Chapter

Pursuing a Phantom

Edited by Shaun Gallager

in How the Body Shapes the Mind

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780199271948
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603112 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199271941.003.0005
 Pursuing a Phantom

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By exploring the phenomenon of phantom limbs in congenital absence of limb (aplasia) it is possible to explicate in detail the prenatal development of body schemas. The same logic that denied the existence of neonate imitation also predicts that aplasic phantoms are impossible. This logic is overturned by recent scientific evidence and a clear distinction between body image and body schema. The new logic that allows for neonate imitation, aplasic phantoms, and innate body schemas, also suggests that the onset of consciousness may be tied to prenatal movement.

Keywords: phantom limb; aplasia; neural plasticity; ontogenesis; movement; consciousness

Chapter.  10381 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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