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Precognition ( Latin : before knowledge ) is the scientifically unproven ability to perceive or predict a future event or state of affairs. At the time of foresight is recognizing no rational knowledge available - the causality is repealed because the precognition time is prior to the event. In addition to telepathy and clairvoyance, precognition is regarded as extrasensory perception in parapsychology . Possible evidence for the existence of pre cognition are investigated in parapsychology. Historically, the method is known as fortune telling . Whether fortune tellers can actually predict future events has not been the subject of scientific discussion since the 18th century.

Explanatory approaches

Parapsychology conducts quantitative-statistical and qualitative experiments and researches spontaneous phenomena, to which the precognitive reports belong. In the 1980s, Hans Bender examined the "episodic material" in his Institute for Border Areas of Psychology and Mental Hygiene in Freiburg im Breisgau and allegedly found precognition in 39 percent of the cases.

The philosopher and physicist Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker said it made sense “to add to the two scientifically accessible modes of temporal modal logic, facticity and the possibility of adding a third mode that is still inaccessible to our science today, which is perhaps called 'time-bridging perceptibility' would. ”But a theory about this would have to go beyond facticity and possibility“ similarly to quantum theory about the basic concepts of classical physics ”, but it is not known.

For the Englishman Jon Taylor, precognitive contacts take place with thoughts about events, not with the events themselves. Parapsychological experiments on precognition were only successful if the test subjects had received “feedback”. He writes: “But since the feedback is given in the future , there has to be some kind of connection between the brain in the future and the brain in the present in order to evoke the clairvoyant ability. Since a 'brain-to-brain connection' is required anyway, it follows the logical interpretation that it is this connection that carries the target information and not the clairvoyant contact with the target event itself ”.

This hypothetical 'brain-to-brain connection' is also found in ethnic religions and philosophical teachings.


Hans Bender undertook precognition experiments with the actress Christine Mylius and the Dutch medium Gerard Croiset, with whom he carried out the so-called space experiment .

The experiments of Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) also belong in this area. This research group, led by Robert Jahn, called their method “Precognitive Remote Perception” (PRP). A target was randomly selected from a series of suggestions that the shielded receiver in the laboratory could not know. The agent or sender went to this place and observed and noted the surroundings, while at the same time the recipient verbally described his impressions or made a sketch. The evaluation was carried out by an independent juror according to a fixed key.

None of these or other experiments could confirm the phenomenon.

In his book Seven Experiments That Could Change the World (German: Seven Experiments That Could Change the World , both 1994), the biologist Rupert Sheldrake attempts before, which allegedly could see dogs over long distances when the owner of the Going home. This would be a special form of precognition insofar as the animals can recognize the arrival of the owner a long time in advance. The results of Sheldrake's experiments are hardly recognized in science.

See also


  • Hans Bender: Future visions, war prophecies, death experiences: Piper, Munich / Zurich 1986, ISBN 3-492-10246-8 .
  • Andreas Hergovich: Belief in psi. The psychology of paranormal phenomena. Bern 2000
  • Robert G. Jahn, Brenda J. Dunne: On the edges of the real. Zweiausendeins, Frankfurt am Main 1999, ISBN 3-86150-224-0 .
  • Martin Lambeck: Can paraphenomena be explained by quantum theory? With Walter von Lucadou's reply: Does quantum theory have to be supplemented by paraphenomena? In: Zeitschrift für Parapsychologie und Grenzgebiete der Psychologie, 39, No. 1/2, 1997, pp. 103–128.
  • Jon Taylor: A New Theory of ESP. In: Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 62, No. 851, pp. 293-302, April 1998
  • Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker : Structure of the physics. dtv, Munich 1988, ISBN 3-446-14142-1 .
  • Milan Rýzl : ASW training. Ariston, Munich 8th edition 1995, ISBN 978-3-7205-1105-6 .
  • Danah Zohar: Through the Time Barrier: Precognition and Modern Physics. David & Charles, 1983, ISBN 978-0-434-89740-7 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Werner F. Bonin: Lexicon of Parapsychology and its border areas . Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1981, Lemma Precognition.
  2. ^ Friedrich von Weizsäcker: Structure of physics. dtv, Munich 1988, p. 602.
  3. ^ Friedrich von Weizsäcker: Structure of physics. dtv, Munich 1988, p. 603.
  4. Taylor: A New Theory of ESP, p. 295. “But since the feedback is given in the future , then there must be some sort of link between the brain in the future and the brain in the present, in order to introduce the clairvoyant ability. Therefore, since a 'brain-to-brain-connection' is required anyway, the logical interpretation is that it is this connection which carries the target information, and not a clairvoyant contact with the target information itself. "