Hong Yu Wong (Tübingen)

Owning my body

Our bodies and our sense of embodiment are critical to our sense of ourselves as material beings (Cassam 1997, Longuenesse 2006). One prominent strand of research on embodiment concerns the sense of ownership that we have over our bodies. The key questions are how to understand this sense of ownership, and what its function is. I begin by characterising the sense of body ownership and its relation to basic forms of bodily awareness, such as proprioception (Martin 1995, de Vignemont 2007, Peacocke 2014). A major issue is the shape of a constitutive account and its status with respect to pathologies where it is compromised, such as somatoparaphrenia and alien limb syndrome (Vallar and Ronchi 2009, de Vignemont 2007 and 2011). A second question is the function of the sense of body ownership. I will focus on how the sense of body ownership affects agency and the sense of agency – in health and in pathologies such as anosognosia for hemiplegia (Berti et al. 2005, Baier and Karnath 2008, Tsakiris and Fotopoulou 2013). In this talk, I will sketch an account of body ownership that diverges from the three major accounts and discuss its significance for action and sense of agency.