Jason Leddington

“My goal is to change how people think about magic—and how you perform it.”

As magicians, we have plenty of words to indicate the experience we hope to produce in our spectators: wonder, amazement, astonishment, mystery, and so on. But if asked to define these terms, or to define ‘magic’, most of us would be at a loss. And while this doesn’t prevent us from delivering powerful performances, or from entertaining our audiences, it does come at a cost. Reflecting on the nature of magic and the experience it aims to produce can help us to clarify our artistic goals, to sharpen and focus our performances, and deepen our appreciation for the art we love.

Jason Leddington is an internationally-recognized philosophy professor, magician, and speaker whose research focuses on perception and magic. His prize-winning essay, “The Experience of Magic,” was the first philosophical study of magic published in a professional philosophy journal and established the philosophy of magic as an independent research domain. He has given talks on magic for philosophers and psychologists across the U.S. and Europe, and he is currently at work on a book on the philosophy and psychology of magic aimed at both academic and non-academic audiences.

At GGG 2017, Professor Leddington will present a provocative, interactive lecture combining philosophy, psychology, and magic performance theory. The lecture will explore the nature of magic, the experience of magic, and the relationship between magic and other genres—especially comedy and horror. Prof. Leddington will analyze examples of magic performance and recommend concrete strategies you can immediately implement to make your magic more powerful.