Mysticism, Metaphysics, Truth: Are Mystical Experiences Real?
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Under specific circumstances, or following specific practices, people can have the experience of losing their sense of being a subject opposed to an external world. This work aims at establishing the reality of these so-called “mystical experiences”. The project begins with a clarification of the assumptions and definitions at its basis. After this preliminary work, I will present a summary and a critical assessment of all the major arguments in the literature in favor and against the reality of mystical experiences. I will conclude that none of these arguments is ultimately convincing. I will then present my own argument in favor of the reality of mystical states, based on a pragmatic approach to truth taken (mostly) from Charles Peirce. Finally, I will clarify what mysticism-based metaphysical claims my premises allow me to make and I will explain how future metaphysicians might decide to further develop such claims.