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Appears in Collections:Literature and Languages Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Anna Kingsford and the Intuitive Science of Occultism
Author(s): Ferguson, Christine
Keywords: Anna Kingsford
women in medicine
feminist epistemology of science
Issue Date: 2022
Date Deposited: 15-Dec-2021
Citation: Ferguson C (2022) Anna Kingsford and the Intuitive Science of Occultism. Aries, 22 (1), pp. 114-135.
Abstract: Feminist, anti-vivisectionist, occultist, and one of the first British women to qualify as a medical doctor, Anna Kingsford remains notably absent from recent studies of Victorian science and spiritualism. Her efforts to synthesize occult and scientific worldviews have been side-lined by those of male contemporaries such as Oliver Lodge and Alfred Russel Wallace, ones whose professional status and gender coordinates more readily align with implicit assumptions about the kind of person for whom disenchantment posed an intellectual problem that might best be solved in the laboratory. My paper positions Kingsford at the very heart of the late Victorian project to accommodate scientific innovation and spiritual belief by tracing her attempts to forge an intuitive epistemology superior to what she viewed as the deeply suspect championship of objectivity. In doing so, it aims to expose and redress blind spots within recent esotericism studies-based approaches to the disenchantment debate.
DOI Link: 10.1163/15700593-02201006
Rights: © christine ferguson, 2021 This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license (
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