The Routledge Companion to Performance Philosophy is a volume of especially commissioned critical essays, conversations, collaborative, creative and performative writing mapping the key contexts, debates, methods, discourses and practices in this developing field.

Firstly, the collection offers new insights on the fundamental question of how thinking happens: where, when, how and by whom philosophy is performed. Secondly, it provides a plurality of new accounts of performance and performativity – as the production of ideas, bodies and knowledges – in the arts and beyond. Comprising texts written by international artists, philosophers and scholars from multiple disciplines, the essays engage with questions of how performance thinks and how thought is performed in a wide range of philosophies and performances, from the ancient to the contemporary. Concepts and practices from diverse geographical regions and cultural traditions are analysed to draw conclusions about how performance operates across art, philosophy and everyday life.

The collection both contributes to and critiques the philosophy of music, dance, theatre and performance, exploring the idea of a philosophy from the arts. It is crucial reading material for those interested in the hierarchy of the relationship between philosophy and the arts, advancing debates on philosophical method, and the relation between Performance and Philosophy more broadly.

Chapter 19 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at https://www.taylorfrancis.com under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license. 

chapter |18 pages


part I|106 pages

Genealogies, contexts and traditions

chapter 1|13 pages

Performances of philosophy in Ancient Greece and in modernity

Suddenly a philosopher enters the stage

chapter 3|11 pages

Performance philosophy and spirituality

The way of tasawwuf

chapter 5|8 pages

The playwright as thinker

Modern drama and performance philosophy

chapter 8|9 pages

Performance Philosophy in Latin America

How to perform a Utopia called America?

chapter 9|12 pages

Diminishing returns

On the performativity of musical sound

chapter 11|8 pages

The theatre of research

part II|68 pages

Questions and debates

chapter 12|13 pages

Opening the circle, towards a radical equality

Performance philosophy and animals

chapter 15|8 pages


Philosophy from the stage

chapter 16|8 pages

Philosophy and theatre

Incestuous beginnings, looking daggers and other dangerous liaisons – a dialogue

chapter 17|11 pages

Aesthetics of [the] invisible

Presence in Indian performance theory

part III|117 pages

Methods, techniques, genres and forms

chapter 19|9 pages

Daring to transform academic routines

Cultures of knowledge and their performances

chapter 20|10 pages

Resonance of two

chapter 21|22 pages

Lying Fallow

Anonymity and collectivity

chapter 22|8 pages

Play in performance philosophy

chapter 23|9 pages

Landscape performance

chapter 24|10 pages

Re-telling the self

The lived experience of modern yoga practice

chapter 25|8 pages

The think tank

Institution as performance

chapter 26|8 pages


chapter 27|11 pages

In-between: a methodology of Performative Philosophy

Thoughts on embodiment and the public (with Helmuth Plessner) reflecting the philosophy-performance-festival [soundcheck philosophie] 1

chapter 28|11 pages

Africanist choreography as cultural citizenship

Thomas ‘Talawa’ Prestø’s philosophy of Africana dance

part IV|51 pages


chapter 29|4 pages


chapter 30|5 pages

Adrian Piper

chapter 31|4 pages


chapter 32|4 pages

A dice thrower

chapter 33|5 pages

Open text – open performance

Hélène Cixous and Ariane Mnouchkine

chapter 34|4 pages

Roger Federer

chapter 36|4 pages


chapter 37|11 pages

Rudolf Laban

part V|84 pages

Performance as Philosophy and Philosophy as Performance

chapter 38|14 pages

Theater as if theory

chapter 41|8 pages

Pas de Deux

Écriture Féminine Performative

chapter 42|10 pages

Onanism, handjobs, smut

Performances of self-valorization

chapter 45|10 pages


Thinking with darkness