based on his ignorance

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joel123

Senior Member
persian
Does "his" pronoun refer to Slade or not?

Professor Barrett wrote that Slade had a ready reply, based on his ignorance of when the writing did actually occur. He describes a very evidential sitting he had in which the slate rested on the table with his elbow resting on it. One of Slade's hands was held by him, and the fingers of the medium's other hand rested lightly on the surface of the slate. In this way writing occurred on the under surface of the slate. Professor Barrett further speaks of an eminent scientific friend who obtained writing on a clean slate when it was held entirely by him, both of the medium's hands being on the table.
from history of spiritualism
 
  • joel123

    Senior Member
    persian
    It would seem so, but it is ambiguous.
    the author afterwards says that:" In this way writing occurred on the under surface of the slate". i think it refers to Slade. i mean, he had a reply, but at the same time he was unaware of the time of writing. but still i am uncertain.
     

    lentulax

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Definitely Slade, in the context. Without the context, as usual, it would be impossible to say. [Slade, a spiritualist medium, is facing a charge of fraud; 'his ignorance....occur' is the basis of the obvious defence to the charge.]
     

    joel123

    Senior Member
    persian
    Definitely Slade, in the context. Without the context, as usual, it would be impossible to say. [Slade, a spiritualist medium, is facing a charge of fraud; 'his ignorance....occur' is the basis of the obvious defence to the charge.]
    i received the following answer from a different website. what do you think about that?

    In this case, the important information is that (i) The writer is a convinced believer in spiritualism (ii) Professor Barrett is a sceptic, (iii) Slade claimed to be a medium/spiritualist, and that (iv) Slade was prosecuted and convicted of fraud.
    Professor Barrett wrote that Slade had a ready reply, based on his ignorance of when the writing did actually occur. He (Professor Barrett) describes a very evidential sitting he (Professor Barrett) had in which the slate rested on the table with his (Professor Barrett's) elbow resting on it (the slate). One of Slade's hands was held by him (Professor Barrett) In this, Slade's claim is that the writing took place whilst Professor Barrett's elbow was resting on the slate.

    Professor Barrett's suggestion is that the writing was already on the slate - i.e. the timing of the writing was prior to the elbow being placed on it.
    Thus "Professor Barrett wrote that Slade had a ready reply, based on his (Professor Barrett's) ignorance of when the writing did actually occur."
     

    lentulax

    Senior Member
    UK English
    i received the following answer from a different website. what do you think about that?

    In this case, the important information is that (i) The writer is a convinced believer in spiritualism (ii) Professor Barrett is a sceptic
    I think the writer of that answer should read the original text more carefully. Professor Barrett was NOT a sceptic. Slade, a spiritualist medium, was prosecuted for fraud; a chap called Lankester initiated the prosecution and exposed Slade in a letter to the Times. Barrett, who had earlier been criticised himself by Lankester, came out in support of Slade. The text is absolutely unequivocal : 'Replying to Lankester's letter and supporting Slade were letters from Dr Alfred Russel Wallace, Professor Barrett, and others. Dr Wallace pointed out ... Professor Barrett wrote that Slade had a ready reply ...'
     
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