Monday, October 25, 2010

Skeptic North's "Guide to Magical Thinking" Series [highly recommended]

here, I cite from the very excellent Erik Davis penned Skeptic North series that will run with a new post each day of this week [see 001., below]:

"in my mind I’d formed a rough ontology that sorted all magical practices [...] in the first category, I put the sympathetic magic practices above.  In the second, I lumped everything that had to do with a life force or vital essence [vitalism...] in the third category was everything that posited some sort of internal or external super-intelligence [...yet] many practices fit in more than one of my categories [...e.g.] homeopathy, while generally identified as sympathetic magic, is often said to work by impacting a vital force [(that's what I was taught in ND school!)...and] some superficially similar practices have very different underlying mechanisms [...] animism is generally considered alongside theism as a religious belief, yet its spirits typically profess no intelligence, making them more akin to a vital energy than a god."

Note: I'm loving the material and the approach -- go there, read it,  gnaw at it, comment!
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