The Bodily Social Self: A Link Between Phenomenal and Narrative Selfhood

Harry Farmer, Manos Tsakiris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Citations (SciVal)


The Phenomenal Self (PS) is widely considered to be dependent on body representations, whereas the Narrative Self (NS) is generally thought to rely on abstract cognitive representations. The concept of the Bodily Social Self (BSS) might play an important role in explaining how the high level cognitive self-representations enabling the NS might emerge from the bodily basis of the PS. First, the phenomenal self (PS) and narrative self (NS), are briefly examined. Next, the BSS is defined and its potential for explaining aspects of social cognition is explored. The minimal requirements for a BSS are considered, before reviewing empirical evidence regarding the development of the BSS over the first year of life. Finally, evidence on the involvement of the body in social distinctions between self and other is reviewed to illustrate how the BSS is affected by both the bottom up effects of multisensory stimulation and the top down effects of social identification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-144
Number of pages20
JournalReview of Philosophy and Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Philosophy


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