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Body Schema and Body ImageNew Directions$
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Yochai Ataria, Shogo Tanaka, and Shaun Gallagher

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780198851721

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198851721.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2021

A radical phenomenology of the body: subjectivity and sensations in body image and body schema

A radical phenomenology of the body: subjectivity and sensations in body image and body schema

Chapter:
(p.52) 4 A radical phenomenology of the body: subjectivity and sensations in body image and body schema
Source:
Body Schema and Body Image
Author(s):

Helena De Preester

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198851721.003.0004

The role of sensations for body experience and body representations such as body image and body schema seems indisputable. This chapter discusses the link between sensory input, the experience of one’s own body, and body representations such as body image and body schema. That happens on the basis of Michel Henry’s radical phenomenology of the body, which unites body and subjectivity and reconsiders the role of sensory input for the experience of the body and related representations. Without supporting, but inspired by, Henry’s ontological dualism between subjective and objective body, it is argued that the traditional view that considers sensory signals as all-important for bodily experience misses out a bodily dimension crucial for subjectivity—the body’s subjective dimension, not reigned by current sensory input. Cognitive science seems willing to accept representations that are over and above sensory input but still experiential in nature. The exact status of these ‘offline’ representations is, however, unclear. If it is true that these offline representations are responsible for crucial aspects of bodily subjective life (e.g., unity, ownership, presence), then it is unclear how these representations bring this experience about. Whereas online bodily representations are based on sensory input, offline bodily representations seem to be based on bodily experience over and above sensory life. In other words, they seem to represent or mediate what they are supposed to explain—the subjective body.

Keywords:   phenomenology, Michel Henry, sensation, body image, body schema, subjectivity

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