Elena Kalmykova, PhD

Marie Curie Fellow at Uppsala University

        I am a philosopher who enjoys bringing together the research of various disciplines for my projects: the embodied approaches, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, religious studies, cognitive science, phenomenology. In doing so I rely on my background as BC in Oriental Studies, MS in Religious Studies and PhD in Philosophy of Religion. In my research I strive to bring together the best of both analytic and continental philosophic traditions.

Rationality in the Flesh

Elena Kalmykova is PI in this research project funded by the European Commission grant.

The project is interdisciplinary in nature, involving collaboration with psychologists, sociologists and philosophers. The research takes place at Uppsala University, Sweden.

The project is intended to investigate the hypothesis that the body has its own kind of rationality. Body affects human cognition and decision-making through emotions, intuitions, etc., that often go unnoticed by our conscious mind. When offered to choose an object, people prefer that on their right hand side without realising that. Such circumstances, as left and right, insubstantial for rational decision-making, have crucial importance for our body. Bodily influence is structured and predictable, thus I hypothesise that body has its own kind of rationality. This study will develop and test this hypothesis by analysing the cases of irrationality with positive and negative outcomes. It will involve a re-reading of empirical material of religious studies and psychology through the lens of the hypothesis of bodily rationality.

Project Rationality in the Flesh investigates such cases of irrationality that are actually positive for our wellbeing. Thus we need to rethink what is rational and what is irrational.
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