【Seminar】Chris Letheby_Psychedelics and knowledge how


Topic:Psychedelics and knowledge how
Speaker:Chris Letheby


“Recent evidence suggests that experiences induced by psychedelic drugs can lead to lasting psychological benefits. One philosophically provocative claim made by many psychedelic subjects is that such experiences can also have significant epistemic (knowledge-related) benefits. I will defend this claim, arguing that psychedelic experiences in controlled settings often lead (inter alia) to the acquisition of a kind of ‘ability knowledge’ or ‘knowledge how’. First-person reports hint at this idea, and these cohere with psychometric findings of increased ‘mindfulness-related capacities’ in the days and weeks following a psychedelic experience. I offer the following explanation of this phenomenon: by disrupting self-related cognitive processes, psychedelics can induce altered forms of self-awareness in which subjects attend to their own thoughts and feelings in distinctive and beneficial ways similar to those cultivated in mindfulness meditation. By undergoing such experiences, subjects can learn how to adopt this kind of attentional stance without pharmacological assistance.”