Alessio Bucci – Breaking Down Consciousness: A Conceptual Clarification Of “Altered States”
In this paper I explore some conceptual issues related to the notion of “altered states of consciousness”. This notion has been used extensively in the scientific and philosophical literature since the first attempts to define it (Ludwig, 1966). To establish whether a conscious state is altered or not is crucial for a taxonomy of consciousness (Jonkisz, 2012). A recent new wave of scientific studies about the effects of psychedelics on the brain and its ability to process information (Carhart Harris et al., 2014; Carhart Harris et al., 2016) has put pressure on current theories of consciousness to accommodate these results in a clearer picture. In this paper I discuss these studies through the lens of Predictive Processing (Clark, 2016) and Integrated Information Theory (Tononi, 2015) and, following Bayne et al. (2016), I suggest that there are reasons to understand consciousness as a continuum of states in a multidimensional space, revising our ontology of the mental.
Filmed at Breaking Convention 2017
4th International Conference on Psychedelic Consciousness
University of Greenwich London – June 30th – July 2nd 2017