The Body and the Self

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Jos? Luis Berm?dez, Anthony J. Marcel, Naomi Eilan
MIT Press, 1995 - Philosophy - 376 pages

The Body and the Self brings together recent work by philosophers and psychologists on the nature of self-consciousness, the nature of bodily awareness, and the relation between the two. The central problem addressed is How is our grasp of ourselves as one object among others underpinned by the ways in which we use and represent our bodies? The contributors take up such issues as how should we characterize the various distinctive ways we have of being in touch with our own bodies in sensation, proprioception, and action? How exactly does our grip on our bodies as objects connect with our ability to perceive the external environment, and with our ability to engage in various forms of social interaction? Can any of these ways of representing our bodies affect a bridge between body and self?


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Page 113 - Neither have we from body any idea of the beginning of motion. A body at rest affords us no idea of any active power to move ; and when it is set in motion itself, that motion is rather a passion than an action in it. For when the ball obeys the stroke of a billiard-stick, it is not any action of the ball, but bare passion...
Page 320 - Thus the limbs of his body are to every one a part of himself; he sympathizes and is concerned for them. Cut off an hand, and thereby separate it from that consciousness he had of its heat, cold, and other affections, and it is then no longer a part of that which is himself, any more than the remotest part of matter.
Page 320 - That this is so, we have some kind of evidence in our very bodies, all whose particles, whilst vitally united to this same thinking conscious self, so that we feel when they are touched, and are affected by, and conscious of good or harm that happens to them, are a part of ourselves ; ie of our thinking conscious self. Thus the limbs of his body are to every one a. part of himself ; he sympathizes and is concerned for them.
Page 311 - I may venture to affirm of the rest of mankind, that they are nothing but a bundle or collection of different perceptions, which succeed each other with an inconceivable rapidity, and are in a perpctual flux and movement.
Page 114 - And experience only teaches us how one event constantly follows another, without instructing us in the secret connexion which binds them together, and renders them inseparable.
Page 113 - It may be pretended, that the resistance which we meet with in bodies, obliging us frequently to exert our force, and call up all our power, this gives us the idea of force and power. It is this nisus, or strong endeavour, of which we are conscious, that is the original impression from which this idea is copied.
Page 116 - It is the inmost nature, the kernel, of every particular thing, and also of the whole. It appears in every blind force of nature and also in the preconsidered action of man; and the great difference between these two is merely in the degree of the manifestation, not in the nature of what manifests itself.
Page 113 - The idea of the beginning of motion we have only from reflection on what passes in ourselves, where we find by experience, that barely by willing it, barely by a thought of the mind, we can move the parts of our bodies which were before at rest.
Page 227 - Such schemata modify the impressions produced by incoming sensory impulses in such a way that the final sensations of position, or of locality, rise into consciousness charged with a relation to something that has happened before. Destruction of such 'schemata...
Page 49 - Visual guidance is, however, completely impossible in the case of facial imitation. Infants can see the adult's face but cannot see their own faces. They can feel their own faces move but have no access to the feelings of movement in the other. By what mechanism can they connect the felt but unseen movements of the self with the seen but unfelt movements of the other?

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