The brain thinks, not man. Man
is just a cerebral crystallization.
Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari 
I don't pretend to account for the Functions of the Brain.
I never heard of a System or a Philosophy that could do it.
Bernard Mandeville 
What can a philosopher say about phantom limb syndrome? More specifically,
what can a materialist philosopher say about phantom limb syndrome? At
first glance, a phenomenon by which our 'corporeal imagination' -- what
La Mettrie in the eighteenth century called the "magic lantern"
working within the brain, projecting images created by our memory and
intellect  -- induces us to feel pains in a missing limb might seem
like profound evidence that naive, scientistic views of consciousness
are false or at least useless. How could science with its measurements
ever grasp the irreducibly
subjective construction which my body is? Notice that in any case, regardless
of our answer to such a question, a somato-psychic phenomenon like phantom
limb syndrome raises significant issues
regarding good old-fashioned notions such as the self, and slightly less
old-fashioned notions such as the tandem 'self and brain'.
Namely, if the self has already been deflated -- since Hume and Nietzsche
in their respective traditions, and in recent times since Dennett -- what
about the brain?
Our suspicions regarding nefarious neurophilosophers and other ~herauts~
of scientism should be allayed, or at least mollified, by the realization
that present-day neuroscience and philosophy of
neuroscience is fully aware that brains can be sources of illusion,
tricks on the mind, self-deception, as much as they are reliable ontological
substrates of something like the self. An intangible phenomenon like
feeling the presence of a phantom limb used to be viewed, in a kind
of crude eductionism, as "wishful thinking" or "mourning"
on the part of the patient (following Ramachandran's
expression) but this is no longer so. Consider for instance the fact
of volitional control of a phantom limb, as described in Ramachandran's
famous mirror box experiment (which he also describes
as the "virtual reality box") and its implications for an
integrated vision of body, mind and brain.
The box is made by placing a vertical mirror inside a cardboard box
with the roof of the box removed. The front of the box has two holes
in it, through which the patient inserts his good arm and his phantom
arm. The patient is then asked to view the reflection of his normal
hand in the mirror, thus creating the
illusion of two hands, when in fact [he] is only seeing the mirror reflection
of the intact hand. If he now sends motor commands to both arms to make
mirror-symmetric movements, he will have the illusion of seeing his
phantom hand resurrected and obeying his commands, i.e. he receives
feedback informing his brain that his phantom arm is moving correctly.
Now, in what follows my aim is less to stake out a position on phantom
limbs (real? imagined? material? neuronal? phenomenal?) than to show
that philosophical reflection on brains, even when it seeks to rebut
the dogmatic anti-naturalism found in most corners of phenomenology,
does not have to be naively, crudely reductionistic or scientistic --
in other words, to show that one can be a materialist
without having to feel like "a cop at Woodstock" (in Dennett's
colourful expression, referring in his case to being a reductionist
materialist philosopher at a meeting on quantum physics and
consciousness; but he added that he wanted to be like a "good
My argument runs as follows:
1. What do phantom limbs seem to imply? The first-person perspective.
2. But a materialist response to this first-person challenge is possible.
Further, it has to be an embodied materialist response.
3. However, in order to not reinvest the brain with the mysterious
character that the self has lost, this must also be an embedded vision
of the brain, not just in the body but in the network of symbolic relations.
One can describe this as the 'social brain', and emphasize the coeval,
between organ and prosthesis, so that the difference between an original
substrate and an artifact disappears or becomes purely instrumental.
This is what I mean by "de-ontologizing the brain."
Phantom limbs and anosognosias -- cases of abnormal impressions of
the presence or absence of parts of our body -- seem like handy illustrations
of an irreducible, first-person dimension of
experience, of the sort that will delight the phenomenologist, who
will say: aha! there is an empirical case of self-reference which externalist,
third-person explanations of the type favoured by
deflationary materialists, cannot explain away, cannot do away with.
As Merleau-Ponty would say, and Varela after him, there is something
about my body which makes it irreducibly my own (le corps propre). Whether
illusory or not, such images (phantoms) have something about them such
that we perceive them as our own, not someone else's (well, some agnosias
are different: thinking our paralyzed limb is precisely someone else's,
often a relative's). One might then want to insist that phantom limbs
testify to the transcendence of mental life!
