Talk:Magic (paranormal)

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Question on lead[edit]

The way the first sentence is worded, it makes it sound like the article is endorsing the reality of paranormal magic. Is there any way to add a clause like, "according to certain belief systems, magic is the art of..." so that it doesn't sound like this sentence is tacitly endorsing the claims of pseudoscience?

This comment added with sig and time stamp to facilitate archiving. - - MrBill3 (talk) 16:28, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Archived Discussion[edit]

Discussions prior to the following have been archived. These discussions can be accessed via the archive box. GooferMan 23:01, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Archiving[edit]

I have split the existing archive to two pages and am setting up auto archiving. - - MrBill3 (talk) 16:28, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. There was so much to be archived, even at 180 days and older, that the robot split what again as Archives 3 and 4. A neater division would have been at 2010/2011 but this is what we have.
Archive contents
  1. sections evidently initiated 2003 to 2007, out of sequence
  2. sections evidently initiated 2005 to 2007
  3. initiated 2008–2010 plus Move? – long April/May 2011 discussion of a proposal to make this the main article "Magic"; rejected, so Magic remains a disambiguation page; closed May 2011
  4. initiated May 2011 and later; now almost empty
--P64 (talk) 19:18, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
I have set up auto archive indexing, as soon as the bot has run the word "Archives" on the archive box will link to an index of the archives. I also added the link to the move discussion notice template at the top of the page. If desired I can create a section with P64's contents list and mark it do not archive so it will remain on this page. - - MrBill3 (talk) 08:52, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

A lot of outright wrong and outdated information in this article[edit]

For example, the medieval sections states that Kabbalah speculation was the origin of medieval magic and the first grimoires in the 13th century. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I can only assume whoever wrote this is referring to outdated and no longer scholastically accepted theories surrounding Kabbalah as can be found in books like 'Ritual Magic' by Butler (this book itself is about 50-60 years old). Kabbalah had almost no impact on European Chrisitan Occultism till such thinkers as Pico and the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. The influx of Kabbalah (with its own Neoplatonic heritage) was one of the significant turning points in Renaissance magic.

Medieval magic can be divided into two main categories: image magic descending ultimately from the influx of Arabic texts in the 12 and 13th centuries such as the Picatrix (with this type of magic mostly being treated as a form of natural science); and ritual magic descending from the corruption of Christian liturgical practices and influenced by the "Testament of Solomon" (which is significantly different from and not related to the Kabbalah) and the Byzantine "Hygromantia".

For sources see Frank Klaassen, Sarah Iles Johnson, Gershom Scholem, Nicolas Weill-Parot.

This comment added with sig and time stamp to facilitate archiving. - - MrBill3 (talk) 16:48, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Magic is not real.[edit]

While I'm all for an article on the traditions and rituals associated with magic and a discussion how magic is practiced today, this article really needs to acknowledge that magic, as a paranormal phenomenon, does not exist. Currently, the opening paragraph insinuates that magic is a sort of discipline with actual, noticeable effects - this is untrue. If an outright disclaimer of falsehood is too much for some of you, then at least change things to "magic users believe that..." or similar wordings, as is the case for articles on religions. This is not an article on stage magic, which is an acknowledged illusion, and this is not an article on actual phenomena that were once thought to be magical in nature. If there are others out there who feel similarly, I would be delighted if you would help me find scientific articles on this subject, as that seems to be what is required for this to be acknowledged here.

Also, what is wrong with using James Randi's website as a source? It's not "self-published" - I certainly did not publish it myself, and James Randi is a world famous skeptic and psychic/magic debunker. The fact that his million dollar wager has not yet been won is further testament to my point.

