David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Minds and Machines 16 (4):443-461 (2006)
It is widely accepted that embodiment is crucial for any self-aware agent. What is less obvious is whether the body has to be real, or whether a virtual body will do. In that case the notion of embodiment would be so attenuated as to be almost indistinguishable from disembodiment. In this article I concentrate on the notion of embodiment in human agents. Could we be disembodied, having no real body, as brains-in-a-vat with only a virtual body? Thought experiments alone will not suffice to answer this Cartesian question. I will draw on both philosophical arguments and empirical data on phantom phenomena. My argument will proceed in three steps. Firstly I will show that phantom phenomena provide a prima facie argument that real embodiment is not necessary for a human being. Secondly I will give a philosophical argument that real movement must precede the intention to move and to act. Agents must at least have had real bodies once. Empirical data seems to bear this out. Finally, however, I will show that a small number of aplasic phantom phenomena undermines this last argument. Most people must have had a real body. But for some people a partly virtual, unreal, phantom body seems to suffice. Yet though there is thus no knockdown argument that we could not be brains-in-a-vat, we still have good reasons to suppose that embodiment must be real, and not virtual
|Keywords||PHANTOM LIMBS CONSCIOUS INTENTION CONGENITAL ABSENCE BODY SCHEMA SELF PERCEPTION AWARENESS IMAGE PAIN|
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Helena de Preester (2011). Technology and the Body: The (Im)Possibilities of Re-Embodiment. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 16 (2):119-137.
Anna Hogen (2009). Cartesian Bodies and Movement Phenomenology. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 3 (1):66-74.
David Morris (1999). The Fold and the Body Schema in Merleau-Ponty and Dynamic Systems Theory. Chiasmi International 1:275-286.
Thomas C. Anderson (2000). The Body and Communities in Cyberspace: A Mmarcellian Analysis. [REVIEW] Ethics and Information Technology 2 (3):153-158.
Peter Brugger (2006). From Phantom Limb to Phantom Body: Varieties of Extracorporeal Awareness. In Günther Knoblich, Ian M. Thornton, Marc Grosjean & Maggie Shiffrar (eds.), Human Body Perception From the Inside Out. Oxford University Press 171-209.
Shaun Gallagher (2005). Metzinger's Matrix: Living the Virtual Life with a Real Body. Psyche 11 (5).
Glenn Carruthers (2009). Is the Body Schema Sufficient for the Sense of Embodiment? An Alternative to de Vignmont's Model. Philosophical Psychology 22 (2):123-142.
Glenn Carruthers (2008). Types of Body Representation and the Sense of Embodiment. Consciousness and Cognition 17 (1302):1316.
Shaun Gallagher & Andrew N. Meltzoff (1996). The Earliest Sense of Self and Others: Merleau-Ponty and Recent Developmental Studies. Philosophical Psychology 9 (2):211-33.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads84 ( #29,551 of 1,707,713 )
Recent downloads (6 months)11 ( #58,584 of 1,707,713 )
How can I increase my downloads?