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Phenomenology for Psychedelic Researchers: A Review of Current Methods & Practices

Alan Houot


Intellectuals qualified to investigate consciousness – namely, philosophers, especially phenomenologists – generally fall silent when it comes to chemically altered states. This paper familiarizes philosophers how phenomenology is currently being used or might be applied to investigate psychedelic-induced states, and primarily to inform psychedelic researchers of any field what available methods exist that can add greater subjective and phenomenological nuance to their research goals. Discussed methods range from first-person phenomenological reduction to various naturalized and applied phenomenology. Special attention is devoted to the neuro-phenomenology method for its ability to reveal new insights between quantitative and qualitative data, particularly regarding neurophysiological mechanisms related to first-person experiences. A chief aim for phenomenologists is to get as close as possible to the lived experience to discover its structures of consciousness; for this reason, phenomenology broadly speaking is a favorable attitude or method to advance understanding of visionary experiences.

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ISSN: 2153-8212