The Dennes Room

Event Detail

Thu Nov 29, 2018
4–6 PM
Graduate Research Colloquium
Adam Bradley (UC Berkeley)
The Feeling of Bodily Ownership

In rare and startling disorders of bodily ownership, what is ordinarily most intimate and familiar to us—our own body—can seem alien. For instance, in cases of somatoparaphrenia subjects delusionally misattribute their own limbs to others. Ownership disorders appear to reveal a surprisingly contingent relationship between bodily awareness and a feeling of ownership, the sense we have of our bodies as our own. For this reason, they appear to undermine the intuitive idea that bodily awareness necessarily acquaints us with our bodily selves. Against this interpretation of ownership disorders, I defend Sufficiency, the thesis that every experience of bodily awareness suffices for a feeling of ownership over what one is aware of in that experience. I show how Sufficiency can be maintained in spite of its apparent conflict with ownership disorders if we distinguish between minimal ownership, the type of ownership feeling present in every act of bodily awareness, and affective ownership, the type of ownership feeling impaired in ownership disorders. With this distinction in hand, I explain both the beguiling symptoms of ownership disorders and the sense in which bodily awareness is a form of self-consciousness.