Psychedelic Philosophy: Aesthetics


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This class will consider whether the true and the good are together what we might term beautiful, or whether the beautiful - what things look/seem/feel/taste/touch like, aesthetics - is only the concern of surfaces. Could it go deeper than that? Why does beauty and ugliness just hit us, why does it bypass the rational faculty? Can we rationalise this at all? Does its instinctive and intuitive nature render it closer to ethics than metaphysics and epistemology. We will consider whether we can even talk about paintings, or whether paintings paint words at all. What is the relationship between word and image? Finally, we shall concern ourselves with George Steiner's work: does divinity quietly reside behind every act of creativity?

Psychedelic Philosophy is a discussion group for people with an interest in exploring the philosophical issues related to the use of psychedelics. It is a lively, fun space to engage with ideas, have our preconceptions challenged, and connect with others interested in questioning what IS, and what it MEANS.

Sessions run every few weeks and include a short presentation by a facilitator, followed by structured discussion activities. Preparatory reading will be provided for those who want to do it, but homework is always optional!

Who will be facilitating these sessions?

Lindsay Jordan is a senior lecturer at the University of the Arts London, where she teaches philosophy and theory of education. She is currently researching the purpose of universities, the role of psychoactive substances as educational tools, and moral enhancement. She won the student prize at Breaking Convention 2017 for a doctoral assignment on psychedelic enquiry (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRC2NLxokww), and spoke at Beyond Psychedelics 2018 on ‘What Are Psychedelics For?’ (https://slideslive.com/38908575/what-are-psychedelics-for).

Mark Juhan graduated in Theology & Religious Studies from Pembroke College, Oxford and has just completed a masters Religion and Society at St John’s, Durham. He has been a lay chaplain and is currently applying for a doctorate in psychedelic theology. He is interested in the relationship between drugs and culture, specifically the potential of augmenting religion with ritual entheogenesis. Mark has spoken at Breaking Convention 2017 on Christicisms of mystical thrill-seeking (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsTvknCgFHU) and at Beyond Psychedelics 2018 on a social study he has conducted (https://slideslive.com/38909222/the-dark-side-sociality-and-friendship-as-crucial-determining-factors).

► Please arrive early for a 7pm start

► It involves a bring-and-share supper: bring culinary goodies if you can.


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