Skip to main content


Postgraduate Module Descriptor

PHLM014: Philosophy and Psychedelics

This module descriptor refers to the 2022/3 academic year.

Module Aims

This module aims to provide a critical, pluralistic understanding of psychedelic substance use past and present, as well as a deeper, focussed understanding of certain emerging concerns related to problems of the mind and of power relations. As such, pivotal issues in philosophy can be used and developed in this exponentially growing field, such as:— the relation of ‘mental health’ to metaphysical, phenomenological, and political analyses of the ‘self’. The unfathomable extent of consciousness, and thus the extention of aesthetics and the augmentation of the subject and object of philosophies of mind. Related thereto arise questions of cognitive liberty, indigenous epistemicide, environmentalism, and the potential of future theologies of mysticism.


Students will gain knowledge of this emerging field, and therewith new arenas in which philosophical knowledge can be fruitfully applied. Moreover, students will realize and benefit from the web of interconnections that psychedelic research allows philosophy to weave throughout cultural and social anthropology, political science, neuroscience, theology, in addition to psychology and psychiatry.


The assessments include different skills, including the presentation of texts, the presentation of your ideas in front of an audience. You will be guided to write one article-length essay on a theme of your choice from the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here - you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. demonstrate solid knowledge and understanding of multiple perspectives on psychedelic narratives.
2. demonstrate understanding of the problems of mind highlighted by psychedelic experience.
3. present your own analyses of the implications of theories on pressing debates of our time.
Discipline-Specific Skills4. demonstrate a high level of knowledge about psychedelic theories and their application
5. demonstrate sound knowledge of past and current debates in philosophic psychedelia.
Personal and Key Skills6. demonstrate capacity to conduct research independently
7. demonstrate aptitude for succinct oral presentations to groups
8. write reflective academic review and research essays