Miriam Kyselo


Miriam is a philosopher of mind and cognition. Her research is focused on the self and its relation to embodiment and social interaction. She engages with the so-called e-approaches to mind (enacted, extended, embodied, embedded aspects of the mind) and dialogues with analytic philosophy, phenomenology and cognitive science. Miriam’s goal is to contribute to developing an embodied and social approach to self that is rooted in a biological, systemic and phenomenological perspective on cognition. She explores implications of an enactive approach to self for interaction dynamics and psychopathology and is also interested in dance, particularly in contact improvisation.

Presentation title: Risk, “Vulnerability, and Recognition: Reflections on Language, Self, and Others in Non-ideal Interactions A roundtable discussion on enacting conflict transformation.”

Abstract: With this roundtable discussion we intend to lay out some initial theoretical ground for possible co-constructions between an enactive understanding of self experience in dialogical encounters on the one hand, and the ameliorative ethical and political aims of conflict reconciliation and transformation on the other. We hold in common the following claims, which bear a complex non-linear relation to each other:

(1) Recognition is a basic requirement for actual communication and intersubjective meaning-making to take place.

(2) One’s sense of self is an on-going achievement within social environments and which requires the active contributions of others.

(3) There are regularly occurring, non-pathological differences between persons that constitutively effect the meaning in communicative interactions (both because and in spite of the intersubjective conditions of selfhood).

Each of these themes are in play in each short presentation.

Miriam Kyselo will discuss selfhood as genuinely social existence. Adopting an enactive and systemic perspective on human individuation, she considers the self as an autonomous network brought forth through social interactions (and relations). Without an ongoing engagement with other people there is no generation of self. This basic relationality is assumed to constitute a two-fold intrinsic norm that guides human behavior and constitutes our sense of self: a striving for emancipation as individual (distinction) while remaining open to and affected by others (participation). This view on self-maintenance implies that human existence is genuinely vulnerable and continuously dependent on the contribution of and collaboration with others. There is an ever-present tension, within and between individuals, which grounds the need for mutual recognition and demands both awareness that individual participants in interactions care for their social survival, and a readiness for negotiation and communication.


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