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Tea room discussion[edit]

Note: the below discussion was moved from the Wiktionary:Tea room.

Psychokinesis is defined as "...movement..." and telekinesis as "...ability to move...". Which is right? Or are both right, so that each entry needs another sense?—msh210 21:48, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

I've always understood both words to have both meanings. Thryduulf 22:45, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I have always understood the two to be distinct, except I have never been able to apprehend the distinction. Hopefully we can now have this sorted out once and for all. __meco 14:50, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I assume that both words have the same range of meanings, but it seems very likely that some speakers (experts, as it were) maintain a distinction that we should mention. —RuakhTALK 15:05, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I was somewhat surprised to find that there is an attestable plural telekineses, which implies a countable sense. Some authors (possibly of the Gaia persuasion) seem to use telekinesis to refer to "action at a distance" apparently due to causes beyond our present understanding The Weather Makers. Perhaps gravity was once telekinesis in this sense. DCDuring TALK 15:44, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
The etymologies imply that the first is explicitly by mental powers, while the second is merely at a distance, by undetermined means. I don't know that they are conventionally used that way. Michael Z. 2008-12-17 16:29 z
Almost all of the usage of telekinesis (attested only from c. 1890) is basically synonymous with psychokinesis (attestable only from c. 1914) afaict, with mostly pedants like us making a distinction and preferring one over the other. The phrase [[w:Action at a distance {physics)]] had long before captured the more general physical sense, leaving "telekinesis" available to those who wanted to leave open the possible mechanism. At the time psychology was still almost as much the study of the "soul" as of the "mind", so debunking "psychokinesis" may have seemed more anti-religious than debunking "telekinesis". Even if this conjecture is supportable, I am not sure that it is worth expressing it in our definitions. DCDuring TALK 17:41, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm okay with that. Just FYI, NOAD differentiates the two with “by mental effort alone” and “at a distance by mental power or other nonphysical means”. Michael Z. 2008-12-17 20:25 z
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Rfv-senses. Looks like POV push.—msh210 21:47, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree. It looks like explanation for how the feat might be (or not be) accomplished, rather than defining what the word refers to. Real, fictitious, or used in fiction as if it were real, the essential meaning is the same. --EncycloPetey 21:57, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I also agree, all three senses are the same.--Dmol 11:02, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
The PoV push is unnecessary because the term is more often used in skeptical or humorous contexts. I didn't readily find any usage in a printed work by someone asserting its reality. We could use one such. The unchallenged definition is a bit restricted. I could imagine someone saying it is not thoughts, but some other kind of non-physical force, Qi, for eaxample, that is causative. DCDuring TALK 12:17, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
For me the second b.g.c. hit is The Complete Idiot's Guide to Communicating with Spirits, pages 187–8, which seems quite serious. Unless seriousness is in the eye of the beholder, in which case it's a joke. ;-) —RuakhTALK 12:34, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Oddly, that work didn't show up in the first five pages of an "all books" search, but showed up number two on the same search restricted to "limited preview and full view". Perfect neutral tone. DCDuring TALK 15:31, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Deleted. Equinox 23:46, 12 May 2009 (UTC)