Matias Anestis Mikhail

Matias Anestis Mikhail

Matias Anestis Mikhail

2007-2011: Bachelor in European Ethnology, Communications Sciences / Media Studies, Management & Economics at University of Zurich, Switzerland
2012-2016: Master in History and Philosophy of Knowledge at the Swiss Federel Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), SwitzerlandHobbies: Performance Art, Writing, Music, Yoga, Self-technique and Philosophical Counseling


TITLE: Cybernetics, Embodiement and LSD. Historical and philosophical arguments against a debate of psychedelics in psychiatry.

Based on my master thesis with the title “LSD and the phantom body”, I would like to draw a genealogical narrative concerning two correlations: Firstly, the one between the efficacy / properties of LSD and the history of the body in western society; secondly, the one between the sciences called “cybernetics” and its influence on the career of LSD in psychiatry and beyond. My hypothesis is, that cybernetics influenced the efficacy-model of LSD specifically, and more generally the western concept of efficacy of psychedelics in general, especially by trying to establish a disembodied reality, leading to what we could call a modern fetishism of psyche. The analysis is based on philosophy, epistemology, ontology and historiography, and stands for a more or less strict “anti-psychiatric” theoretical approach to what we, in my point of view, mistakenly call “psyche-delics”. I would like to stress that, just because of leaving out the body (understood as physicalness, German: “Leib” or “Körperlichkeit”), in the end of the 1960’s it was possible on the one hand to politicize the body, and more importantly on the other, to politicize LSD. Therefore I will argument, that psychiatry, as it is today, is the wrong place to debate “psychedelics”, and that we should learn from history. With the words of Michel Foucault: “The point is, to create something, which is happening between the ideas and which is not nameable. One should rather constantly try to give it a color, a form, an intensity, which never says, what a thing is. This is “Lebenskunst” (savoir vivre / art of living). “Lebenskunst” means to kill psychology and, on one’s own terms as well as with others, to give birth to individualities, essences, relations and qualities which have no name.”