Author(s)

Shaun SmithFollow

Date

9-2015

Department

Philosophical Studies

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair

Thomas Provenzola

Keywords

Mystical Consciousness, Mystical Experience, N, N-Dimethyltryptamine, Spiritual Experience, Theoneurology

Disciplines

Continental Philosophy | Epistemology | Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health | Philosophy | Philosophy of Mind | Philosophy of Science

Abstract

This thesis attempts to address the philosophical implications of the N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) research of Dr. Rick Strassman. Strassman concludes that the psychedelic properties of DMT represent a proper biological starting point for discussing spiritual and near-death experiences. My research attempts to incorporate philosophical elements from the philosophy of mind and philosophy of religion/mysticism to give an accurate account of some of the philosophical issues worth exploring for future research. One of the essential patterns in this thesis is to trace the research and conclusions of Strassman, compare them with the philosophical issues in the contemporary philosophy of mind and to address the problems of spiritual qualia and mystical experience. Part of the issue stems from understanding a theoneurological (brain mediated prophetic/spiritual communication) account for spiritual experiences within the framework of naturalism/supernaturalism philosophy. Here, I decipher the problems of qualitative distinctions amongst spiritual and nonspiritual experiences and how consciousness plays an essential role in this process.