problems of Philosophy: Or, Principles of Epistemology and Metaphysics (1905)
- Science and A Future Life (1905) (2005 reprint ISBN 1-4179-7235-1)
- The Mental State of The Dead: A Limitation to Psychical Research (1905)
- Enigmas of Psychic Research (1906) (2010 reprint ISBN 1-142-68324-9)
- Borderland of Psychical Research (1906) (2005 reprint ISBN 1-4179-7497-4)
- Psychical Research and the Resurrection (1908) (2005 reprint ISBN 1-4179-7498-2)
- A Record and Discussion of Mediumistic Experiments (1910)
- President G. Stanley Hall's and Dr. Amy E. Tanner's Studies in Spiritism (1911)
- Psychical Research and Survival (1913) (2006 reprint ISBN 1-4286-1248-3)
- The Thompson Case (1913)
- The Doris Case of Multiple Personality (1915–1917) (with Walter Franklin Prince)
- The Smead Case (1918)
- Poems, Original and Translations (1915) (2010 reprint ISBN 1-141-53838-5)
- Life After Death: Problems of the Future Life and Its Nature (1918) (2006 reprint ISBN 1-4254-8371-2)
- Contact with the Other World: The Latest Evidence as to Communication with the Dead (1919) (2010 reprint ISBN 1-161-39587-3)
- J. Gordon Melton, ed. (2001). "Hyslop, James Hervey". Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. Vol 1: A–L (Fifth ed.). Gale Research Inc. ISBN 0-8103-9488-X.
- Helene Pleasants (1964). Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology. Garret Publications.
- "DR. JAMES H. HYSLOP DIES OF BLOOD CLOT; Noted Psychologist and Author Expires at 66 in Montclair After Long Illness. EX-COLUMBIA PROFESSOR Called by Sir Oliver Lodge the Leader of Psychical Research in America.". The New York Times. Jun 18, 1920.
- Rosemary Ellen Guiley; Troy Taylor (2007). "Hyslop, James Hervey". The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits (Third ed.). Facts On File. ISBN 0-8160-6737-6.
- Raymond Buckland (2005). The Spirit Book: The Encyclopedia of Clairvoyance, Channelling, and Spirit Communication. Visible Ink Press. p. 195. ISBN 1-57859-172-4.
- Barbara Sicherman; Carol Hurd Green (1980). Notable American Women: The Modern Period: A Biographical Dictionary, Volume 4. Harvard University Press. p. 367. ISBN 0-674-62733-4.
- "DR. HYSLOP'S ESTATE SMALL; Will of Noted Psychologist offered for Probate Yesterday.". The New York Times. Jun 23, 1920.
- Gertrude O. Tubby and Weston D. Bailey, James H. Hyslop - X His Book: A Cross Reference Record (1929) (2006 reprint ISBN 1425483534)
- Anderson, Roger I. "The Life and Work of James H. Hyslop". The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 79 (April 1985): 167–204.
- Anderson, Roger I. "Autobiographical Fragment of James Hervey Hyslop". The Journal of Religion and Psychical Research 9 (April 1986): 81–92.
- Anderson, Roger I. "Autobiographical Fragment of James Hervey Hyslop Part III". The Journal of Religion and Psychical Research 9 (July 1986): 145–60.
- Berger, A. S. Lives and Letters in American Parapsychology: A Biographical History, 1850–1987. Jefferson, N.C.: Scarecrow Press, 1988.
- Rogo, D. Scott. The Infinite Boundary. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1987.
- James H. Hyslop's works in the Internet Archive
- James H. Hyslop's contributions in various journals
- Beatrice Fry Hyslop Correspondance at Mount Holyoke College