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Lecture by Bryce Huebner, Georgetown University
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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