David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (8):63-93 (2008)
Against recent claims that infants begin with a sense of themselves as distinct selves, I propose that the infant's initial sense of self is still indeterminate and ambiguous, and is only progressively consolidated, beginning with embodied perceptions of others. Drawing upon Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of perception and Hegel's notion of mutual recognition, and with reference to empirical studies in developmental psychology, I argue that perceiving other persons is significantly different from perceiving inanimate things. Until sufficient motor capacities have developed for exploring and perceptually disambiguating inanimate things, it is only in perceiving others who recognize her that the infant is able to realize herself as a self. As the physiological and behavioural evidence suggests, whereas inanimate things initially captivate and dispossess the young infant, other people return her to herself. This paper lends support to the ideas that humans are ontologically social beings, and that selfhood is socially conditioned rather than given with consciousness.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Dan Zahavi (2009). Is the Self a Social Construct? Inquiry 52 (6):551-573.
Similar books and articles
Diana T. Meyers (2005). Who's There? Selfhood, Self-Regard, and Social Relations. Hypatia 20 (4):200-215.
John L. Schwenkler (2008). Mental Vs. Embodied Models of Mirrored Self-Recognition: Some Preliminary Considerations. In B. Hardy-Valeé & N. Payette (eds.), Beyond the Brain: Embodied, Situated, and Distributed Cognition. Cambridge Scholars Press.
N. Gangopadhyay & L. Schilbach (2011). Seeing Minds: A Neurophilosophical Investigation of the Role of Perception-Action Coupling in Social Perception. Social Neuroscience.
Edward H. Hagen (2004). Is Excessive Infant Crying an Honest Signal of Vigor, One Extreme of a Continuum, or a Strategy to Manipulate Parents? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):463-464.
Daniel A. Weiskopf (2010). Embodied Cognition and Linguistic Comprehension. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (3):294-304.
Fred Adams (2010). Embodied Cognition. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):619-628.
Francine Wynn (1997). The Embodied Chiasmic Relationship of Mother and Infant. Human Studies 20 (2):253-270.
Matthew Nudds (2011). The Senses as Psychological Kinds. In Fiona Macpherson (ed.), The Senses: Classic and Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives. Oxford.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads40 ( #51,892 of 1,692,220 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #59,665 of 1,692,220 )
How can I increase my downloads?