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Are we our brains?

Burwood, Stephen



My aim in this paper is to destabilise the brain-is-self thesis, something that is now regarded in some quarters as philosophical commonsense. My contention is that it is the epithelial body that enters into the formation of our sense of self and that largely bears the burden of personal identity as well as playing the key role in grounding our psychological ascriptions. Lacking any sensorimotor or social presence of its own, the brain by itself cannot "underlie" selfhood, but only as part of the whole living human being. If the minded individual is embodied, this must mean more than being embrained.


Burwood, S. (2009). Are we our brains?. Philosophical Investigations, 32(2), 113-133.

Journal Article Type Review
Online Publication Date Feb 24, 2009
Publication Date Apr 1, 2009
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Philosophical Investigations
Print ISSN 0190-0536
Electronic ISSN 1467-9205
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 2
Pages 113-133
Public URL
Publisher URL