David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Psychology 22 (2):187 – 204 (2009)
“Altered State of Consciousness” (ASC) has been defined as a changed overall pattern of conscious experience, or as the subjective feeling and explicit recognition that one's own subjective experience has changed. We argue that these traditional definitions fail to draw a clear line between altered and normal states of consciousness (NSC). We outline a new definition of ASC and argue that the proper way to understand the concept of ASC is to regard it as a representational notion: the alteration that has happened is not an alteration of consciousness (or subjective experience) per se, but an alteration in the informational or representational relationships between consciousness and the world. An altered state of consciousness is defined as a state in which the neurocognitive background mechanisms of consciousness have an increased tendency to produce misrepresentations such as hallucinations, delusions, and memory distortions. Paradigm examples of such generally misrepresentational, temporary, and reversible states are dreaming, psychotic episodes, psychedelic drug experiences, some epileptic seizures, and hypnosis in highly hypnotizable subjects. The representational definition of ASC should be applied in the theoretical and empirical studies of ASCs to unify and clarify the conceptual basis of ASC research.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Fred Dretske (1995). Naturalizing the Mind. MIT Press.
Ned Block (1995). On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness. Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Michael Tye (1995). Ten Problems of Consciousness: A Representational Theory of the Phenomenal Mind. MIT Press.
N. Block (2001). Paradox and Cross Purposes in Recent Work on Consciousness. Cognition 79 (1-2):197-219.
Citations of this work BETA
Vince Polito, Robyn Langdon & Jac Brown (2010). The Experience of Altered States of Consciousness in Shamanic Ritual: The Role of Pre-Existing Beliefs and Affective Factors. Consciousness and Cognition 19 (4):918--925.
Similar books and articles
A. Dietrich (2003). Functional Neuroanatomy of Altered States of Consciousness: The Transient Hypofrontality Hypothesis. Consciousness and Cognition 12 (2):231-256.
Neil Campbell Manson (2000). State Consciousness and Creature Consciousness: A Real Distinction. Philosophical Psychology 13 (3):405-410.
Charles T. Tart (2000). Investigating Altered States of Consciousness on Their Own Terms: State-Specific Sciences. In Max Velmans (ed.), Investigating Phenomenal Consciousness: New Methodologies and Maps. John Benjamins
John F. Kihlstrom (2005). Is Hypnosis an Altered State of Consciousness or What?: Comment. Contemporary Hypnosis 22 (1):34-38.
Geoffrey W. Dennis (2008). The Use of Water as a Medium for Altered States of Consciousness in Early Jewish Mysticism: A Cross-Disciplinary Analysis. Anthropology of Consciousness 19 (1):84-106.
Sakari Kallio & Antti Revonsuo (2003). Hypnotic Phenomena and Altered States of Consciousness: A Multilevel Framework of Description and Explanation. Contemporary Hypnosis 20 (3):111-164.
Claire M. Karam (2003). Rethinking Dissociation As an Altered State of Consciousness: An Exploration of Altered State Encounters in Imaginal Space and Beyond. Dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute
H. Sidky (2009). A Shaman's Cure: The Relationship Between Altered States of Consciousness and Shamanic Healing. Anthropology of Consciousness 20 (2):171-197.
Levente Móró (2010). Hallucinatory Altered States of Consciousness. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (2):241-252.
Added to index2010-05-07
Total downloads114 ( #36,676 of 1,937,259 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #292,091 of 1,937,259 )
How can I increase my downloads?