Altered states and the study of consciousness: The case of ayahuasca

Journal of Mind and Behavior 24 (2):125-154 (2004)
This paper is part of a comprehensive research project whose aim is to study the phenomenology of the special state of mind induced by the psychoactive Amazonian potion ayahuasca. Here, I focus on those aspects of the ayahuasca experience that are related to basic features of the human consciousness. The effects of the potion are discussed in terms of a conceptual framework characterizing consciousness as a cognitive system defined by a set of parameters and the values that they take. In various theoretical contexts, these values have been assumed to be basic, paradigmatic properties of human consciousness. The phenomenological data pertaining to ayahuasca indicate that the features at hand can be modified. Following earlier suggestions by William James and Aldous Huxley, I conclude that any general theory of consciousness should be based not only on the study of so-called ordinary consciousness, but also on that of non-ordinary states
Keywords Consciousness  Metaphysics  Mind  Huxley, A  James
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,660
External links
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Benny Shanon (2010). The Epistemics of Ayahuasca Visions. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (2):263-280.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

26 ( #162,388 of 1,938,821 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

7 ( #84,040 of 1,938,821 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.