Research Group


Joona Taipale, PhD, Docent, Senior lecturer in Philosophy

The limits of social experience: Taipale’s research focuses on the temporal and dynamic nature of experiential demarcation, and articulates the limits of interpersonal understanding from this angle. Making use of phenomenology, social ontology, and developmental psychology, Taipale will question the cognitively oriented mainstream accounts. He will elaborate and analyze the affective, cognitive, conative, and imaginative dimensions of experiential demarcation, and assess the conditions of possibility for recognizing and understanding dissimilar others. As the PI of the project, Taipale will also work out and elaborate on the interdisciplinary consequences of the subprojects, and together with the rest of the group he will develop new research methods and conceptualizations.


Jussi A. Saarinen, PhD, Postdoctoral researcher in Philosophy

Affective resonance and the boundaries of the self: Saarinen will apply basic insights from philosophy of emotions and art theory in the analysis of self/other demarcation. Saarinen will distinguish between different forms of affective experience, analyze the relationship between affective and cognitive demarcation, and explicate the constitutional role of emotions, desires, and moods in individuals’ experiences of boundaries. By analyzing the complex and dynamic nature of affective experience, Saarinen will argue for the variable nature of experiential demarcation.


Sanna Tirkkonen, PhD, Postdoctoral researcher in Philosophy

Phenomenology, vulnerability, and psychopathology: Tirkkonen will develop insights from her PhD work that deal with the philosophy of psychiatry. She will study the question of experiential demarcation from the point of view of psychic disorders, human vulnerability, and traumatization. Tirkkonen will show that the various levels of experiential demarcation can diverge from one another in interaction and even occasionally enter into outright conflict. From the point of view of phenomenological psychopathology, Tirkkonen will also discuss the implicit theoretical commitments involved in current, standard understandings of mental disorders.


Heidi Fast, M.A., Doctoral candidate in the Arts

Affectivity and communality: In collaboration with HUH Psychiatry, Fast is currently finalizing her doctorate on non-verbal affective communication. Using artistic methods, she shows that the affective linkage between human persons may be retained or recreated when discursive and verbal communication breaks down. Within the EDM project, Fast will apply the theoretical and clinical implications of her thesis to questions of social recognition and human dignity, and artistically explore how psychiatric patients could be encountered within the non-discursive registers of interaction. Fast has been granted, as the first in Finland, a HUH medical research permit (Department of Psychiatry) for artistic research.

Petra Nyman-Salonen, M.A., Doctoral candidate in Psychology 

Bodily attunement and temporality in interpersonal encounters: Nyman-Salonen will develop the basic insights of her PhD, in which she clarifies the role of behavioral and bodily synchronization in human interaction. Collaborating with the Department of Psychology (University of Jyväskylä), she will make use of different traditions in psychotherapy research to produce conceptual and theoretical analyses of the temporal and bodily dimensions of interpersonal encounters, and demonstrate how affective and cognitive demarcations between self and others may diverge.


Tiia-Mari Hovila, M.Soc.Sc, Project researcher in Philosophy 

Phenomenology and the structure of lived experience: In her PhD, Hovila will develop the basic insights of genetic phenomenology and analyze the relations between affective and cognitive levels of experience. With the help of the phenomenological method, she will examine how the experienced boundaries between self and other can turn out to be rigid and restrictive. Hovila’s investigation questions various classical oppositions of philosophy, such as emotion/reason and mind/body.