Science and Magic in the Modern World : Psychological Perspectives on Living with the Supernatural book cover
1st Edition

Science and Magic in the Modern World
Psychological Perspectives on Living with the Supernatural

ISBN 9781138591455
Published September 25, 2018 by Routledge
234 Pages

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Book Description

Science and Magic in the Modern World is a unique text that explores the role of magical thinking in everyday life. It provides an excellent psychological look at the subconscious belief in magic in both popular culture and society, as well as experimental research that considers human consciousness as a derivative of belief in the supernatural, thus showing that our feelings, emotions, attitudes and other psychological processes follow the laws of magic.

This book synthesises the science of ‘natural’ phenomena and the magic of the ‘supernatural’ to present an interesting look at the juxtaposition of the inner and outer selves. Fusing research into psychological disorders, subconscious feelings, as well as the rising presence of artificial intelligence, this book demonstrates how an engagement with magical thinking can enhance one’s creativity and cognitive skills.

Science and Magic in the Modern World is an invaluable resource for those studying consciousness, as well as those looking at the effect of magical thinking on religion, politics, science and society.

Table of Contents


Introduction [1][2]

Part I. Magic in the Mind

Chapter 1. The Magic Crystal of Rene Magritte: Art as a Window in the Supernatural

Chapter 2. The Invisible reality: Consciousness as a Gaze in the Magical World

Chapter 3. The Barrier for Robots. Subjective Experience as a Magical Phenomenon

Part II. The Supernatural in Science and Religion

Chapter 4. Miracles in Law: Magical Underpinning of Physical Universe

Chapter 5. The Pull of Eternity: Hope for Immortality as the Belief in the


Chapter 6. Religion and the Belief in the Supernatural

Part III. Magical thinking in Politics, Economics and Education

Chapter 7. Under the Spell: The Case of Russia

Chapter 8. Watching the Impossible: Educational Effects of Magical Thinking

Chapter 9. Games with the Supernatural: Magical Reality in Everyday Life

Epilogue: Imagining the Unimaginable


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Eugene Subbotsky is Emeritus Reader in Psychology at the Lancaster University, UK


Eugene Subbotsky is one of the most forward-thinking intellectuals of our time. In this provocative and far-reaching text, he draws upon 40 years of research on magical thinking in both children and adults to develop his thesis: that magic and magical thinking are inseparable from our daily and worldly existence. He uses this thesis to explain concepts ranging from video game addiction to schizophrenia, from art history to advertising, and from placebo effects to suicide bombers. This book will cause readers to reconsider any notions that magic is but a fleeting childhood pastime. Professor Jacqueline D. Woolley, The University of Texas, USA

Eugene Subbotsky has written a thoroughly engaging and thought-provoking book on magic and the supernatural. He combines psychology, neuroscience and philosophy to demonstrate how magic, the supernatural and magical beliefs play a surprisingly important role in many unexpected areas of our lives. Science and Magic in the Modern World, challenges many popular misconceptions about magic, and it will transform your thoughts and beliefs about magic. This book deals with challenging and complex theoretical issues, but its style and writing make it a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience. Dr. Gustav Kuhn, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK