Pre ICPR Events

About

Pre ICPR Events

About

David Peña-Guzman, PhD

San Francisco State University

Speaker Bio

David M. Peña-Guzmán is associate professor of humanities at SF State. He specializes in animal studies, the history and philosophy of science, and theories of consciousness. He is the author of When Animals Dream: The Hidden World of Animal Consciousness, and co-author of Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosophers’ BriefHe is also co-host of the philosophy podcast Overthink

ICPR 2024 Abstract

The psychedelic animal

The "psychedelic renaissance" of the last fifteen years has upended many of our culture's assumptions about consciousness, including assumptions about the inherent dangers of mind-altering substances and about the epistemic and moral primacy of our "normal" (read: default) mode of experience. Scientists and philosophers are only now beginning to grapple with the full ramifications of our seemimgly natural drive to alter the parameters of our own experience. Yet, this drive to alter the mind is not unique to human beings. Many other animals consume psychoactive and psychedelics substances in their natural habitats and without any human influence. This suggests the existence of a biological impulse to play with one's own frame of experience. More than that, it might suggest that the minds of other animals--from dolphins to deer to cows--may be much more complex than we have imagined until now. In this presentation, I explore the depth of animal consciousness by exploring the nonhuman psychedelic experience. More specifically, I (a) present evidence that nonhuman animals exhibit a natural attraction to mind-altering compounds, (b) show that the ingestion of these substances produces cognitive, emotional, perceptual and even existential shifts similar to those we humans experience while "tripping," and (c) explain that the mere existence of psychedelic experiences among nonhuman critters requires us to rethink even more of our assumptions, especially assumptions about the presumed uniqueness and superiority of humans relative to the rest of the cosmos. 

© 2007-2024 ICPR by OPEN Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
© 2007-2024 ICPR by OPEN Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
© 2007-2024 ICPR by OPEN Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands