What Psychedelics Reveal About the Nature of Consciousness


“Dr. Peter Sjostedt-H is something of a rockstar “philosopher of mind.” His specializations include the English “process” philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, the German Übermensch philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, and psychedelic drugs. An Anglo-Scandinavian based in Cornwall, England, Sjostedt-H took his PhD at the University of Exeter. Earlier this year, he delivered a TEDx Talk on the daunting subject of consciousness and psychedelics.

Kiran Sidhu asked him: Put simply, what is consciousness?

Dr. Peter Sjostedt-H: “Acquaintance without inference” might be the simplest way to put it. We infer that external events exist but we need not infer that consciousness exists, as it is that with which we are directly acquainted. This is the way Bertrand Russell understood it—but it leaves unanswered what such acquaintance is.

Within human consciousness we can distinguish various modes, such as sense perception, emotion, thought, imagination, memory, intentionality, alertness, etc. But even such prosaic human consciousness can be radically altered through chemical means, thus enabling a more comprehensive understanding of what consciousness is, what it can be…” Continue reading