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Shai Tubali

LAHRI Postdoctoral Researcher
Areas of expertise
: Philosophy of the Absurd; Film Philosophy; Philosophical Dialogue; Plato's Dialogues; South Asian Religion and Philosophy; Multicultural Philosophy; Pierre Hadot’s Spiritual Exercise; Jiddu Krishnamurti’s Philosophy

My fields of research have a clear interdisciplinary nature, encompassing comparisons between science fiction film and continental philosophy (primarily absurdism) and between Eastern and Western philosophies.

I completed both my Masters by Research and my PhD in philosophy in the School of Philosophy, Religion, and History of Science at the University of Leeds, UK. I was initially accepted on account of my many semi-academic philosophical publications in Hebrew, English, and German in the fields of South Asian philosophies and practices, continental philosophy, and Platonic philosophy (rather than a formal bachelor’s degree).

My Masters by Research, which was supervised by Dr Mikel Burley and Dr Stefan Skrimshire, was dedicated to an interdisciplinary study of the relations between continental philosophy and the philosophy of film. More specifically, I brought Albert Camus’s philosophy of the absurd and science fiction films into dialogue. This study has established the presence of the absurd in science fiction films. The research was eventually transformed into a monograph titled Cosmos and Camus: Science Fiction Film and the Absurd (Peter Lang), as well as two journal papers. I have also contributed a book chapter on this subject to the upcoming Routledge Companion to Absurdist Literature.

In my PhD thesis (supervised by Dr Mikel Burley and Professor Emma Tomalin), I chose to delve into the field of philosophy of religion. My objective was to investigate Jiddu Krishnamurti’s unique and as-yet-unexplored form of dialogue, since I identified his dialogue as a development of the transcultural transformative religious and philosophical dialogue.

I have already published two journal papers based on this study. Nevertheless, I wrote this thesis with the intention of offering it as a monograph, feeling that it would be best presented as a complete argument. Thus, shortly after my viva, an expanded and developed version of my thesis (consisting of 120,000 words) was accepted for publication by Springer Nature under the title The Philosophical Transformative Dialogue: From Classical Dialogues to Jiddu Krishnamurti’s Method (to be published in October 2023).

In my continuation research – tentatively titled ‘The Mechanism of Thought: Jiddu Krishnamurti and the Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence’ – I intend to suggest another pivotal contribution of Krishnamurti’s approach, this time to the illumination of problems grappled with by philosophers of artificial intelligence. The prospect of the machine taking over the processes of the brain became Krishnamurti’s main occupation for over two years. The significance he ascribed to this problem of the brain’s replaceability and imitability stemmed from his lifelong project, whose primary concern was the mind’s mechanical character and potential deconditioning. I wish to scrutinize Krishnamurti’s insight into the mind against the backdrop of present debates on the hypothesized manifestation of intelligence, self-aware mind, and consciousness in AI – centring on but not limited to John Searle’s philosophy of mind – and to further develop this insight in philosophically constructive ways, including Krishnamurti’s transformative vision of the de-mechanization of the mind to a degree that makes it distinguishable from AI.

Nevertheless, I maintain that the foremost significance of my study lies in its ability to shift the debate’s focus from the machine’s potential evolution into consciousness, its ethical hazards, and its inherent limitations to the various ways that AI serves as a mirror through which we see our own reflection. By turning to existential approaches such as Krishnamurti’s, we are able to transform this urgent crisis of identity and meaning into an invaluable opportunity to look into the nature of human experience and consciousness and ultimately reconceptualize it.

My primary objective is to produce a monograph on the subject. I would also aim to transform several chapters that can be read independently from the rest of the book into journal articles. Looking beyond the research and writing period, I hope to develop and offer university courses on these subjects that will expand this academic field.


List of publications


Tubali, S. 2023. The Transformative Philosophical Dialogue: From Classical Dialogues to Jiddu Krishnamurti's Method. Springer Nature.

Tubali, S. 2020. Cosmos and Camus: Science Fiction and the Absurd. Peter Lang.


Book chapter

Tubali, S. 2023. "Absurdist Cinema, Television, and Adaptations Around the World." The Routledge Companion to Absurdist Literature. Michael Y. Bennett. (Upcoming).

Journal articles

Tubali, S. 2022. "'Questions to which there are no answers': The method behind Jiddu Krishnamurti's dialogue." Spirituality Studies.

Tubali, S. 2022. "A Dialogue of Life and Death: Transformative Dialogue in the Katha Upanishad and Plato's Phaedo." Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion. Chakrabarti KK (eds.).

Tubali, S. 2020. "The redemptive power of absurd walls in The Stranger." Journal of Camus Studies. Francev P. (eds.). 2019

Tubali S. 2020. "When the Silent Universe Speaks: Testing Camus' Absurd in the Alien Encounters of Contact and Arrival." Aesthetic Investigations. 3(2), pp. 327-346


Other articles

Tubali, S. 2023. "AI and the Crisis of Meaning." Infinite Discoveries website.

Tubali, S. 2021. "Sci Fi & the Meaning of Life." Philosophy Now, 143 (April/May), 46-49.

Tubali, S. 2018. "Hannah Arendt and the Human Duty to Think." Philosophy Now 125:14-17.