Synthese 198 (3):2193-2222 (2019)

Authors
Adrian J. T. Alsmith
King's College London
Abstract
This paper is concerned with representational explanations of how one experiences and acts with one’s body as an integrated whole. On the standard view, accounts of bodily experience and action must posit a corresponding representational structure: a representation of the body as an integrated whole. The aim of this paper is to show why we should instead favour the minimal view: given the nature of the body, and representation of its parts, accounts of the structure of bodily experience and action need not appeal to a representation of the body as an integrated whole. The argument proceeds by distinguishing two kinds of explanatory roles for representations: standing-in for absent targets and structuring ambiguous sensory information concerning a target. Representations of body-parts are suited to fulfil both kinds of explanatory role, whereas a representation of the body as an integrated whole is only suited to fulfil the latter, as a means of coordinating representations of body-parts. It is then argued that the structure of the body can itself serve as a means of coordinating body-part representations, rendering representation of the body as an integrated whole explanatorily superfluous.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-019-02200-1
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References found in this work BETA

Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1962 - Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: The Humanities Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Predictive Processing and Body Representation.Stephen Gadsby & Jakob Hohwy - forthcoming - In Routledge Handbook of Bodily Awareness.
Thinking Parts and Embodiment.Rina Tzinman - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (1):163-182.

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