Our Bodies, Our Selves: Malebranche on the Feelings of Embodiment

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Malebranche holds that the feeling of having a body comes in three main varieties. A perceiver sensorily experiences herself (1) as causally connected to her body, in so far as the senses represent the body as causing her sensory experiences and as uniquely responsive to her will, (2) as materially connected to her body, in so far as the senses represent the perceiver as a material being wrapped up with the body, and (3) as perspectivally connected to her body, in so far as the external senses represent the world from the body’s perspective. In addition to distinguishing these varieties of embodied experience, I explain why the perceiver experiences her connection to the body in these ways. Although Malebranche often casts the experience of embodiment in a negative light, his considered view is that this experience contributes to our survival and salvation.
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Archival date: 2019-10-09
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