Thury, Marc (1822-1905)

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Thury, Marc (1822-1905)

Swiss psychical researcher, professor of physics and natural history at the University of Geneva, and a pioneer of investigations into telekinesis phenomena. In a small pamphlet Les Tables tournantes (1855) he reviewed Count de Gasparin 's experiments and detailed his own observations with a circle of private friends under test conditions. He was the first exponent of the theory of ectoplasm. He named the substance that he believed to be a link between the soul and body "psychode," and the force that manipulated it " ectenic force. " This force, he believed, was subject to the will power of the medium.

While De Gasparin repudiated Spiritism as absurd and contrary to moral truth, Thury contended that while "the known facts are not as yet sufficient for the demonstration of the spirit theory," yet "the absurdity of the belief in the intervention of spirits has not been scientifically demonstrated." He asserted that there may exist in this world wills other than those of man and the animals, wills capable of acting on matter.


Pleasants, Helene, ed. Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology. New York: Helix Press, 1964.

Thury, Marc. Les Tables tournantes. Geneva, 1855.