Infant imitation and the self—A response to Welsh

Philosophical Psychology (2):1-23 (2012)
Talia Welsh (2006) argues that Shaun Gallagher and Andrew Meltzoff's (1996) application of neonatal imitation research is insufficient grounds for their claim that neonates are born with a primitive body image and thus an innate self-awareness. Drawing upon an understanding of the self that is founded upon a ?theory of mind,? Welsh challenges the notion that neonates have the capacity for self-awareness and charges the supposition with an essentialism which threatens to disrupt more social constructionist understandings of the self. In this paper, I initially defend Gallagher and Meltzoff's (1996) application of infant imitation to understandings of neonatal self-awareness by explaining how body image schemas can be understood as non-representational embodied cognitive phenomena that challenge ?theory of mind? theory. I then further develop the claim that neonates are born self-aware with reference to my own work in fetal development. I conclude that Welsh's political concerns are unfounded by showing how the conclusion that a neonate is self-aware does not signal a return to an essentialist understanding of self-awareness, but rather introduces into philosophical and psychological discourse possible alternate understandings of an embodied sense of self that are embedded within intersubjective contexts
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09515089.2012.724585
 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: 24,392
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

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Stephen Langfur (2013). The You-I Event: On the Genesis of Self-Awareness. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (4):769-790.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

6 ( #533,022 of 1,924,703 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #417,761 of 1,924,703 )

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.