Indeed, in one of the more celebrated historical cases of phantom limb
syndrome, Lord Horatio Nelson, having lost his right arm in a sea battle
off of Tenerife, suffered from pains in his phantom hand. Most importantly,
he apparently declared that this phantom experience was a "direct
proof of the existence of the soul" -- the clearest possible
statement of the kind of view I wish to oppose here.
Although the materialist might agree with the (reformed) phenomenologist
to reject dualism and accept that we are not in our bodies like a sailor
in a ship, she might not want to go and declare, as Merleau-Ponty does,
that "the mind does not use the body, but fulfills itself through
it while at the same time transferring the body outside of physical
space." This way of talking goes back to the Husserlian distinction
between Korper, 'body' in the sense of one body among others in a vast
mechanistic universe of bodies, and Leib, 'flesh' in the sense of a
subjectivity which is the locus of experience.
Now, granted, in cognitivist terms one would want to say that a representation
is always my representation, it is not 'transferable' like a neutral
piece of information, since the way an object appears to me is always
a function of my needs and interests. What my senses tell me at any
given time relies on my interests as an agent and is determined by them,
as described by Andy Clark, who appeals to the combined research traditions
of the psychology of perception, new robotics, and Artificial Life.
But the phenomenologist will take off from there and build a full-blown
defense of intentionality, now recast as 'motor intentionality' (as
currently discussed by neuroscientists such as Alain Berthoz and Marc
Jeannerod and philosophers such as Sean Kelly), a notion which goes
back to Husserl's claim in _Ideas II_ that the way the body relates
to the external world is crucially through "kinestheses":
all external motions which we perceive are first of all related to kinesthetic
sensations, out of which we constitute a sense of space. On this view,
our body thus already displays 'originary intentionality' in how it
relates to the world.
This is part of what I mean by the appeal to the first-person dimension.
In contrast, for someone like Dennett, phantom limbs and agnosias are,
at least as much as they are instances of self-reference, instances
of self-deception: we don't have a transparent relation to ourselves.
"You are not authoritative about what is happening in you, but
only about what seems to be happening in you," or, as Andy
Clark puts it, "the conscious self is but the tip of the 'I' berg."
Phantom limb phenomena merely bring to light a much wider sense in which
we live in 'intended' rather than
'actual' worlds, i.e., we presuppose an enormous amount of what
is there in order to act. Put in an extreme way, "your own body
is a phantom, one that your brain has temporarily constructed purely
convenience." Given this, it's not a good idea -- at least
ontologically; the ethical story is different, as Locke saw (and his
response was to emphasize that 'person' was a "forensick term")
trace everything back to a central, unifying and grounding self(hood):
For your entire life, you've been walking around assuming that your
'self' is anchored to a single body that remains stable and permanent
at least until death... yet these results suggest the exact opposite
-- that your body image... is an entirely transitory construct that
can be profoundly altered with just a
few simple tricks.
Our self -- and its neural correlates -- is a construct, at most a
"narrative center," and by that token, it's a fiction
(as first seen by Hume, and also Montaigne). I am a character in a story
brain is making up, "consciousness is a property I have by virtue
of my brain's attributing it to me. My story doesn't have to cohere
completely to be useful." Katherine Hayles calls this new intuition
"posthuman": "Consciousness for the posthuman ceases
to be seen as the seat of identity and becomes instead an epiphenomenon,
a late evolutionary add-on whose principal function is to narrate just-so
stories that often have little to do with what is actually happening."
I will keep referring to it for now in more plain terms as the fictional
self. One also hears echoes of the fictional self in Michael Gazzaniga's
accounts of his split-brain studies (severing the corpus callosum in
the case of certain seizures): in commissurotomized subjects, it is
not the 'whole person' who does the reintegrating of their world, but
one hemisphere of their brain; "the person is utterly unaware of
the tricky communicative ploys the brain comes to exploit."
This was arguably already Kurt Goldstein's
point -- namely, that it is simply a 'fact', a 'property' of our brains
that they construct unity or totality, as a normal state but also in
response to abnormal situations -- but he ontologized it into a
property of the brain and by extension of 'the organism' that somehow
removed it from the world of causality and mechanistic natural science.
