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  1. How Do Psychedelics Reduce Fear of Death?Chris Letheby - 2024 - Neuroethics 17 (2):1-12.
    Increasing evidence suggests that psychedelic experiences, undergone in controlled conditions, can have various durable psychological benefits. One such benefit is reductions in fear of death, which have been attested in both psychiatric patients and healthy people. This paper addresses the question: how, exactly, do psychedelic experiences reduce fear of death? It argues, against some prominent proposals, that they do so mainly by promoting non-physicalist metaphysical beliefs. This conclusion has implications for two broader debates: one about the mechanisms of psychedelic therapy, (...)
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  • Psychedelics and environmental virtues.Nin Kirkham & Chris Letheby - 2022 - Philosophical Psychology 1:1-25.
    The urgent need for solutions to critical environmental challenges is well attested, but often environmental problems are understood as fundamentally collective action problems. However, to solve to these problems, there is also a need to change individual behavior. Hence, there is a pressing need to inculcate in individuals the environmental virtues — virtues of character that relate to our environmental place in the world. We propose a way of meeting this need, by the judicious, safe, and controlled administration of “classic” (...)
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  • Self in Autism: A Predictive Perspective.Kelsey Perrykkad - 2021 - Dissertation, Monash University
    In this thesis, I investigated the self in autism using tools from philosophy and experimental cognitive science. Our self-representation shapes how we act in the world, and the feedback we receive in turn shapes how we represent ourselves. In the predictive processing framework I use, autism is characterised by differences in modelling or predicting the world under uncertainty which impacts both perception and action. Findings from the thesis show that individuals with more autistic traits are more prone to act early (...)
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  • The Technology of Awakening: Experiments in Zen Phenomenology.Brentyn Ramm - 2021 - Religions 12 (3):192.
    In this paper, I investigate the phenomenology of awakening in Chinese Zen Buddhism. In this tradition, to awaken is to ‘see your true nature’. In particular, the two aspects of awakening are: (1) seeing that the nature of one’s self or mind is empty or void and (2) an erasing of the usual (though merely apparent) boundary between subject and object. In the early Zen tradition, there are many references to awakening as chopping off your head, not having eyes, nose (...)
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  • Dissolving the self.George Deane - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (I):1-27.
    Psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin, LSD and DMT are known to induce powerful alterations in phenomenology. Perhaps of most philosophical and scientific interest is their capacity to disrupt and even “dissolve” one of the most primary features of normal experience: that of being a self. Such “peak” or “mystical” experiences are of increasing interest for their potentially transformative therapeutic value. While empirical research is underway, a theoretical conception of the mechanisms underpinning these experiences remains elusive. In the following paper, psychedelic-induced (...)
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  • Precise Worlds for Certain Minds: An Ecological Perspective on the Relational Self in Autism.Axel Constant, Jo Bervoets, Kristien Hens & Sander Van de Cruys - 2018 - Topoi:1-12.
    Autism Spectrum Condition presents a challenge to social and relational accounts of the self, precisely because it is broadly seen as a disorder impacting social relationships. Many influential theories argue that social deficits and impairments of the self are the core problems in ASC. Predictive processing approaches address these based on general purpose neurocognitive mechanisms that are expressed atypically. Here we use the High, Inflexible Precision of Prediction Errors in Autism approach in the context of cultural niche construction to explain (...)
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  • Precise Worlds for Certain Minds: An Ecological Perspective on the Relational Self in Autism.Axel Constant, Jo Bervoets, Kristien Hens & Sander Van de Cruys - 2020 - Topoi 39 (3):611-622.
    Autism Spectrum Condition presents a challenge to social and relational accounts of the self, precisely because it is broadly seen as a disorder impacting social relationships. Many influential theories argue that social deficits and impairments of the self are the core problems in ASC. Predictive processing approaches address these based on general purpose neurocognitive mechanisms that are expressed atypically. Here we use the High, Inflexible Precision of Prediction Errors in Autism approach in the context of cultural niche construction to explain (...)
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  • Serotonin, Predictive Processing and Psychedelics.Matteo Colombo - 2022 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 3.
    Letheby’s "Philosophy of Psychedelics" relies on Predictive Processing to try and find unifying explanations relevant to understanding how serotonergic psychedelics work in psychiatric therapy, what subjective experiences are associated with their use and whether such experiences are epistemically defective. But if Predictive Processing lacks genuinely explanatory unifying power, Letheby’s account of psychedelic therapy risks being unwarranted. In this commentary, I motivate this worry and sketch an alternative interpretation of psychedelic therapy within the Reinforcement Learning framework.
