Mind the Body: An Exploration of Bodily Self-Awareness

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Oxford University Press, Jan 10, 2018 - Philosophy - 288 pages
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Mind the Body provides the first comprehensive treatment of bodily awareness and of the sense of bodily ownership, combining philosophical analysis with recent experimental results from cognitive science. Our own body seems to be the object that we know the best for we constantly receive a flow of internal information about it. Yet bodily awareness has attracted little attention in the literature, possibly because it seems reducible to William James's description of a 'feeling of the same old body always there'. But it is not true that our body always feels so familiar. In particular, puzzling neurological disorders and new bodily illusions raise a wide range of questions about the relationship between the body and the self. Although most of the time we experience our body as our own, it is possible to report feeling parts of our body as alien. It is also possible to experience extraneous objects, such as prosthetic hands, as our own. Hence, what makes us feel this particular body as our own? The fact that we feel sensations there? The fact that we can voluntarily move it? Or the fact that we need to care about it to survive? De Vignemont argues that to answer these questions, we need a better understanding of the various aspects of bodily self-awareness, including the spatiality of bodily sensations, their multimodality, their role in social cognition, and their relation to action and self-defence.
 

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Contents

Acknowledgements
List of Figures
List of Tables
Introduction
PART I Body Snatchers
Whose Body?
Over and Above Bodily Sensations
The Immunity of the Sense of Ownership
A Multimodal Account of Bodily Experience
My Body Among Other Bodies
Taxonomies of Body Representations
PART III Bodyguard
The Bodyguard Hypothesis
The Narcissistic Body
Bodily Illusions
Neurological and Psychiatric Bodily Disorders

PART II BodyBuilder
Bodily Space
The Body Map Theory
References
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2018)

Frédérique de Vignemont is a CNRS research director at the Jean Nicod Institute in Paris. Her research is at the intersection of philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Her major current works focus on bodily awareness, self-consciousness, and social cognition. Her new project investigates the perceptual peculiarities of peripersonal space, which can be conceived of as the territory of the self. She has published widely in philosophy and psychology journals on the first-person, body schema, agency, empathy, and more recently on pain. She is the recipient of the 2015 Young Mind & Brain prize. She is also one of the executive editors of the Review of Philosophy and Psychology.

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