Positive Affect and Letheby's Naturalization of Psychedelic Therapy


Psychedelic Therapy
MDMA Therapy
Positive Affect

How to Cite

Hoffman, S. (2022). Positive Affect and Letheby’s Naturalization of Psychedelic Therapy. Philosophy and the Mind Sciences, 3. https://doi.org/10.33735/phimisci.2022.9285


Letheby’s naturalistic theory of psychedelic therapy argues that the therapeutic power of psychedelics lies in their ability to allow individuals “to discover the contingency, mutability and simulatory nature of their own sense of identity and habitual modes of attention.” The general shape of this project is persuasive; it is hard to see how the claim that successful therapy must involve changes to the self could be objected to, and Letheby sketches a consistent, if speculative, picture of psychedelic experience. But the role of affect in psychedelic therapy is insufficiently explored by Letheby as a comparison to MDMA-assisted therapy indicates. This comparison further suggests that Letheby’s reliance on a particular conceptualization of ego dissolution experiences is in need of further explanation and justification.



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