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  • When the Window Cracks: Transparency and the Fractured Self in Depersonalisation.Anna Ciaunica, Jane Charlton & Harry Farmer - 2020 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 20 (1):1-19.
    There has recently been a resurgence of philosophical and scientific interest in the foundations of self-consciousness, with particular focus on its altered, anomalous forms. This paper looks at the altered forms of self-awareness in Depersonalization Disorder (DPD), a condition in which people feel detached from their self, their body and the world (Derealisation). Building upon the phenomenological distinction between reflective and pre-reflective self-consciousness, we argue that DPD may alter thetransparencyof basic embodied forms of pre-reflective self-consciousness, as well as the capacity (...)
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  • Grief as self-model updating.J. M. Araya - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-20.
    Philosophical discussion tends to converge on the view that narratives are at the center of the emotion of grief. In this article, I expand on this kind of view. On the one hand, I argue that key strands of phenomenological and neuroscientific studies suggest that grief consists in a complex emotional process of disconfirmation-and-updating of the narrative self-model. By heuristically drawing on an analogy between binocular rivalry and grief, I show that certain salient aspects of the phenomenology of grief, such (...)
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  • The elephant and the blind: the experience of pure consciousness: philosophy, science, and 500+ experiential reports.Thomas Metzinger - 2024 - Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
    The Elephant and the Blind is a book about why we need a new culture of consciousness, and how to get it. A culture of consciousness (or Bewusstseinskultur) is a culture that values and cultivates the mental states of its members in an ethical and evidence-based way.
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  • Panpsychism and the First-Person Perspective: The Case for Panpsychist Idealism.Brentyn Ramm - 2021 - Mind and Matter 19 (1):75-106.
    In this paper, I argue for a version of panpsychist idealism on first-person experiential grounds. As things always appear in my field of consciousness, there is prima facie empirical support for idealism. Furthermore, by assuming that all things correspond to a conscious perspective or perspectives (i.e., panpsychism), realism about the world is arguably safeguarded without the need to appeal to God (as per Berkeley’s idealism). Panpsychist idealism also has a phenomenological advantage over traditional panpsychist views as it does not commit (...)
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  • Alienation and identification in addiction.Philip Gerrans - 2024 - Philosophical Psychology 37 (3):684-706.
    A recent strand in the philosophical literature on addiction emphasizes problems with diachronic self-control. Hanna Pickard, for example, argues that an important aspect of addiction consists in inability to identify with a non-addicted future self. This literature sits alongside another that treats addiction as the product of neural changes that “hijack” mechanisms of reward prediction, habit formation decision making and cognitive control. This hijacking literature originates in accounts that treat the neural changes characteristic of addiction as a brain disease. This (...)
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  • Perspectival self-consciousness and ego-dissolution.Miguel Angel Sebastian - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (I):1-27.
    It is often claimed that a minimal form of self-awareness is constitutive of our conscious experience. Some have considered that such a claim is plausible for our ordinary experiences but false when considered unrestrictedly on the basis of the empirical evidence from altered states. In this paper I want to reject such a reasoning. This requires, first, a proper understanding of a minimal form of self-awareness – one that makes it plausible that minimal self-awareness is part of our ordinary experiences. (...)
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  • Selfless Memories.Raphaël Millière & Albert Newen - 2024 - Erkenntnis 89 (3):897-918.
    Many authors claim that being conscious constitutively involves being self-conscious, or conscious of oneself. This claim appears to be threatened by reports of ‘selfless’ episodes, or conscious episodes lacking self-consciousness, recently described in a number of pathological and nonpathological conditions. However, the credibility of these reports has in turn been challenged on the following grounds: remembering and reporting a past conscious episode as an episode that one went through is only possible if one was conscious of oneself while undergoing it. (...)
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  • Selfless Memories.Raphaël Millière & Albert Newen - 2022 - Erkenntnis (3):0-22.
    Many authors claim that being conscious constitutively involves being self-conscious, or conscious of oneself. This claim appears to be threatened by reports of `selfless' episodes, or conscious episodes lacking self-consciousness, recently described in a number of pathological and nonpathological conditions. However, the credibility of these reports has in turn been challenged on the following grounds: remembering and reporting a past conscious episode as an episode that one went through is only possible if one was conscious of oneself while undergoing it. (...)
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  • Psychedelics, embodiment, and intersubjectivity.Kai River Blevins - 2023 - Journal of Psychedelic Studies 7 (S1):40-47.
