Proprioceptive Awareness and Practical Unity

Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 37 (3):65-81 (2018)
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Deafferented subjects, while lacking proprioceptive awareness of much of their bodies, are nevertheless able to use their bodies in basic action. Sustained visual contact with the body parts of which they are no longer proprioceptively aware enables them to move these parts in a controlled way. This might be taken to straightforwardly show that proprioceptive awareness is inessential to bodily action. I, however, argue that this is not the case. Proprioceptive awareness figures essentially in our self-conscious unity as practical subjects. Recognizing this allows us to better understand the nature of the impairment with which deafferented subjects live.

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