Philosophy and classic psychedelics: A review of some emerging themes

Journal of Psychedelic Studies (forthcoming)
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Serotonergic (or “classic”) psychedelics have struck many researchers as raising significant philosophical questions that, until recently, were largely unexplored by academic philosophers. This paper provides an overview of four emerging lines of research at the intersection of academic philosophy and psychedelic science that have gained considerable traction in the last decade: selfless consciousness, psychedelic epistemology, psychedelic ethics, and spiritual/religious naturalism. In this paper, we highlight philosophical questions concerning (i) psychedelics, self-consciousness, and phenomenal consciousness, (ii) the epistemic profile of the psychedelic experience; (iii) ethical concerns about the appropriate use of psychedelics; and (iv) whether spiritual or religious dimensions of psychedelic use are compatible with a naturalistic worldview.

Author Profiles

Chris Letheby
University of Western Australia
Jaipreet Mattu
University of Western Ontario


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