Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry 2025 - With a Special Symposium on Psychedelics

March 22, 2025 - March 23, 2025
Department of Philosophy, University of Utah

Salt Lake City 84112
United States

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  • University of Utah, Department of Psychiatry


University of Utah
Zachary Schwartz
University of Utah
University of Utah

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The Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry (AAPP) aims to promote discussion between the fields of philosophy and psychiatry.

AAPP invites abstracts for presentation on any philosophical issues relevant to psychiatry, or any psychiatric issues or experiences that are relevant to philosophy. Our aims for this conference are to bring together thinkers from many disciplines who are interested in the philosophy of psychiatry, while providing a forum for the presentation of exciting work on both emerging and well-recognized issues in these overlapping domains. Accordingly, submissions may consider philosophical issues raised by psychiatric research and clinical practice, or the implications of findings in psychiatry for established psychiatric problems. We welcome abstracts representing any subdiscipline of philosophy, including Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Science, Ethics, Moral Theory, Phenomenology, Philosophy of Technology, Feminist Philosophy, Social and Political Philosophy, provided that they touch on questions in psychiatry.  Psychiatric themes could address any issue in psychiatric education, research, diagnosis, or mental health care, provided that they have clear philosophical implications or demonstrate the importance of philosophical theory in psychiatric work. 

Special Symposium on Psychedelics

While we will accept meritorious papers on any topic in the philosophy of psychiatry, we will host a special symposium related to philosophical issues in psychedelic research and treatment.  Psychedelic substances include classic 5-HT2A receptor agonists such as psilocybin, DMT (ayahuasca), mescaline, and LSD, and in some classifications such agents as MDMA and ketamine. There is clearly increasing interest in the use of psychedelics for the treatment of psychiatric illness and for other purposes, such as promoting personal growth, increasing creativity, or delivering spiritual insight.  Research into the clinical applications of psychedelics is burgeoning; many states are legalizing or considering the legalization of psychedelic compounds for different purposes; multiple companies are developing pathways for the commercialization of psychedelics; and non-clinical use of psychedelics in the population is increasing. While welcome in some respects, these phenomena raise deep issues in the philosophy of psychiatry, encompassing such diverse domains as:

·    the phenomenology of psychedelic experiences

·    the epistemological effects of psychedelics

· the possibility of disentangling therapeutic benefit from psychedelic effects

·  issues of reparative justice and cultural appropriation with respect to communities’ traditional uses of psychedelics

·    whether the use of psychedelics should be medicalized

·    ethical guidelines for patient/participant screening

·   ethical guidelines for the use of therapeutic touch in psychedelic treatment

· the importance of therapists’ personal experience with psychedelics

·     the effect of psychedelics on motivation

We will consider abstracts addressing any of these issues as well as other philosophical issues related to psychedelic use. 

Submission Instructions:


Abstracts of no more than 500 words, prepared for anonymous review and saved as a PDF, should be sent to [email protected]. The submission will be confirmed by a returning email message.  Abstracts are due before 5pm Pacific Time on October 15, 2024. Notices of acceptance or rejection will be sent in January, 2025. Presentations will be strictly limited to 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes for discussion.

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