IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Beyond Identity: the Dynamic Self at the Intersection of Performance Philosophy and the Philosophy of Science


  • Sibila Petlevski

    () (University of Zagreb - Academy of Dramatic Art)


In this article we advocate the methodological feedback loop in the study of the dynamical self at the crossroads of performance philosophy, (artistic) performance, and the philosophy of science. We point to the importance of the dynamics of methodology transfer between arts and sciences and the "interactive continuum" proposed by Newman & Benz in 1998. In the first part of this paper we give a comparative review of the research context relevant for our field of study, and we explain our research hubs in approaching the concept of "performance". We suggest the possibility to define our filed of research in three equally legitimate ways: as philosophy-of-performance, philosophy-as-performance and performance-as-philosophy. In our recent work we are primarily interested in artistic performances that incorporate elements of artistic practice in the methodology of research output (Frayling 1993), as well as in the potentials of performative aspects of scientific praxis and methodology. However, the conceptual background relevant for this paper is in the field of process philosophy and its relation to science (Birkhard's "interactivist model" 2009; Campbell's "process-based model for an interactive ontology" 2009). We attribute particular importance to the notion of "autopoietic feedback" (Maturana and Varela 1974; Luhmann 1990). The second part addresses the issue of transcending identity in the representations of the self and the other; the relationship between Theory-Theory (TT) and Simulation Theory (ST), as well as some recent attempts at combining different theories of mind (e.g. Barlassina 2013). We also deal with the notion of "embodied praxis" (Gallagher and Meltzoff 1996); we mention some neuroscientific insights into the similar phenomena, and - commenting on the importance of the dialogue between neuroscientists and philosophers (Changeux and Ricour) - we give an example of an enactive approach to understanding acting (Zarrilli 2007). In the third part of this article, we critique the notion of "interpassivity" (Žižek 1997; Pfaller 2000). In the concluding part we mention the importance of exploring the concept of "expanded self" (Gallagher 2000; Jeannerod 2003; Kim and Johnson 2013). Being aware of the impossibility to reach final conclusions in the scientific approach to the dynamics of the self, instead of a formal conclusion, we offer a quote from Yeats' poem "Balloons of Mind".

Suggested Citation

  • Sibila Petlevski, 2014. "Beyond Identity: the Dynamic Self at the Intersection of Performance Philosophy and the Philosophy of Science," Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems - scientific journal, Croatian Interdisciplinary Society Provider Homepage:, vol. 12(3), pages 187-209.
  • Handle: RePEc:zna:indecs:v:12:y:2014:i:3:p:187-209

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    autopoiesis; dynamic self; embodied cognition; enactive intersubjectivity; performance;

    JEL classification:

    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zna:indecs:v:12:y:2014:i:3:p:187-209. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Josip Stepanic). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.