The Aesthetics of Psychedelics

23rd-24th March 2023 | International conference
University of Kent; Darwin Conference Suite

Conference programme here

In recent years, there has been what many experts are calling a ‘Psychedelic Renaissance’. Researchers have gradually been rediscovering and exploring the medical, psychological and spiritual potential of psychedelics. In philosophy, too, there is a rapidly growing interest in this subject. Contributions to the philosophical study of psychedelics have so far involved various subareas of philosophy, including philosophy of medicine, philosophy of psychiatry, philosophy of mind, cognitive science, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and phenomenology.
However, there has been virtually no scholarly work on the aesthetics of psychedelics. This is remarkable if one considers that (i) the psychedelic experience is so often described in aesthetic terms, (ii) music, lighting, and other aesthetic features often play a crucial role in the very setting of the experience, (iii) so much art has been directly inspired by psychedelics, and (iv) psychedelics have given rise to their own distinctive aesthetic.

The aim of this conference is to address this lacuna and to investigate the multifaceted relation between art, aesthetics, and psychedelics. In so doing our ambition is to forge a connection between philosophical aesthetics and other areas in which the philosophical study of psychedelics is pursued.

Invited speakers include:
Aderimi Artis (Assoc. Professor, University of Michigan)
Robert Dickins (Psychedelic Press)
Christine Hauskeller (Professor, University of Exeter)
Kristien Hens (Professor, University of Antwerp)
Chris Letheby (Lecturer, University of Western Australia)
Luis Eduardo Luna (Wasiwaska Research Centre)
Aidan Lyon (Assoc. Lecturer, University of Amsterdam)
William Rowlandson (University of Kent)
Dustin Stokes (Professor, University of Utah)
Natalia Washington (Assoc. Professor, University of Utah)

Places are limited for this event and registration is required. To register, please email with a short bio and concise statement of your interest in the study of psychedelics and/or aesthetics (no more than 150 words).
You will be notified of the outcome by March 15.