I won't go along with the ontologization, but before
I get to this, I'd like to put some more nails in the coffin of the
(admittedly 'undead') first-person perspective.
As I said initially, phantom limbs and related phenomena seem like
ideal cases for the phenomenologist (whether slightly favourable to
a naturalistic viewpoint or not), of a bodily state in which the viewpoint
of the subject is an irreducible part of the state, such that if it
were factored out, that 'state' would no longer make any sense, indeed
would no longer exist.
The 'trivially true' materialist response here would be to say: these
are cases of 'remapping' the inner 'model' of the body we have, known
as the cortical map or the Penfield map (after the Canadian
neurologist, Wilder Penfield), caused by mismatches between visual and
proprioceptive feedback. In other words, these apparently uniquely 'mindful'
phenomena are nonetheless mechanistically
specifiable and explainable. (Ironically, this is not so far removed
from Descartes' position on phantom limbs: we shouldn't trust the senses
but rather our reason. He viewed phantom limbs as illusions,
which tells us that the problem of phantom limbs is the mind-body problem,
since it demands that we define the relation between a sensation and
'that of which it is a sensation'.) The variant of the
materialist response that I shall offer here can include such deflationary
elements, but I would add that (a) insofar as such accounts refer back
to the uniqueness of our subjective experience, they run into the aporia
of opposing the first-person perspective to the third-person perspective
and (b) insofar as the present version of materialism allows for embodiment
(and is thereby not just a physicalism), it can accommodate such experiences
without having to explain them in first-person terms.
To lay out the third-person, externalist perspective, it's always
helpful to remember that there is no homunculus:
The cardinal background principle [for the neurophilosopher] is that
there are no homunculi. There is no little person in the brain who 'sees'
an inner television screen, 'hears' an inner voice, 'reads' the topographic
maps, weighs reasons, decides actions, and so forth. There are just
neurons and their
connections. When a person sees, it is because neurons, individually
blind and individually stupid neurons, are collectively orchestrated
in the appropriate manner.
And there are no qualia either. As Dennett has memorably written,
believers in qualia are tied to a picture of the mind as a 'Cartesian
theatre', in which mental entities are on display before the mind's
eye. To move from, e.g., the reality of colors as properties of physical
objects to the reality of color qualia as the properties of internal
states is an unjustified inference. One can add that the notion
of 'phenomenal information' is doubtful -- perhaps interesting, and
heuristically useful, but in no way more real than the 'rational part
of the soul.' The Husserlian claim that experience itself, qualities
and all, contains the 'essences' we need to inquire into, is more convincing!
Thomas Nagel's famous appeal to subjective experience in "What
is it like to be a bat?" is an elegant revival or recycling
of the phenomenological vulgate from the Continent, a 'minimal credo'
could find in Bergson, Merleau-Ponty or even Husserl, but it is not
an argument to assert that 'the mental is subjective and science is
objective, therefore science cannot explain the realm of the mental
(and materialism is false)'. This is logically true in the same way
that 'All Martians are adulterous, and all adulterous people are meat
eaters, so all Martians are meat eaters' is true, but it says nothing
more. In fact,
Human and other subjects can have functionally or computationally
different states that nonetheless home on the same objective state of
affairs, either external or internal. But there are no intrinsically
subjective or perspectival facts that are either the special objects
of self-regarding attitudes or facts of 'what it is like'. There are
only states of subjects that both function in a particularly intimate
way within those subjects and have the subjects themselves and their
other states as inevitable referents. And that is all there is to 'subjectivity'.
More interestingly, and moving towards 'embodiment', Paul Churchland
has pointed out that we can claim to have a first-person, privileged
relation to all sorts of physical things, including our muscles,
skin, stomach and bowels (!), what Patricia Churchland has elegantly
called "awareness of visceral circumstance." Curiously
-- and doubtless without the Churchlands' knowing it -- Leibniz entertains
this possibility in the _New Essays Concerning Human Understanding_
(1704), asserting that "something occurs in the soul in reponse
[to] the internal motions of the viscera," perhaps in response
to Descartes' remarks in the Sixth _Meditation_ on how my experience
of bodily processes includes "twitching in the stomach."
