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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sartre and Mescalin

Jean-Paul Sartre was quite a character. An only child, Sartre thought for himself. Naturally his philosophy expressed a preeminent focus on the individual. Preoccupied with his own self, his work on existentialism put the individual at the center of the universe and allowed that individual to choose whatever he wanted to do, empowering freedom of choice as the highest good. Along the way, once he had started publishing, Sartre decided to write a book about neurotics and delusional people. To do research he decided to try an LSD-type drug, mescaline. But did Sartre do what any normal person would do, that is, ask a friend to buy some that he could ingest or smoke? No, he called a physician friend and had the man inject it into his arm in a hospital! Naturally he had a bad trip and vowed never to repeat the experience. Cohen-Solal, Annie. 1987. Sartre: A Life. Translated by Anna Cancogni. New York: Pantheon. p. 102."

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