Ownership and the Space of the Body Chapter uri icon


  • In the last 20 years, a robust experimental paradigm has emerged for studying the structure of bodily experience, focusing primarily on what it is to experience ones body as ones own. The initial impetus came from the rubber hand illusion (RHI) first demonstrated by Botvinick and Cohen, subsequently extended by various researchers to generate illusions of ownership at the level of the body as a whole. This paper identifies some problems with how ownership is discussed in the context of bodily illusions, and then shows how those problems can be addressed through a model of the experienced space of the body. Section 1 briefly reviews the bodily illusions literature and its significance for cognitive science and philosophy. Section 2 expresses reservations with the concept of ownership in terms of which the RHI and other illusions are standardly framed. I offer three hypotheses for the source of our putative sense of ownership. The main body of the paper focuses on the third hypothesis, which is that judgments of ownership are grounded in the distinctive way that we experience the space of the body.

author list (cited authors)

  • Bermudez, J. L.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Bermúdez, José Luis

Book Title

  • The Bodily Self

publication date

  • March 2018