ISBN: 9780262344661 | 312 pp. | March 2018

The Bodily Self

Selected Essays
These essays explore how the rich and sophisticated forms of self-consciousness with which we are most familiar—as philosophers, psychologists, and as ordinary, reflective individuals—depend on a complex underpinning that has been largely invisible to students of the self and self-consciousness. José Luis Bermúdez, extending the insights of his groundbreaking 1998 book, The Paradox of Self-Consciousness, argues that full-fledged, linguistic self-consciousness is built on a rich foundation of primitive, nonconceptual self-consciousness, and that these more primitive forms of self-consciousness persist in ways that frame self-conscious thought. They extend throughout the animal kingdom, and some are present in newborn human infants. 
Bermúdez makes the case that these primitive forms of self-awareness can indeed be described as forms of self-consciousness, arguing that they share certain structural and epistemological features with full-fledged, linguistic self-consciousness. He offers accounts of certain important classes of states of nonconceptual content, including the self-specifying dimension of visual perception and the content of bodily awareness, considering how they represent the self. And he explores the general role of nonconceptual self-consciousness in our cognitive and affective lives, examining in several essays the relation between nonconceptual awareness of our bodies and what has been called our “sense of ownership” for our own bodies.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Intro
  3. 1. Nonconceptual Self-Consciousness and Cognitive Science
  4. 2. Ecological Perception and the Notion of a Nonconceptual Point of View
  5. 3. The Sources of Self-Consciousness
  6. 4. The Elusiveness Thesis, Immunity to Error through Misidentification, and Privileged Access
  7. 5. The Phenomenology of Bodily Awareness
  8. 6. Bodily Awareness and Self-Consciousness
  9. 7. Bodily Ownership, Bodily Awareness, and Knowledge without Observation
  10. 8. Ownership and the Space of the Body
  11. 9. Bodily Ownership, Psychological Ownership, and Psychopathology
  12. 10. The Bodily Self, Commonsense Psychology, and the Springs of Action
  13. Afterword
  14. Index