But Leibniz, heading off objections to animism, says the soul is
actually unaware of such movements. In any case, the point here is that
purely internal, 'private' events which only I can feel, are in no way
separate from the natural, causal world which science studies. Of course,
while muscular or visceral motions can be studied from a third-person
perspective, in terms compatible with the scientific representation
of the world, we can also claim to feel things about them which this
representation cannot include.
The existence of a proprietary, first-person epistemological access
to some phenomenon does not mean that the accessed phenomenon is nonphysical
in nature. It means only that someone possesses an information-carrying
causal connection to that phenomenon, a connection that others lack.
The materialist can accept that we have "a route of epistemological
access" to our own body, which others lack (this is not Merleau-Ponty
but the Australian identity theorist David Armstrong!), and thereby
also to our mind. But it must be explained: "there remains
a genuine obligation on the materialist's part to give some account
of the subjectivity or perspectivalness or point-of-view-ness of the
mental"; "the materialist owes the world an explanation of
what it is about a mental/neural state that makes its proprietor think
of it as subjective." In other words, instead of denying the
introspection, the materialist should try and locate it within the physical
world, within the overall framework of explanation (as Spinoza did).
One place to start, where philosophy still has to catch
up on neuroscience, despite brief and passing remarks by the 'identity
theorists', is proprioception, precisely inasmuch as it is my 'internal'
sense of my body and yet is light-years removed from any aprioristic
vision of an "inner sense" or "sense of senses"
as found in St. Augustine, Kant or the phenomenologist Erwin Straus.
The American poet Charles Olson was perhaps alone in recognizing the
import of this concept, speaking of "the 'body' itself... by movement
of its own tissues, giving the data of, depth," "spontaneously
[producing] experience of, 'Depth', viz. SENSIBILITY WITHIN THE ORGANISM
BY MOVEMENT OF ITS OWN TISSUES," and he described the body
as an "interior empty place filled with 'organs'? for 'functions'?",
which (sounding suddenly very Germanic) "removes the false opposition
What proprioception -- among other biological phenomena -- tells us
is that even if we were restricting ourselves to 'biological talk',
we would end up with some account of our subjective relation to the
world, of our sense of 'self' in the midst of our experience of the
world. Further, it would equally be within the province of biological
discourse to describe how we construct partial versions of the world
for ourselves (as described at the level of perception by the eminent
neurophysiologist Walter Freeman). One way of explaining this is
to view our perceptual processes as filters, which "take in and
retain only a tiny and tendentiously selected fraction of the information
that is available in an object under scrutiny." Hence no two
subjects perceive the same object in the same way, including
for evolutionary reasons.
Indeed, since the embodied materialist standpoint is not merely a
physicalism but can appeal to biological information, it offers plenty
of ways to understand individuality, selfhood or agency, from
reflections on the developmental process to immunology and the neuroscience
of action. There is no need, then, to oppose a private (and foundational)
self to the body or the brain. Instead of declaring rather dualistically
that "It is man who thinks, not the brain," as Erwin Straus
does -- that is, that brain events do exist but have nothing to
do with the world of our experience -- the reverse formulation, Deleuze
and Guattari's, seems more wise: "The brain thinks, not man. Man
is just a cerebral crystallization."
The trick is to not go all the way with embodiment, so as not to end
up in what Deleuze, speaking of Merleau-Ponty, called the "mysticism
of the flesh." After all, is there anything metaphysically
unique about flesh, skin or the brain which makes them do what they
do? My last point, then, is to not get too comfortable with embodiment
either, since the brain is necessarily located within the social and
symbolic world: this is what I mean by 'de-ontologizing the brain.'
Namely, if we demystify or deflate some concepts of self and subjectivity
by relating such concepts to the reality of the brain -- the processes
of which are dynamic, distributed, non-centred, dissipative, and include
'remapping' -- we shouldn't then turn the brain itself into a mysterious
substance which explains everything, some sort of 'Wonder Tissue'; a
corrective is needed. If mind and body belong together, as do body and
brain, so do brain and world.
Call this the "co-evolutionary" perspective (with Terrence
Deacon) and emphasize 'Baldwinian evolution', i.e., the cluster of linguistic
and cultural layers in evolution which do not fall under Darwinian
evolution; call it the "social brain," in the Spinozist tradition
(including Damasio but also Lev Vygotsky and Antonio Negri). The
idea is that 'not everything is in the head', or 'the skin is not a
real barrier' (think of how much we care about extended limbs, how upset
we get if they are severed, including even remote-controlled limbs).
