Episode #42 – Earp on Psychedelics and Moral Enhancement

 

Brian Earp.jpg

In this episode I talk to Brian Earp. Brian is Associate Director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and Health Policy at Yale University and The Hastings Center, and a Research Fellow in the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. Brian has diverse research interests in ethics, psychology, and the philosophy of science. His research has been covered in Nature, Popular Science, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Atlantic, New Scientist, and other major outlets. We talk about moral enhancement and the potential use of psychedelics as a form of moral enhancement.

You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher (the RSS feed is here).

Show Notes

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 1:53 – Why psychedelics and moral enhancement?
  • 5:07 – What is moral enhancement anyway? Why are people excited about it?
  • 7:12 – What are the methods of moral enhancement?
  • 10:18 – Why is Brian sceptical about the possibility of moral enhancement?
  • 14:16 – So is it an empty idea?
  • 17:58 – What if we adopt an ‘extended’ concept of enhancement, i.e. beyond the biomedical?
  • 26:12 – Can we use psychedelics to overcome the dilemma facing the proponent of moral enhancement?
  • 29:07 – What are psychedelic drugs? How do they work on the brain?
  • 34:26 – Are your experiences whilst on psychedelic drugs conditional on your cultural background?
  • 37:39 – Dissolving the ego and the feeling of oneness
  • 41:36 – Are psychedelics the new productivity hack?
  • 43:48 – How can psychedelics enhance moral behaviour?
  • 47:36 – How can a moral philosopher make sense of these effects?
  • 51:12 – The MDMA case study
  • 58:38 – How about MDMA assisted political negotiations?
  • 1:02:11 – Could we achieve the same outcomes without drugs?
  • 1:06:52 – Where should the research go from here?

 

Relevant Links

 

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