CFP: Philosophers on Drugs: Essays on the Metaphysics, Epistemology, and Ethics of Psychoactive Drug Use
Submission deadline: September 1, 2022
CFA: Philosophers on Drugs: Essays on the Metaphysics, Epistemology, and Ethics of Psychoactive Drug Use
Metaphysics, Epistemology, and Ethics
Abstracts are sought for an edited volume of essays on the metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics of psychoactive (mind-altering) substance use.
About the Editor
Rob Lovering is Professor of Philosophy at City University of New York - College of Staten Island. He is the author of A Moral Defense of Prostitution (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), A Moral Defense of Recreational Drug Use (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), God and Evidence: Problems for Theistic Philosophers (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), and numerous articles on topics in ethics and the philosophy of religion. For more information, see Professor Lovering’s PhilPeople page.
Send an abstract consisting of no more than 300 words to [email protected] (the subject of the email should read “Philosophers on Drugs”).
Upon receiving a sufficient number of suitable abstracts, the editor will notify those whose abstracts have been accepted and submit book proposals to leading philosophy publishers.
It is preferred that authors address one or more of the following topics, but submissions on topics not explicitly mentioned here are welcome as well.
With which theory on free will does the phenomenon of drug-induced mind-altering experiences and their impact on behavior comport best? Skepticism? Compatibilism? Libertarianism?
Can mind-altering drug use ever be performed freely?
What distinguishes cases of mind-altering drug use that negate one’s free will from cases of mind-altering drug use that do not negate one’s free will?
To what extent, if any, does drug addiction pose a special challenge to free will?
To what extent, if any, can the use of mind-altering drugs expand one’s capacity for exercising free will?
From the compatibilist perspective, what is it about mind-altering drugs’ impact on one’s minds that poses a special threat to free will that we don’t find with other possible deterministic causes of one’s behavior?
With which account of personal identity does the phenomenon of drug-induced mind-altering experiences comport best? The bodily account? The psychological account? The soul account? The embodied-mind account? Some other account?
Is it possible to destroy personal identity through one or more drug-induced mind-altering experiences? If so, how likely is this and in what kinds of circumstances is this likely to occur?
What does the phenomenon of drug-induced mind-altering experiences tell us about the nature of the mind?
Does the fact that nonhuman animals appear to enjoy ingesting certain naturally occurring substances that cause mind-altering experiences suggest that our minds are naturally geared towards seeking the kinds of mind-altering experiences offered by some drugs?
In what ways are drug-induced mind-altering experiences different from those that are not drug induced (e.g., mind-altering experiences induced by amusement-park rides, athletic activities, the arts, etc.)? In what ways are they the same?
To what extent, if any, do drug-induced mind-altering experiences enhance one’s self-awareness? To what extent do they inhibit one’s self-awareness?
To what extent, if any, do drug-induced mind-altering experiences interfere with one’s agency?
Are drug-induced mind-altering experiences unnatural, metaphysically speaking, in any way?
What kind of mind is required in order to enjoy a drug-induced mind-altering experience?
Can one learn to enjoy a drug-induced mind-altering experience? Must one learn to enjoy certain drug-induced mind-altering experiences, if they are to be enjoyed at all?
Analysis of Knowledge
What, if anything, does the phenomenon of drug-induced mind-altering experiences tell us about the nature of knowledge? Of justification? Of belief? Of truth? Of warrant?
What kinds of things, if any, can one know or be justified in believing while undergoing a drug-induced mind-altering experience? What kinds of things, if any, can’t one know or be justified in believing while doing so? Do the answers to these questions depend on the number or kind of drug-induced mind-altering experiences one has?
To what extent, if any, do drug-induced mind-altering experiences enhance self-understanding? To what extent do they inhibit self-understanding?
In what ways are drug-induced mind-altering experiences illusory? In what ways aren’t they illusory?
Which theory of justification most accurately represents how justification proceeds in the drug-induced altered mind? Foundationalism? Coherentism? Reliabilism? Some other theory?
Sources of Knowledge
Might a drug-induced mind-altering experience be required for certain kinds of knowledge? For certain objects of knowledge?
In what ways are the standard sources of knowledge (reason, the senses, etc.) enhanced by drug-induced mind-altering experiences? In what ways are they inhibited?
Might drug-induced mind-altering experiences be conducive, or even required, for (certain kinds of) religious knowledge?
In what ways, if any, are drug-induced mind-altering experiences superior to mind-altering experiences that are not drug induced? In what ways are they inferior?
Is a life that includes some drug-induced mind-altering experiences better than a life that does not?
In what way, if any, is drug addiction bad? Can addiction to a drug ever be good?
What does the fact that drug-induced mind-altering experiences are desired by some people tell us about the desirability of existing in a Nozickian experience machine?
What is the moral status of pursuing or having a drug-induced mind-altering experience?
If one is addicted to a particular mind-altering drug, is one’s use of that drug thereby immoral?
When one uses a mind-altering drug for recreational purposes, does one thereby treat oneself as a mere means to an end? If so, is there anything wrong with that?
Is the mere risk of addiction sufficient to render the use of mind-altering drugs immoral?
Is the use of a mind-altering drug morally permissible when it has no non-negligible effects on others?
Assuming drug-induced mind-altering experiences are partly illusory in nature, is it wrong to pursue or have them?
If drug-induced mind-altering experiences are unnatural in one way or another, are they thereby immoral?
Is there anything wrong with enhancing an aesthetic experience via mind-altering drug use?
In what way, if any, is the use of drugs that serve as cognitive enhancers morally problematic? Could the use of drugs that serve as cognitive enhancers ever be morally obligatory?
Is it immoral to teach young adults how to use mind-altering drugs responsibly? Is it morally problematic not to teach them how to do so? What is “responsible” mind-altering drug use, anyway, and how likely is it? Is it even possible?
Should use of a mind-altering drug for recreational purposes be criminalized? Decriminalized? Legalized?
If criminalized, what should be the legal punishment for using a mind-altering drug for recreational purposes?
If decriminalized or legalized, how should the use of a mind-altering drug for recreational purposes be regulated?