Acting for Bodily Awareness

Authored by: Frédérique de Vignemont

The Routledge Handbook of Embodied Cognition

Print publication date:  May  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415623612
eBook ISBN: 9781315775845
Adobe ISBN: 9781317688662


 Download Chapter



For almost thirty years now, the growing program of embodied cognition has tried to elevate the importance of the body in explaining cognitive activities. Embodied theorists claim that the body has a crucial significance in how and what the organism thinks and feels. Paradoxically, most of the time there is no description of bodily experiences in embodied theories, with few exceptions (e.g. Gallagher, 2005). While putting so much emphasis on the role of the body for many cognitive functions, embodied theorists tend to neglect the body for its own sake. Part of the reasons for this neglect is that the body is the explanans, not the explanandum. But one cannot ground cognition in the body if one has no understanding of what it means to have a body. In this sense, it is important to step back from speculations about the possible roles of the body for the mind and to start at the very beginning by asking the following question: How does one experience one’s body? One may then wonder whether one can give an embodied account of bodily awareness that does not fall into triviality (bodily awareness explained by the body), namely, a sensorimotor account. But to what extent and in what manner can action account for bodily awareness?

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.