My body as an object: self-distance and social experience

In phenomenology the body is often referred to as the lived body which makes the world familiar to me. In this paper, however, I discuss bodily self-consciousness in terms of self-distance. Self-distance is the suggestion that bodily self-consciousness consist in a reflective stance where you conceive of your body as a physical thing, an object in the world as well as the subject of bodily experiences. I argue that we are bodily self-conscious because we experience our own body in more than one way and that these ways are not derivative of one another or hierarchically ordered. This latter claim conflicts with certain phenomenological readings of how the body is experienced, one of which I will refer to and discuss as the Familiarity Objection to my idea of self-distance. I end the paper with a discussion of why we need the conception of experienced objectification that is entailed in the notion of self-distance to account for both pathological and non-pathological bodily self-experiences. The notion of self-distance improves our understanding of how the body plays a central role in psychosis for the experience of distorted inter-subjective relations
Keywords Bodily self-consciousness  Self-distance  Experienced objectification  Bodily skills  Social experience  Distorted self-expereince  Self-expression  Social visibility
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11097-011-9228-9
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,661
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Martha C. Nussbaum (1995). Objectification. Philosophy and Public Affairs 24 (4):249–291.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
John Schwenkler (2013). The Objects of Bodily Awareness. Philosophical Studies 162 (2):465-472.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

43 ( #78,604 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #289,836 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.