How the body in action shapes the self

Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (7-8):117-143 (2011)
In the present paper we address the issue of the role of the body in shaping our basic self-awareness. It is generally taken for granted that basic bodily self-awareness has primarily to do with proprioception. Here we challenge this assumption by arguing from both a phenomenological and a neurophysiological point of view that our body is primarily given to us as a manifold of action possibilities that cannot be reduced to any form of proprioceptive awareness. By discussing the notion of affordance and the spatiality of the body we show that both have to be construed in terms of the varying range of our power for action. Finally, we posit that the motor roots of our bodily self-awareness shed new light on both the common ground for and the distinguishing criterium between self and other. The properties of the mirror mechanism indicate that the same action possibilities constituting our bodily self also allow us to make sense of other bodily selves inasmuch as their action possibilities can be mapped onto our own ones. Our proposal may pave the way towards a general deconstruction of the different layers at the core of our full-fledged sense of self and others.
Keywords Bodily Self  Mirro Mechanism  Motor Cognition
Categories (categorize this paper)
 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
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 27,606
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Are Background Feelings Intentional Feelings?Emilia Barile - 2014 - Open Journal of Philosophy 4 (4):560-574.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
The Objects of Bodily Awareness.John Schwenkler - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):465-472.
Through the Looking Glass: Self and Others.Corrado Sinigaglia & Giacomo Rizzolatti - 2011 - Cosciousness and Cognition 20 (1):64-74.
A Self for the Body.Frédérique de Vignemont - 2011 - Metaphilosophy 42 (3):230-247.
Acting on (Bodily) Experience.Adrian J. T. Smith - 2009 - Psyche 15 (1):82 - 99.
The Body in Action.Thor Grunbaum - 2008 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (2):243-261.
The Will: A Dual Aspect Theory.Brian O'Shaughnessy - 2008 - Cambridge University Press.
Bodily Movement - the Fundamental Dimensions.Gunnar Breivik - 2008 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 2 (3):337 – 352.
Dualism and Bodily Movements.Thomas W. Bestor - 1976 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 19 (1-4):1-26.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

46 ( #113,069 of 2,168,638 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #187,136 of 2,168,638 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums