Crimes of Reason brings together expanded and updated versions of some of Braude's best previously published essays, along with new essays written specifically for this book. Although the essays deal with a variety of topics, they all hover around a set of interrelated general themes. These are: the poverty of mechanistic theories in the behavioral and life sciences, the nature of psychological explanation and (at least within the halls of the Academy) the unappreciated strategies required to understand behavior, the nature of dissociation, and the nature and limits of human abilities. Braude's targets include memory trace theory, inner-cause theories of human behavior generally, Sheldrake's theory of morphogenetic fields, widespread but simplistic views on the nature of human abilities, multiple personality and moral responsibility, the efficacy of prayer, and the shoddy tactics often used to discredit research on dissociation and parapsychology. Although the topics are often abstract and the issues deep, their treatment in this book is accessible, and the tone of the book is both light and occasionally combative.
Stephen E. Braude is an American philosopher and parapsychologist. He is a past president of the Parapsychological Association, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Scientific Exploration, and an Emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.