Postgraduate Module Descriptor

PHLM013: Philosophy and Psychedelics

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.


NQF Level7
Credits15 ECTS Value7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module will run during term 1 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Peter Sjostedt-Hughes (Convenor)

Dr Christine Hauskeller (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


The renewed and increasingly intensified study of psychedelic substances over the past decade has suddenly presented us with a set of new, apparently positive pathways covering psychiatry, pharmacology, neuroscience, and so too global politics concerning prohibition and liberty, ideology generally, and thus ethics. Beyond practical medicalization and its wake, psychedelic substances and their associated phenomenology can be viewed through a multiplicity of perspectives, an overview that itself has implications for the whole cultural turn concerning these substances.


In this module we consider this multiplicity of perspectives and their implications, using the tools and insights that philosophy can provide. As well as the ethical considerations aforementioned, we shall look at the phenomenology and philosophy of mind of psychedelic experience, the aesthetics, the debate between perennial and contextual interpretations of experience, with concern to indigenous and historical epistemics. We shall also consider the relation of psychedelics to religion, ‘self’, mysticism, and classic metaphysics, as well as current clinical practices, nature connectedness and ecology, and the future of the psychedelic endeavour.

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