Francesco Parisi

Environmental Pictures for the Body

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Virtual Reality, Neuroaesthetics, Enaction, Out-of-Body Experiences, Media Theory.

In their paper, David Freedberg and Antonino Pennisi offer a comprehensive and organic presentation of the mechanisms through which the body image can be altered. On one side, by stressing the role of artworks in this process; on the other one, by showing how the body parts can sometimes be felt as alien by the agent in cases of Body Integrity Identity Disorders (BIID). In this paper, I want to present a perspective that offers a possible interpretation of both phenomena. Namely, the idea that the alleged, post-cartesian philosophical distinction between inner and outer concerning the human body is ill-posed. Indeed, images can affect our bodies as well as the body image can be experienced as disrupted. Such phenomena can be better understood if we differently frame how our cognition works. This functioning, articulated within the 4E cognition debate (Newen, De Bruin, Gallagher, 2018; Menary 2010), highlights that the edges separating bodies and things are blurred and modified by a large number of factors. In the rest of the paper, I will present some cases. For space reasons, I will mainly focus on the impact of visual media in affecting human bodies, but the general conception of cognition I will sketch is valid also for BIID (see the paper infra by Alessandro Capodici for a more in-depth analysis of the BIID).

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