    Background and aims Research into the social aspects of set and setting have demonstrated that race is a significant factor in psychedelic experiences for racially marginalized populations. Yet, many studies of psychedelic-induced experiences continue to proceed without collecting data on or considering the influence of race or other social categories. These approaches abstract subjectivity from its embodied and historical conditions, isolating consciousness in ways that do not accord with lived experience. -/- Methods This article draws on critical phenomenology, anthropology, and (...)
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  • Predictive Processing and the Varieties of Psychological Trauma.Sam Wilkinson, Guy Dodgson & Kevin Meares - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
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  • Toward a Mature Science of Consciousness.Wanja Wiese - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • A novel ego dissolution scale: A construct validation study.Fiona G. Sleight, Steven Jay Lynn, Richard E. Mattson & Charlie W. McDonald - 2023 - Consciousness and Cognition 109 (C):103474.
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  • Primary states of consciousness: A review of historical and contemporary developments. [REVIEW]Felix Schoeller - 2023 - Consciousness and Cognition 113 (C):103536.
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  • Psychedelics, Meditation, and Self-Consciousness.Raphaël Millière, Robin L. Carhart-Harris, Leor Roseman, Fynn-Mathis Trautwein & Aviva Berkovich-Ohana - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9:375105.
    In recent years, the scientific study of meditation and psychedelic drugs has seen remarkable developments. The increased focus on meditation in cognitive neuroscience has led to a cross-cultural classification of standard meditation styles validated by functional and structural neuroanatomical data. Meanwhile, the renaissance of psychedelic research has shed light on the neurophysiology of altered states of consciousness induced by classical psychedelics, such as psilocybin and LSD, whose effects are mainly mediated by agonism of serotonin receptors. Few attempts have been made (...)
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  • Looking for the Self: Phenomenology, Neurophysiology and Philosophical Significance of Drug-induced Ego Dissolution.Raphaël Millière - 2017 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 11:1-22.
    There is converging evidence that high doses of hallucinogenic drugs can produce significant alterations of self-experience, described as the dissolution of the sense of self and the loss of boundaries between self and world. This article discusses the relevance of this phenomenon, known as “drug-induced ego dissolution (DIED)”, for cognitive neuroscience, psychology and philosophy of mind. Data from self-report questionnaires suggest that three neuropharmacological classes of drugs can induce ego dissolution: classical psychedelics, dissociative anesthetics and agonists of the kappa opioid (...)
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  • The Experience of Being Oneself in Memory: Exploring Sense of Identity via Observer Memory.Ying-Tung Lin - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (2):405-422.
    Every episodic memory entails a sense of identity, which allows us to mentally travel through time. There is a special way by which the subject who is remembering comes into contact with the self that is embedded in the episodic simulation of memory: we can directly and robustly experience the protagonist in memory as ourselves. This paper explores what constitutes such experience in memory. On the face of it, the issue may seem trivial: of course, we are able to entertain (...)
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  • Attenuating oneself.Jakub Limanowski & Karl Friston - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (I):1-16.
    In this paper, we address reports of “selfless” experiences from the perspective of active inference and predictive processing. Our argument builds upon grounding self-modelling in active inference as action planning and precision control within deep generative models – thus establishing a link between computational mechanisms and phenomenal selfhood. We propose that “selfless” experiences can be interpreted as cases in which normally congruent processes of computational and phenomenal self-modelling diverge in an otherwise conscious system. We discuss two potential mechanisms – within (...)
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  • Naturalistic Entheogenics.Chris Letheby - 2022 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 3.
    In this précis I summarise the main ideas of my book Philosophy of Psychedelics. The book discusses philosophical issues arising from the therapeutic use of “classic” psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin and LSD. The book is organised around what I call the Comforting Delusion Objection to psychedelic therapy: the concern that this novel and promising treatment relies essentially on the induction of non-naturalistic metaphysical beliefs, rendering it epistemically objectionable. I begin the précis by summarizing material from chapters two and three (...)
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  • Positive Affect and Letheby's Naturalization of Psychedelic Therapy.Sarah Hoffman - 2022 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 3.
    Letheby’s naturalistic theory of psychedelic therapy argues that the therapeutic power of psychedelics lies in their ability to allow individuals “to discover the contingency, mutability and simulatory nature of their own sense of identity and habitual modes of attention.” The general shape of this project is persuasive; it is hard to see how the claim that successful therapy must involve changes to the self could be objected to, and Letheby sketches a consistent, if speculative, picture of psychedelic experience. But the (...)
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  • Pain Asymbolia as Depersonalization for Pain Experience. An Interoceptive Active Inference Account.Philip Gerrans - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
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  • Cotard syndrome, self-awareness, and I-concepts.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (1):1-20.
