How does a “psychic reader” do what she does? Most of them tell us that they don’t know. This is a disarming admission, but if she doesn’t know how it works, then how does she know that the information she is relaying to us is based on reality, rather than a figment of her imagination?

If I don’t know where the information comes from, why should I take it seriously? It could be from an evil spirit who is trying to ruin my life. How does the reader know it’s good, if she doesn’t know how she obtained it? Say you find some pills in your pocket, and you didn’t know how they got there. Do you swallow them — figuring that, chances are, they’ll make you feel better? Would that not be unwise?

I just know, “sensitives” like to say. I can feel it. But any number of people have said this and been utterly mistaken, or lying. I hope you are not telling us, Ms. Reader, that it is your intuition that tells you that, in general, your intuition is reliable.

As Wittgenstein points out in On Certainty, to say that I know implies that there is a way to find out. If that verb means anything, it means that I can show you how you, too, can know. If you can’t do this, then you don’t know.

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