#129 | Suffused With Mind: Panpsychism, Psychedelics, & Philosophy w/ Peter Sjöstedt-H

In this episode, I speak with Anglo-Scandinavian philosopher of mind Peter Sjöstedt-H on psychedelics, panpsychism, and philosophy. Peter and I discuss the resurgence of interest in psychedelics in popular culture regarding the profound, and absolutely vital, therapeutic value these substances can provide for individuals suffering from trauma and addiction. The therapeutic value of these substances is only the "tip of the iceberg" when it comes to the value these substances hold for humanity’s philosophical exploration into the nature of the mind and mind's relationship with reality.

Peter elaborates on the inherent value psychedelics hold in rigorous philosophical explorations into the nature of the mind, and through the proper use of these substances, we can perceive through the severe limitations of the materialist worldview, or as Peter defines it, physicalism - “the thesis that everything is physical, or as contemporary philosophers sometimes put it, that everything supervenes on the physical.”* We discuss the validity of the philosophical concept panpsychism - “the view that mentality is fundamental and ubiquitous in the natural world”** - and that through the use of psychedelics, one can begin to understand that, in fact, the mind is fundamentally ubiquitous in all things. In order to develop a deeper understanding of consciousness, we need to apply a psychedelic approach to philosophical explorations of these subjects.

We also get into Peter’s influences research interests, in particular philosopher and mathematician Alfred North Whitehead’s “Philosophy of Organism,” and how psychedelic explorations into the work of Whitehead, as well as works of Plato, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Arthur Schopenhauer, can yield important insights into the subjects mentioned above. Overall, this is a wide-ranging conversation that covers a variety of subjects that relate to the psychedelic experience and the philosophy of mind.
Peter Sjöstedt-H is an Anglo-Scandinavian philosopher of mind with a focus on psychedelics, panpsychism, who specializes in the thought of Whitehead, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. Peter received a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a Master’s degree in Continental Philosophy from the University of Warwick, where he was awarded a first-class distinction for his dissertation on Kant and Schelling in relation to ‘intellectual intuition’. He subsequently became a Philosophy Lecturer in London for six years but is now engaged in his PhD at Exeter University where he also teaches philosophy modules and writing skills. Peter is the author of ‘Noumenautics’ - a collection of essays on metaphysics, meta-ethics, and psychedelics. Peter is also an inspiration behind the inhuman philosopher Marvel Superhero, Karnak.

*Source: https://stanford.io/2KvdTWl
** Source: https://stanford.io/2KjuwVA

Episode Notes:

- Learn more about Peter’s fascinating work - including his essays, interviews, and upcoming events - at his website: http://www.philosopher.eu

- Learn more and purchase Peter's book ‘Noumenautics’ - a collection of essays on metaphysics, meta-ethics, and psychedelics - at the Psychedelic Press website: http://bit.ly/2MKHwAy

- Follow Peter’s Facebook page ‘Ontologistics’ here: https://www.facebook.com/ontologistics

- Follow Peter on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PeterSjostedtH

- The song featured in this episode is “Where Is My Mind” by The Pixies from the album Surfer Rosa.

#92 | Spread Mind: Expanding Our View Of Consciousness w/ Riccardo Manzotti

Riccardo Manzotti is the author of "The Spread Mind: Why Consciousness and the World Are One." Riccardo teaches Psychology of Perception at IULM University, Milan (Italy), and has specialized in AI, artificial vision, perception, and the philosophy and science of consciousness. 

The discussion you will hear in this episode deals with a few different subjects brought up in Riccardo's work, namely what the "Spread Mind" hypothesis is,  and what its underlying premise means in regards to our understanding of what the "mind" really is, and how scientific exploration into the brain and neurological functioning will not lead to any answers regarding where our conscious experience comes from. Riccardo's new book "The Spread Mind" delves deeply into this fascinating subject and radically shifts our understanding of consciousness and points to another much needed and necessary way to frame our understanding of this subject.

"In The Spread Mind, Riccardo Manzotti convincingly argues that our bodies do not contain subjective experience. Yet consciousness is real, and, like any other real phenomenon, is physical. Where is it, then? Manzotti's radical hypothesis is that consciousness is one and the same as the physical world surrounding us.

Drawing on Einstein's theories of relativity, evidence about dreams and hallucination, and the geometry of light in perception, and using vivid, real-world examples to illustrate his ideas, Manzotti argues that consciousness is not a ''movie in the head.'' Experience is not in our head: it is the actual world we move in."

Episode Notes:

- Visit Riccardo's website to find out more about this work: http://www.consciousness.it

- Purchase "The Spread Mind: Why Consciousness and the World Are One" from the publisher's site: http://www.orbooks.com/catalog/the-spread-mind

- Or from Amazon (https://goo.gl/9yTmEH), or your local bookstore.

- Read Tim Parks and Riccardo's in-depth discussions on consciousness and the mind in The New York Review of Books: http://www.nybooks.com/contributors/riccardo-manzotti

- The song featured in this episode is "Come Down To Us" by Burial from the EP "Rival Dealer."

#73 | The UNABOMBER, Post-Tech Society & Metaphysics of Technology w/ David Skrbina

David Skrbina is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan where he teaches a course on the Philosophy of Technology, and is the author of "Panpsychism In The West" and "The Metaphysics of Technology." David has become well-known for being the so-called "pen-pal" of Theodore Kaczynski (a.k.a. The UNABOMBER), having communicated with Kaczynski for some time. David eventually published Kaczynski's anti-tech philosophy elaborated in his letters, essays, and his famous manifesto in the book "Technological Slavery: The Collected Writings of Theodore Kaczynski" published by Feral House.

In this episode, we discuss and critique the notion that "technological progress" is in and of itself inherently good and worthy of continuing. We need to step back and assess what our insatiable addiction to this form of progress is doing not only to our species, but our planet and all it's life forms as well.

Is a shiny techno-utopia just around the corner? We argue no, not so much.

Episode Notes:

- Opening reading of an excerpt from a "Letter to David Skrbina, September 18, 2004" from "Technological Slavery: The Collected Writings of Theodore Kaczynski"

- Find out more about "Technological Slavery: The Collected Writings of Theodore Kaczynski" here: feralhouse.com/technological-slavery

- Read Theodore Kaczynski's Manifesto "Industrial Society And It's Future": http://editions-hache.com/essais/pdf/kaczynski2.pdf

- "Panpsychism In The West" by David Skrbina: mitpress.mit.edu/books/panpsychism-west

- "The Metaphysics of Technology" by David Skrbina: routledge.com/The-Metaphysics-of-Technology/Skrbina/p/book/9781138240025

- Opening and closing tracks "Jorgy", "Bloop", and "Machines Pt. II" by Dabrye.