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The Journal of Philosophy

Volume 113, Issue 9, September 2016

Shao-Pu Kang
Pages 463-471
DOI: 10.5840/jphil2016113931

Somatoparaphrenia, the Body Swap Illusion, and Immunity to Error through Misidentification

Sydney Shoemaker argues that a certain class of self-ascriptions is immune to error through misidentification relative to the first-person pronouns. In their “Self-Consciousness and Immunity,” Timothy Lane and Caleb Liang question Shoemaker’s view. Lang and Liang present a clinical case (somatoparaphrenia) and an experiment (the Body Swap Illusion) and argue that they are counterexamples to Shoemaker’s view. This paper is a response to Lane and Liang’s challenge. I identify the desiderata that a counterexample to Shoemaker’s view must meet and show that somatoparaphrenia and the Body Swap Illusion fail to meet those desiderata. Thus, despite being puzzling phenomena, somatoparaphrenia and the Body Swap Illusion are not counterexamples to Shoemaker’s view.

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