Aidan Lyon is a philosopher at the University of Amsterdam. He completed his PhD in 2010 at the Australian National University on the philosophical foundations of probability. His research focuses on psychedelics, meditation, uncertainty, wisdom, and collective decision-making. Aidan is also an entrepreneur: He is the CEO and co-founder of DelphiCloud, and he often works as a freelance consultant on projects relating to his research areas.

Aidan’s work has two main areas of philosophical research that may seem quite different at first but actually overlap in some fascinating ways. The first area concerns the foundations of uncertainty, collective wisdom, and decision-making. His research in this area has focused on eliciting, modeling, and aggregating opinions from experts in situations of extreme uncertainty. The second area concerns the philosophy of psychedelics, meditation, and related interventions on the brain/mind. In his new book, Psychedelic Experience, Aidan argues that psychedelic experiences are mind-revealing experiences and can be induced using methods that don’t involve substances (such as meditation). While he uses the tools of philosophy to study psychedelic experiences, Aidan argues that these experiences are valuable tools for doing philosophy. That is, they can help us cultivate wisdom. (Text: Aidan Lyon)

In this podcast, I talk to Aidan about the similarities and differences between imagination and psychedelic experiences and how both concepts can be a source of knowledge.


00:00:00 Introduction/ 00:02:00 Introduction / Decision making and critical thinking / 00:03:00 What is a psychedelic experience? / 00:05:00 Tip of our tongue and access to our minds/ 00:08:00 mindfulness and memory / 00:12:00 describing an experience / 001:15:00 Imaginative experiences / 00:19:00 Imagination and Psychedelic experiences / 00:22:00 Imagination and options / 00:25:00 Science and imagination

Recommendations and Links:

Humphry Osmond

Aldous Huxley

Karry B. Mullis – PCR

Bence Nanay: Unconscious mental imagery

John Kounios, Mark Jung- Beeman: The Eureka Factor.

David Eagleman: The Runaway Species.