    Various psychopathologies of self-awareness, such as somatoparaphrenia and thought insertion in schizophrenia, might seem to threaten the viability of the higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness since it requires a HOT about one’s own mental state to accompany every conscious state. The HOT theory of consciousness says that what makes a mental state a conscious mental state is that there is a HOT to the effect that “I am in mental state M.” I have argued in previous work that a (...)
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  • The rational role of the perceptual sense of reality.Paweł Gładziejewski - 2022 - Mind and Language 38 (4):1021-1040.
    Perceptual experience usually comes with “phenomenal force”, a strong sense that it reflects reality as it is. Some philosophers have argued that it is in virtue of possessing phenomenal force that perceptual experiences are able to non‐inferentially justify beliefs. In this article, I introduce an alternative, inferentialist take on the epistemic role of phenomenal force. Drawing on Bayesian modeling in cognitive science, I argue that the sense of reality that accompanies conscious vision can be viewed as epistemically appraisable in light (...)
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  • Un-debunking Ordinary Objects with the Help of Predictive Processing.Paweł Gładziejewski - 2023 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 74 (4):1047-1068.
    Debunking arguments aim to undermine common sense beliefs by showing that they are not explanatorily or causally linked to the entities they are purportedly about. Rarely are facts about the aetiology of common sense beliefs invoked for the opposite aim, that is, to support the reality of entities that furnish our manifest image of the world. Here I undertake this sort of un-debunking project. My focus is on the metaphysics of ordinary physical objects. I use the view of perception as (...)
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  • From Altered States to Metaphysics: The Epistemic Status of Psychedelic-induced Metaphysical Beliefs.Paweł Gładziejewski - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-23.
    Psychedelic substances elicit powerful, uncanny conscious experiences that are thought to possess therapeutic value. In those who undergo them, these altered states of consciousness often induce shifts in metaphysical beliefs about the fundamental structure of reality. The contents of those beliefs range from contentious to bizarre, especially when considered from the point of view of naturalism. Can chemically induced, radically altered states of consciousness provide reasons for or play some positive epistemic role with respect to metaphysical beliefs? In this paper, (...)
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  • Self, Me and I in the repertoire of spontaneously occurring altered states of Selfhood: eight neurophenomenological case study reports.Andrew And Alexander Fingelkurts & Tarja Kallio-Tamminen - 2022 - Cognitive Neurodynamics 16:255–282.
    This study investigates eight case reports of spontaneously emerging, brief episodes of vivid altered states of Selfhood (ASoSs) that occurred during mental exercise in six long-term meditators by using a neurophenomenological electroencephalography (EEG) approach. In agreement with the neurophenomenological methodology, first-person reports were used to identify such spontaneous ASoSs and to guide the neural analysis, which involved the estimation of three operational modules of the brain self-referential network (measured by EEG operational synchrony). The result of such analysis demonstrated that the (...)
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  • Psychedelic therapy for body dysmorphic disorder.Shevaugn Johnson & Chris Letheby - 2022 - Journal of Psychedelic Studies 6 (1):23-30.
    In this opinion piece we propose the investigation of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). BDD is a psychiatric disorder characterised by appearance-based preoccupations and accompanying compulsions. While safe and effective treatments for BDD exist, non-response and relapse rates remain high. Therefore, there is a need to investigate promising new treatment options for this highly debilitating condition. Preliminary evidence suggests safety, feasibility, and potential efficacy of psychedelic treatments in disorders that share similar psychopathological mechanisms with BDD. (...)
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  • Phenomenological approaches to self-consciousness.Shaun Gallagher & Dan Zahavi - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    On the phenomenological view, a minimal form of self-consciousness is a constant structural feature of conscious experience. Experience happens for the experiencing subject in an immediate way and as part of this immediacy, it is implicitly marked as my experience. For the phenomenologists, this immediate and first-personal givenness of experiential phenomena must be accounted for in terms of a pre-reflective self-consciousness. In the most basic sense of the term, selfconsciousness is not something that comes about the moment one attentively inspects (...)
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  • Is attention both necessary and sufficient for consciousness?Antonios Kaldas - 2019 - Dissertation, Macquarie University
    Is attention both necessary and sufficient for consciousness? Call this central question of this treatise, “Q.” We commonly have the experience of consciously paying attention to something, but is it possible to be conscious of something you are not attending to, or to attend to something of which you are not conscious? Where might we find examples of these? This treatise is a quest to find an answer to Q in two parts. Part I reviews the foundations upon which the (...)
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