Is the sense of bodily ownership related to pre-reflective bodily awareness? A reply to Kuhle

Stephen Gadsby*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/opinion


There are two ways in which we are aware of our bodies: reflectively, when we attend to them, and pre-reflectively, a kind of marginal awareness that pervades regular experience. However, there is an inherent issue with studying bodily awareness of the pre-reflective kind: given that it is, by definition, non-observational, how can we observe it? Kuhle claims to have found a way around this problemwe can study it indirectly by investigating an aspect of reflective bodily awareness: the sense of bodily ownership. Unfortunately, I argue, there is little reason to believe a relationship between pre-reflective bodily awareness and the sense of bodily ownership exists. Until more work is done, pre-reflective bodily awareness remains beyond our empirical grasp.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-637
Number of pages9
JournalPhilosophical Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • bodily ownership
  • phenomenology
  • pre-reflective bodily awareness
  • rubber hand illusion

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