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PhilosophyPart of HumanitiesPostgraduate study
Email:
tk4g13@soton.ac.uk

Mr Tim Kjeldsen 

Postgraduate Researcher (PGR)

Mr Tim Kjeldsen's photo

My BA was in Theatre in the 1980s, where I encountered the Alexander Technique, which I found invaluable both personally and professionally, and went on to train as an AT teacher. I have been practising as teacher since then. Although the AT is a practical, empirically based method for improving general coordination in activity, it raises interesting and important philosophical question, chiefly around its founding principle of the self as a psychophysical unity – the thought that there is no principled distinction between the mental and physical in activity. I have thought about this question throughout my career, and have now embarked on a research project to explore the concept of psychophysical unity, having previously done an MA at Southampton in order to develop the requisite philosophical knowledge and skills.

Research interests

My research is mainly in the philosophy of action, since I believe the mind/body question is more fruitfully addressed here than in the philosophy of mind, which I believe to be rather encumbered with tacit commitments that make it difficult to bring the question usefully into focus. I find both causalist and anti-causalists accounts of action to have strengths and weaknesses, but think that they both tend to depend upon implicit Cartesian assumptions about the intrinsic natures of the ‘mental’ and ‘physical’. I find the later Wittgenstein and existential phenomenology to provide the underlying philosophical underpinning for a proper understanding of psychophysical unity, and am seeking to bring these perspectives to bear on the debate in the analytical philosophy of action. I hope to show that such an understanding vindicates the empirical approach of the AT, and also that the kind of empirical knowledge and practical capacity the latter develops itself makes a contribution to the philosophical discussion.

Publications

(2015) ‘Psychophysical Unity’ in Connected Perspectives – The Alexander Technique in Context. Rennie, Shoop and Thapen (eds). London. Hite Books.

(2015) ‘Learning to Let Go: Control and Freedom in the Passaggio’ in Voice Studies: Critical Approaches to Process, Performance and Experience. McPherson and Thomaidis (eds). London. Routledge.

Mr Tim Kjeldsen
Student Office, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton, Avenue Campus, Southampton. SO17 1BF United Kingdom

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