When Jean-Paul Sartre Had a Bad Mescaline Trip and Then Hallucinated, for Years, That He Was Being Followed by Crabs
Sometimes when confronted with strange new ideas, people will whoop “you must be on drugs!”—a charge often obtruded at philosophers by those who would rather dismiss their ideas as hallucinations than take them seriously. But, then, to be fair, sometimes philosophers are on drugs. Take Jean-Paul Sartre. “Before Hunter S. Thompson was driving around in cabriolet stocked full of acid, cocaine, mescaline and tequila,” notes Critical Theory, Sartre almost approached the gonzo journalist’s habitual intake.
According to Annie Cohen-Solal, who wrote a biography of Sartre, his daily drug consumption was thus: two packs of cigarettes, several tobacco pipes, over a quart of alcohol (wine, beer, vodka, whisky etc.), two hundred milligrams of amphetamines, fifteen grams of aspirin, a boat load of barbiturates, some coffee, tea, and a few “heavy” meals (whatever those might have been).