Gerd H. Hovelman

Gerd H. Hövelman is one of the small number of philosophers who have studied parapsychology. He has been actively involved in parapsychological research for about 40 years. He is a long-time member of the Parapsychological Association and served as its vice president from 2011 to 2014. He is also a member of the Society for Psychical Research and other relevant organizations, and he is the editor-in-chief of the (German) Zeitschrift für Anomalistik (Journal of Anomalistics) and one of the editors of the handbook Perspectives of Clinical Parapsychology. He is a native of Germany who studied the philosophy of science, linguistics, literature and psychology at Marburg University in Germany from 1977 to 1984. From 1978 to 1993, he did research in mostly government-sponsored projects on non-verbal communication, German dialect geography, evolutionary biology, proto-physics and the foundations of the natural sciences, cognition, manned space flight and other subjects. From 1984 to 1993 he was a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Philosophy at Marburg University. He speaks two languages and can read 10 languages.

Since 1980, Hövelmann has published some 150 scholarly articles (in six languages) in books and refereed journals in various areas, including the philosophy and history of science, the philosophy of language, linguistics, semiotics, cultural history, psychology, parapsychology, biology and space science.

After leaving university in 1993, Hövelmann was the founder, owner and managing director of several firms, including a public-relations agency, a translations office, an auction company and a retail company. He is active as a freelance writer with more than 1,150 popular articles (about. 18,000 manuscript pages) on matters other than science. As he sees it, parapsychology allows scientific and philosophical concepts and methods to be tested. What happens to those concepts and methods when we approach the edges of currently accepted scientific knowledge? Are they still valid? Can conventional science and philosophy solve unconventional problems and questions? He sees that parapsychology might well stimulate development and application of novel scientific procedures, which could benefit other scientific disciplines, as well. For him, parapsychology is an intellectual and methodological challenge more than a metaphysical or ideological one, with potentially many treasures lying unrecognized. Unlike, he assumes, many other members of the Parapsychological Association, he has never had any paranormal experience, except perhaps for what he now tends to reconstruct as an out-of-body experience in a life-threatening situation in early childhood.



  • M.A. Marburg University, philosophy and linguistics


  • Krippner, S., Hövelmann, G.H., Combs, A. (in press): The future of psi research: A dozen suggestions in retrospect. In: Thalbourne, M.A. & L. Storm (Eds.): Parapsychology in the 21st Century.
  • Berger, A.S., Hövelmann, G.H., Lucadou, W. von (1992): Spirit extras on video tape? The first field investigation. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 58: 153-164
  • Hövelmann, G.H. (1990): The versatility of metaphors. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13:383-384.
  • Hövelmane, G.H. (1988): Parapsychologists and skeptics – problem of identification. SRU Bulletin 13:125-132
  • Hövelmann, G.H. (1987): Max Dessoir and the origin of the word ‘parapsychology.’ Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 54:61-63

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