The Aesthetics of Narcissism and Failure in Bad Movies

Part of what makes bad movies (here I mean ‘so bad it’s good’ movies) appealing is the sincerity with which they are created. The directors sincerely believe that their choices, and the resulting film, are good, in a conventional sense, and artistically serious. We can contrast this intention and belief with the perspective of the…

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Soft Animism: Embracing the Aliveness of Nature Without Belief in Spirits

Soft animism is a term I use to refer to an acceptance of the animistic ethic, sensibility, and mode of perception but a rejection of the belief in spirits that reside in nature. Alternative terms for this position could include weak animism and naturalised animism (the latter emphasising that this is a form of animism…

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The Return of the Philosophy of Psychedelics (and Why It Matters)

The ‘psychedelic renaissance’ is typically framed in terms of the resurgence of scientific research into the effects of psychedelics, covering aspects like neuroscience, psychology, psychotherapy, and mental health. However, in recent years, we’ve also seen increasing interest in the psychedelic experience from a philosophical perspective.  The philosophy of psychedelics has a rich history. Yet there…

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Maxims to Aid Psychedelic Integration

One of the essential aspects of psychedelic integration, alongside making sense of the experience, is bringing the insights and lessons gleaned in the psychedelic state and incorporating them into one’s everyday life. But this is often challenging. Deeply meaningful insights can arise in an altered state spontaneously and effortlessly, and you may have a clear…

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Rational Explanations of Ecstatic Experiences Can Still Be Awe-Inspiring

I have previously written on the topic of naturalising mystical states (see here, here, and here), arguing that the phenomenological character of these experiences can fit into a naturalistic worldview, that is, the view that only the natural world exists, or the view which rejects the existence of supernatural realms, forces, laws, principles, and entities.…

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