Embodied Self Reconsidered


  • Silvia Gáliková University of Trnava




mbodiment, phenomenology, metaphor, self, illusion


The problem of mind and self embodiment has become a hot topic in contemporary consciousness studies. Emphasis on the bodily background of our thoughts, images and feelings, however, is filled with misunderstandings on the very nature of the studied phenomena. In the present paper I intend to reveal the most persisting confusions on the reality and explanation of the self. My aim is to rethink the thesis on embodied cognition and especially embodied self based on the analysis of recently debated naturalist-reductionist and naturalist-antireductionist perspectives. The former approach is represented by philosophical conceptions of D. Dennett and T. Metzinger, the latter by philosophers of mind and phenomenologists G. Strawson, F. Varela, D. Zahavi. I will also point out important consequences for the study of the self that stem from the conception of cognitive linguists G. Lakoff and M. Johnson. When talking about the self and conscious experience, scholars seem to talk about the same or at least a similar phenomenon. Due to a number of inconsistencies in the way philosophers approach the notion and subject-matter of the self, however, the reality is much more diverse. Confusions arise not only from using the same notions with different meanings, but also from the insistence on contradicting starting points and aims of inquiry. My argumentation is inspired by findings of experimental research in cognitive neuroscience, case studies in psychiatry as well as theoretical research in philosophy of mind and language.