PPIG: Philosophy, Psychology, and Informatics Group

Speaker: Helena de Preester (University College Ghent)

Title: Can the body tell its own tale? Phenomenology of the body and interoception

Abstract: Growing attention for interoceptive bodily processes in neuroscience, cognitive and clinical- experimental psychology, and – to a lesser degree – phenomenological philosophy has opened up a new bodily domain: the domain of interoceptive processes related to in-depth bodily systems such as gastrointestinal, respiratory, hormonal and circulatory systems. After the exploration of the sensory and motor body in the 20th century, we are now reaching into bodily depths previously ignored and insights are growing about the connection between these deep bodily processes, emotions, and cognition. However, when interoception comes into view, other bodily dimensions disappear out of sight. The focus of this contribution is therefore not on what we have gained in terms of access to and attention for in-depth bodily aspects and bodily processes. The focus is rather on what we neglect when paying attention to interoception. "What is the body?" serves as the simple question guiding our talk, but the intricacies of subjectivity require a careful analysis (and ontology!) of the body.

Bio: Helena De Preester is an assistant professor at the School of Arts, University College Ghent and visiting research professor at the Department of Philosophy and Moral Science, Ghent University. Her research focusses on self and subjectivity, embodiment, society and technology, imagination and the motor body. In 2018 she co-edited (with Manos Tsakiris) ‘The Interoceptive Mind – From Homeostasis to Awareness’ (OUP).

Helena de Preester

Further information

We are a group of researchers from diverse backgrounds in the above-mentioned groups (and beyond) who aim to gain an interdisciplinary yet deep understanding of the threads that bind the human mind and the world. In particular, this seminar series focuses on the nature of cognition, metacognition and social cognition. We’ll be tackling questions such as, what does it mean to think? What does it mean to think about thinking? And, what does it mean to think about one’s own thinking versus thinking about the thinking of other people? Please come along!

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Contact details

Tillmann Vierkant

May 15 2019 -

PPIG: Philosophy, Psychology, and Informatics Group

2019-05-15: Can the body tell its own tale? Phenomenology of the body and interoception

Room 1.20, Dugald Stewart Building, 3 Charles Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AD