In this book, José Luis Bermúdez addesses two fundamental problems in the philosophy and psychology of self-consciousness: (1) Can we provide a noncircular account of fully fledged self-conscious thought and language in terms of more fundamental capacities? (2) Can we explain how fully fledged self-conscious thought and language can arise in the normal course of human development? Bermúdez argues that a paradox (the paradox of self-consciousness) arises from the apparent strict interdependence between self-conscious thought and linguistic self-reference.
The Body and the Self brings together recent work by philosophers and psychologists on the nature of self-consciousness, the nature of bodily awareness, and the relation between the two. The central problem addressed is How is our grasp of ourselves as one object among others underpinned by the ways in which we use and represent our bodies? The contributors take up such issues as how should we characterize the various distinctive ways we have of being in touch with our own bodies in sensation, proprioception, and action?