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Undergraduate Module Descriptor

PHL3117: Philosophy and Psychedelics

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

Module Aims

By considering the multifaceted aspects of psychedelics, we will bridge across the major subareas of philosophy ­Рexploring how they speak to one another and what we can understand about contested practices. [PB1] Contested in this case are the effects of psychedelic substance use on individuals and society, as well as the practices to regulate/prohibit their production. Adopting different philosophic perspectives on psychedelic substances, experiences, and discourses concerning knowledge and science, including current clinical trials, will provide you with insight into a very topical debate. Furthermore, it will provide you with an understanding of the ways in which philosophy organizes knowledge, and how this separation of areas fosters and hinders integrative understandings of phenomena in our lifeworld.

The focus on psychedelics allows teaching core philosophical themes in some depth and clarity about their interconnectedness, i.e. aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of cognition, cultures, and mind, but also philosophy of nature, ecology, and the philosophy of psychiatry and medicine more generally.

This module aims to teach you about a very hot topic in contemporary society and how philosophers engage with it. It invites you to partake in exciting discussions, preparing and giving a joint presentation and writing a substantive essay on a topic of your choice in this subject area.

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 comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the theories and texts (readings) for the course
2. Demonstrable understanding of the methodological and conceptual problems of a philosophy of psychedelics
Discipline-Specific Skills3. Demonstrate comprehensive understanding of the structure of the discipline and the interrelation between its subdisciplines
4. Demonstrate deep knowledge of the philosophical inquiry and dimensions of a specific topic
Personal and Key Skills5. Demonstrate ability to critically analyse and present texts, and discuss complex problems
6. Demonstrate excellent the ability to research independently and write a critical philosophical essay on a module theme.