Bodily sense and structural content

Synthese 202 (5):1-21 (2023)
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Abstract

Bodily awareness seems to present the body as a topologically connected whole, composed of many parts. In consequence, the source of topological and mereological content of bodily awareness comes into question. In particular, it may be asked whether (a) such content is provided by the bodily sense, i.e., sensory mechanisms which, like proprioception, presents the body “from the inside,” or (b) it is a product of “exteroceptive” elements of bodily awareness, which represents the body “from the outside” in a similar way to that of other physical objects. This paper argues that while passive touch and proprioception are unlikely to present the body as a topological and a mereological whole, such content is likely to be provided by kinesthesis. In consequence, it is plausible that holistic topological and mereological bodily content is present in virtue of certain mechanisms of bodily sense.

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Błażej Skrzypulec
Jagiellonian University

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