This is what Andy Clark calls "scaffolding": we are inseparable
from the "looping interactions" between our brains, our bodies,
and "complex cultural and technological environments."
In other words, our brains have the talent for making use of the environment,
"piggy-backing on reliable environmental properties,"
which is in fact a far more economical and swift action procedure than
processing representations of objects.
"Scaffolding" is one of the vehicles humans employ, so that
language, culture and institutions empower cognitions. On this view,
the brain is not a central planner but rather possesses a "scaffolding"
which is inseparable from the external world.
Think of it in terms of plasticity: the possibility, as described
in Ramachandran's mirror box experiment, of reviving volitional control
and somatic sensations in a phantom arm by simply using a mirror, even
when no sensation had been experienced by the subject for the previous
ten years, "implies a surprising degree of plasticity in the adult
brain." And this plasticity implies in turn a surprising
degree of opportunistic openness towards the non-organic, the artificial,
the technological: the biological functioning of our brains themselves
"has always involved [using] nonbiological props
and scaffolds," with direct consequences for brain architecture
itself: "a youngster growing up in a medieval village in twelfth-century
France would literally have different neural connections than a twenty-first-century
American adolescent who has spent serious time with computer games."
In Deleuze's terms, "Creating new circuits in art means creating
them in the brain."
In any case, my point is not to take a position in the current debates
on the status and importance of neural plasticity, but rather to
emphasize the 'scaffolding' dimension, which implies -- at the risk
of sounding a bit like a practitioner of 'Theory' -- that the 'paradigm'
of the phantom limb might not be not so far removed from that of the
Given the degree of openness of the central nervous system, and on
the 'personal' level, our ability to identify with non-biological extensions
of our body, the 'artificialist' perspective, in which body and prosthesis,
indeed, body and tool, merge, is not so far off. Just as the 'fictional
self' is the outcome of the deflation of the ontological unity of self,
the social, evolving, 'cultured' brain deflates the ontological
uniqueness and isolation of the brain.
Instead of opposing subjectivity to the natural world, or the body to
the tool, we have arrived at a vision of the "productive potential"
of the agent as inseparable from a "set of prostheses,"
process of what Felix Guattari would have called the "production
of subjectivity." In Negri's terms,
The tool... has entirely changed. We no longer need tools in order
to transform nature... or to establish a relation with the historical
world..., we only need language. Language is the tool. Better yet, the
brain is the tool, inasmuch as it is common.
The brain is "common" inasmuch as it is constituted by and
inseparable from the network of relations to which we belong. If phantom
limb syndrome was the point of entry here by which the brain opens onto
the world of fiction, revealing our sense of self, including its 'embodied'
dimension, to be a "transitory internal construct," in Ramachandran's
terms, then the prosthesis (akin in this respect to certain appropriations
of the figure of the cyborg) is the point at which the brain escapes
any solipsism, whether of the post-Cartesian, brain-in-a-vat sort, or
the more omnipotent, brain-as-self sort. If one thinks of the recent
examples of theperformers Stelarc and Orlan (regardless of their different
vocabularies and cultural contexts), one can see this sense in which
biological limits are being transcended, by being 'plugged into' technological
networks (this mainly in the case of Stelarc). This is the kind
of commonality we have been discussing -- in which self and brain are
constituted through interactions with various extended entities, so
that what it is to be 'me' is nothing other than a
productive potential, a "set of prostheses," of fictions.
The common brain or social brain generates the fictional self, but
really, the fellow-traveler of such a self should be termed the de-ontologized
brain. Now, one can ask in response if a de-ontologized brain can "think
ontologically," and the initial response seems to be No: if
an ontology amounts to a definition or catalogue of what there is, as
opposed to what there isn't (tables, chairs, bodies and maybe mathematical
entities, but not centaurs or smiles of Cheshire cats), then brains
as entities 'plugged in' to the network of artificialist, technological
production shouldn't think ontologically at all. However, if one understands
ontology in a sense closer to the "production of subjectivity,"
namely, as "constitutive ontology," in Negri's terms, then
there is no tension between a plastic, social, cultured brain-in-a-network
and the constant production and reproduction of being, through the desires
and actions of concrete agents. If what there is, is constituted,
the brain's positing and desiring are no more real than the fictional,
"forensick" masks of the self, but they are also no less real
than the social, ethical and political forms into which they crystallize.
