Sunday, March 19, 2017

Psychedelics and Popular Philosophy

I was perusing this reddit thread today and was rather disappointed by the philosophers mentioned. The two names that caught my attention were Alan Watts and Friedrich Nietzsche. While I have not read any of Watts' work, and though I am sure he has some interesting ideas, the fact that his very name connotes some sort of post-hippie, stoner culture is enough to make me lose my appetite. Philosophy should be about coming to terms with reality, not distancing oneself from it. Then again, I could ask the question of whether or not psychedelic drugs are capable of bringing one closer to reality, but that is a topic I'd rather not get into at the moment. And some people blame religious people for trying to escape reality...

As for Nietzsche, the opaque prose of Beyond Good and Evil is just not worth anybody's time, even though there are some interesting insights buried deep down. Most people understand Nietzsche as being a morally degenerate man - which he was - and so, I'm surprised that anyone could recommend the work of such a scoundrel.


  1. Never thought about the philosophy of psychedelics. It COULD work a little like personal revelatory knowledge, because it's an intimate view of reality caused by the relationship between the drug and the user. Accuracy would be accidental though...

  2. @Jay That's a very good point. A drug can only change what's in a person's head and not objective reality. On the other hand, a spiritual revelation, I take it, is both a subjective and objective experience.