Chapter

The Self as Bodily

Jonardon Ganeri

in The Self

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199652365
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191740718 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199652365.003.0008
The Self as Bodily

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A theory of self must do two things. It must tell us what kind of thing a self is: an immaterial substance; a suitably interconnected series of conscious experiences; the categorical basis of such a series; an animal body; and so on. But a theory of self must also give us materials to answer the question, “Which one is me?” This question is often overlooked, but to neglect it is to court solipsism. Many theories of self fail precisely because their solutions to the first requirement imply that there is no answer to the second. This chapter presses the case for the view that selves are indeed essentially embodied: that, even if Animalism is indeed false, one may well still want to maintain that selfhood requires embodiment, and perhaps more strongly, that selves are individuated according to bodily criteria: that an “embodied mind” thesis is true. It distinguishes that thought from another, less convincing, idea - that there is a “core self” consisting in an invariant presence of bodily feeling.

Keywords: embodiment; embodied mind; bodily transfer; core self; Attenuation; bodily feeling

Chapter.  5622 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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