Boirac was born in Guelma, Algeria. He became president of the University of Grenoble in 1898, and in 1902 president of Dijon University. A notable advocate for the universal language, Esperanto, he presided over its 1st Universal Congress (Boulogne-Sur-Mer, France, 7 August to 12 August 1905) and directed the Academy of Esperanto. He was one of the first to use the term "déjà vu", where it appeared in a letter to the editor of Revue philosophique in 1876, and subsequently in Boirac's book L'Avenir des Sciences Psychiques, where he also proposed the term "metagnomy" ("knowledge of things situated beyond those we can normally know") as a more precise description for what was, then, commonly known as clairvoyance. He was one of a group that conducted experiments on the Italian medium Eusapia Palladino. He also investigated animal magnetism, and various hypnotic phenomena such as the induction of sleep, "transposition of senses", "magnetic rapport", "exteriorisation of sensitiveness", "exteriorisation of motor nerve force" etc. Early three years have now elapsed since the publication of my ﬁrst work, The Law of Psychic Phenomena,” in which I formulated, tentatively, a working hypothesis for the systematic study and correlation of all psychic phenomena. Before venturing to publish that work, however, I had devoted many years to a patient and thorough investigation of the subject, with the View of ascertaining whether any psychic phenomenon had ever been observed and recorded that was inexplicable under the terms of my hypothesis. Not being able to ﬁnd a record of such a phenomenon, but ﬁnding, on the contrary, that every psychic fact furnished a fresh illustration of the correctness of my theory, I ventured upon its publication. Since then I have continued the search, aided by many able reviews and criticisms of my work, the result be ing that I have been unable to ﬁnd a fact or an argument that militates against the truth of the hypothesis then formulated. I have, therefore, felt justiﬁed in appearing before the public again, for the purpose of carrying to their legitimate conclusions some of the principles laid down in the law of Psychic Phenomena.
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