Werothegreat (talk) 15:54, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

The Randi sources used were an unspecified part of an "encyclopedia" written by Gilles-Maurice de Schryver, to redundantly source the first sentence (its entry on "magic" is brief, and seems a little flippant), and the JREF page (which uses the word "magic" once, purely as one aspect of the "nonsense" that the JREF prize concerns itself with) to source that magic is "most often relegated to works of fiction, as there is no scientific evidence that magical rituals grant any supernatural powers to the practitioner", which isn't what the source says.
Saying that magic "utilizes ways of understanding, experiencing and influencing the world" rather than "attempts to understand, experience and influence the world" seems like a false summary of the article body, though, and I don't see any harm in giving a brief scientific context, so long as it's sourced. I've reverted User:Morgan Leigh's edits from earlier today, but have left out the Randi sources. --McGeddon (talk) 16:11, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Greetings, Firstly, to User:Werothegreat I'd like to say that your POV is showing. As you yourself have mentioned, you did a Google search and couldn't find a single source that said magic isn't 'real'. Perhaps this might be telling you something. While your remarks open up a whole window for a discussion about ontology, I will instead suggest that you seem to be proceeding from an opinion and trying to edit the article to suit. Please don't do that. There is a large repertoire of scholarly work about exactly this topic and I suggest we summarise and cite it instead. Entire civilizations have flourished for millennia based on the assumption that magic works. Are we to assume that Western society's current focus on materialism and empiricism is 'right' and they all 'wrong'? Or perhaps we can proceed to a more subtle understanding?
To User:McGeddon, This first paragraph certainly has issues. User:Smk65536 and I had been working on this recently but I had to go away for a bit and we agreed to wait until I got back to work on it. Now that I am returned we shall get right on it. The major problem, as I see it, with the first sentence is the citation. It is very unclear who is being sourced and from exactly where. This "Mauss, Tambiah, Malinowski (see below)" part of the citation is vague in the extreme and I have removed it as I am unable to ascertain to what exactly it refers. I shall go and get Hutton's book today and report back.
I suggest we work together to come up with a definition of magic for the lead sentence as this would be more useful than such a vague sentence as presently fills this space. This is however a problematic undertaking as most academics in this area understand the wide range of activities covered by the label magic and are loathe to make an explicit definition that attempts to cover all uses. Perhaps User:Fuzzypeg's section above might be a good starting point, although all the definitions he mentions are definitions of modern Western magic rather than magic as a phenomena across many times and cultures.Morgan Leigh | Talk 02:02, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Magic (this and that)[edit]

Magic (supernatural) redirects here. Offhand I guess that magic in fiction --where Magic (fantasy) redirects-- is more often the appropriate target.

Has anyone looked at current links to disambiguated Magic articles?

--P64 (talk) 17:24, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Magic (supernatural)[edit]

Only 13 WP:ARTICLEs currently target Magic (supernatural).
   Astrology ‎ 
   Francesco Scipione, marchese di Maffei 
   Papa Smurf  —targets both (paranormal) and (supernatural)
   True name—targets both (paranormal) and (supernatural)MaggSummer CountryConan the Adventurer (TV series) ‎
   Witchcraft in Anglo-Saxon England ‎ 
   The Rise of Magic in Early Medieval Europe 
   Indrajala ‎ 
‡   Somebody Else's Prince ‎
‡   The Tears of Princess Prunella
   Doktor Faust und Mephisto ‎

‡ Articles about literary fairy tale and fantasy where the fiction/fantasy target is more appropriate.

--P64 (talk) 18:20, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

What links here[edit]

More than 2000 pages do.

[There are numerous redirects to this article.]

  • magic (supernatural) [--via this redirect, 13 pages link here; it is little used, fortunately] --see the preceding subsection
  • magical --via this redirect more than 100 pages point here
  • magia [--via this redirect, 2 pages link here; it is barely used] --this seems appropriate. (We also have magia (disambiguation). Mage is itself a disambiguation page.)

This article magic (paranormal) concerns human practice. It is one in a series on Anthropology of Religion. On the other hand, magic (fantasy) redirects to magic in fiction. Where do myth and folklore lie between anthropology/religion and literature/fiction? There may be no easy answer; I doubt that the lead image of Circe belongs here.

