Bryce Huebner: “Meditating and hallucinating: A socially situated and neuro-Yogācarin perspective”

February 28, 2019 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Wolff Conference Room, D1103
6 E 16th St
New York, NY 10003

A number of philosophers working on Buddhist traditions have recently explored similarities between the cultivated experience of not-self, and the clinical experience of depersonalization. In this talk, I will offer some reflections on this theme. But my primary aim will be to push a similar kind of exploratory project one step further. Drawing on tools from cognitive and computational neuroscience, as well as insights from Yogācāra Buddhist philosophy, I will explore some of the most significant similarities and differences between anomalous experiences evoked by meditation, and anomalous experiences that are commonly labeled as hallucinations. I will then argue that understanding how such experiences are produced offers a powerful framework for thinking about the socially and historically situated nature of everyday experience.

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