Knowing (With) Bodies

If a body was just part of the material world like anything else, knowing a body would be like knowing anything in the material world. But it is not. Consider:

1. Phantom Limb phenomenon

People perceive having a limb, even after it has been severed. What is happening here? Physiological causal explanations don't seem to be able to fully account for the phenomenon. The limb meant something to the person, and adjusting to a world of meaning without that limb is not easy.

2. Sensing the self

3. Reflex

The reflex cannot be understood if it is isolated from the entire organism, and for that matter, from the environment around it. It is not that reflexes don't exist; they just don't exist as mechanistic things.

4. Emotion

How is emotion related to knowledge? Can we "sense" things in ways other than the 5 senses?


Emotions may be the basis of why things matter to us. "Mattering" may be a feature of bodily knowledge, not of conceptual or reflective knowledge.

5. Colour

Classically, our sense of colour has been explained in terms of different wavelengths coming off of objects. But work done by Edwin Land shows that colour is contextual, that is, we see colour because of the context in which it exists. We assemble colour in our minds by making judgments that are not conscious at all.