Anorexia nervosa and oversized experiences

Stephen Gadsby*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, I discuss what I call the oversized experiences that anorexic patients suffer from. It has been known for some time that anorexic patients mentally picture their bodies as larger than reality. While this constitutes one kind of oversized experience, I claim there is another, less explored kind. This is an experience of the body as oversized in relation to the affordances of its environment. I discuss recent evidence suggesting anorexic patients exhibit distorted affordance perception. I then discuss how this distorted affordance perception also constitutes an oversized experience of the body. Along with sociocultural influences, I claim oversized experiences ground negative propositional attitudes regarding body size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594-615
Number of pages22
JournalPhilosophical Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2017


  • affordances
  • anorexia
  • body image
  • body representation
  • body schema


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