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Mind the body (3) What is the experience of bodily ownership?

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The claim so far is that it feels different when one is aware that a hand is one’s own and when one is not. Now one needs to explore this phenomenological difference and determine its nature. There are three ways to go from here: Bodily experiences represent only low-level sensory properties, on the basis of which one can judge that high-level properties, such as ownership, are instantiated. Bodily experiences represent high-level properties, but not of ownership, on the basis of which one can judge that ownership is instantiated. Bodily experiences represent the high-level property of ownership. The first hypothesis is that the phenomenal contrast is exhausted by sensory properties. Let us go back to the RHI. When participants report ownership after synchronous conditions, they also experience referred sensations in the rubber hand and they mislocalize their hand in the direction of its location. One may then argue that these tactile and proprioceptive differences exhaust the phenomenal contrast. The general hypothesis is that the awareness of these low-level features gives rise to the sense of ownership. But how can it account for dissociations between the awareness of low-level and of high-level bodily features? For instance, some patients with somatoparaphrenia can experience tactile and painful sensations and yet lack a sense of ownership: “P: I still have the acute pain where the prosthesis is. E: Which prosthesis? P: Don’t you see? This thing here (indicating his left arm).” (Maravita, 2008, p. 102). There is no doubt here that the patient was experiencing pain and that he was locating his pain in his left arm, and yet there is also little doubt that he was not aware of his left arm as being his own. The sense of ownership is a positive quality over and above sensory features.  The second hypothesis grants that bodily experiences can represent some high-level properties but not the property of ownership. For instance, one. . .

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News source: Philosophy of Mind – The Brains Blog

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