However we handle difficult cases, for generalities such as 'magic (supernatural)' and 'magical' to redirect here ensures many inappropriate indirect links.

Furthermore it is useful that [[magic]]al and [[magical]] have the same target.

That is, it would be useful. To me it seems dangerous and silly that they do not. -P64

--P64 (talk) 17:09, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Isn't magic in fiction pretty much exclusively paranormal magic? Maybe it should be merged into magic (paranormal). If not merged, then it should arguably be considered a spinoff article of magic (paranormal), and therefore a less attractive target for these redirects. --Trovatore (talk) 19:24, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Some fiction does. Certainly historical fiction, probably occult and horror fiction. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, no; although Victor Frankenstein may have studied magic as well as science in modern terms. Some adaptations of the Frankenstein story, yes; "more a magician" than a scientist in the 1910 film, we say in the same article. The key word is not linked but I would be happy to link it to this article about the human practice of magic.
Fantasy, including fairy tale and fable, however, commonly features beings and objects that naturally differ from those we know. In talk about that, we often say that the laws of nature are different, but the writers don't say that in the story.
In the table above I did not flag Doktor Faust und Mephisto, our article on a 2013 novel. Nor would I flag a link here from Doctor Faustus (play) (but its only wikilink in the neighborhood is 'magicians' to witchcraft). Certainly there is much of interest to Anthropology and Religion in the Faust legend.
I am unhappy first with how I suppose links to these articles are used, but I have researched only the 13 links here via "magic (supernatural)". In User space this hour I have made some more general notes about the articles/redirects, let me say without promising rapid progress to any useful conclusion. --P64 (talk) 00:02, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Previous redirects to this page[edit]

The preceding section is now obsolete concerning WP:REDIRECTs.

Miscellaneous new targets

[--target articles named at left; redirects linked at right]

Only the redirects to Spell (paranormal) are now used in several articles. No articles now misuse the Spell disambiguation. We also have Incantation, where the Enchantment disambiguation directs in prose.

Magic disambiguation

[--these redirects now target the disambiguation page Magic]

Magical; Magically; Magic powers; Magical powers; Magic (supernatural)

Perhaps 150 articles previously linked here via these pages, mainly the first one. I revised all of those articles, about half to target magic (paranormal) directly and half to target magic in fiction. The experience confirmed that these redirects have been used ambiguously and I changed their targets to the Magic disambiguation. --P64 (talk) 19:50, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

For every one of those ~150 articles I provided an edit summary such as these:
I was not aware of Category:Paranormal in fiction, its main article, or its sub-main article Paranormal romance. And I am not yet familiar with them. --P64 (talk) 21:59, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
No change except perhaps to target a section
Contagious magic (1) --section #Principle of contagion
Magia (1) --now one link from Spanish-language text
Magic in the ancient world (1) --section #History
Magic (Paranormal) (1)
Magic (sorcery) (0)
Magical phrase (0) --section #Magical language
Magick (paranormal) (1)
Medieval magic (1) --section #History
Spell (ritual) (0) --one link from Portal:Judaism)
No change
Ritual magick (1)
Ritualistic magick (0)
Ritual magic (28)

The relation of Ritual magic to Magick, and by implication to this page, is under discussion at Talk: Magick. To wit, is another article needed, distinct from Magick and this one?

--P64 (talk) 19:50, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

For clarity I have inserted two notes in square brackets above. Parenthetical numerals report the number of articles(?) using the linked redirects at the time --after my flurrious rearrangement of magical links ;-)
The disambiguation Magic --the crucial new target of several redirects, as reported here-- was massively cut this week. Afterward I restored magic in fiction as the third primary disambiguant ;-)
disambiguation page history --P64 (talk) 22:02, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Magic in Islam[edit]

What is that written there?? totally unwikipedian! please someone read the first paragraph and tell me I am wrong — Preceding unsigned comment added by 193.23.163.142 (talk) 10:48, 4 April 2014 (UTC)