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Extrasensory perception (ESP) is the most common term for a number of related claims, such as clairvoyance (knowledge of events other than by the senses), telekinesis (affecting events other than by the body), and precognition (knowledge of events before they happen). Although such claims go back many centuries, the modern period began with the founding of the (British) Society for Psychical Research in 1882. The founders were prominent intellectuals who were motivated to find evidence for phenomena that materialism could not explain, including life after death. Thus, much of the work in this area has a quasi-religious motivation. This entry describes the phenomena attributed to extrasensory perception and the controversy surrounding these phenomena.

The history of this area is one of repeated claims based on ...

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