A shorter version of this paper was presented at the
conference on 'Phantom Limb Phenomena. Neuroscientific, Aesthetic, Philosophical
Perspectives', Goldsmiths College, University of London, January 14-16,
2005. Many thanks to John Symons (UT El Paso) for steering me in the
right direction with some of this material.
 Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, _Qu'est-ce
que la philosophie?_, Paris: Minuit, 1991, pp. 197-198.
 Bernard Mandeville, _A Treatise of the hypochondriack
and hysterick diseases_, 2nd corrected edition, London: Tonson, 1730;
reprint, Delmar, N.Y., Scholars' Reprints, 1976, p. 137.
 Julien Offray de La Mettrie, _L'Homme-Machine_
(1748), in Aram Vartanian, _La Mettrie's "L'Homme-Machine."
A Study in the Origins of An Idea_, Princeton: Princeton University
Press, 1960, p. 165. La Mettrie adds that the soul as a whole can be
reduced to the workings of the imagination.
 See Todd E. Feinberg & David M. Roane, "Anosognosia,
completion and confabulation: the neutral-personal dichotomy,"
_Neurocase_ 3 (1997) and William Hirstein, _Brain Fiction. Self-Deception
and the riddle of confabulation_, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2005
(an important work which addresses several of the concerns in the present
 V.S. Ramachandran & L. Levi et al., "Illusions
of body image," in Rodolfo Llinás & Patricia S. Churchland,
eds., _The Mind-Brain continuum: sensory processes_, Cambridge, Mass.:
MIT Press, 1996; V.S. Ramachandran & William Hirstein, "The
Perception of phantom limbs" (D.O. Hebb lecture), _Brain 121_ (1998).
 Ramachandran & Hirstein, "The Perception
of phantom limbs," p. 1620.
 Daniel Dennett, "The Myth of double transduction,"
_Toward a science of consciousness II, The Second Tucson discussions
and debates_, eds. S. Hameroff, A.W. Kaszniak & A.C. Scott, Cambridge,
Mass.: MIT Press, 1998, p. 97.
 See Antonio Damasio, _Descartes' Error. Emotion
and reason in the human brain_, New York: Putnam, 1994, pp. 62-66.
 Feinberg & Roane, "Anosognosia, completion
and confabulation: the neutral-personal dichotomy."
 As quoted in Ramachandran & Hirstein, "The
Perception of phantom limbs," p. 1604.
 Maurice Merleau-Ponty, _The Structure of behavior_,
trans. A.L. Fisher, Boston: Beacon Press, 1963, pp. 208-209 (trans.
 Daniel Dennett, _Consciousness Explained_, Harmondsworth:
Penguin, 1990, p. 96.
 Andy Clark, _Natural-Born Cyborgs. Minds, technologies
and the future of human intelligence_, Oxford: Oxford University Press,
2002, p. 100.
 Borrowing this formulation from Chris Frith (discussion,
 V.S. Ramachandran & Sandra Blakeslee, _Phantoms
in the brain_, New York: W. Morrow, 1998, p. 62.
 Ibid.; the body image is a "transitory internal
construct" (Ramachandran & Hirstein, "The Perception of
phantom limbs," p. 1623).
 Dennett, _Consciousness Explained_, ch. 13, esp.
pp. 426-427; "The Self as center of narrative gravity," in
F.J. Kessel, P. Cole & D.L. Johnson, eds., _Self and consciousness:
multiple perspectives_, Hillsdale, NJ: L. Erlbaum, 1992; Antonio Damasio,
_The Feeling of what happens_, New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1999, ch.
 Drew McDermott, "Little 'me'" (commentary
on Daniel Dennett & Marcel Kinsbourne, "Time and the observer"),
_Brain and Behavioral Sciences_ 15:2 (1992), p. 217.
 N. Katherine Hayles, "Flesh and Metal: Reconfiguring
the Mindbody in Virtual Environments," _Configurations_ 10 (2002),
 Daniel Dennett, _Elbow Room. The varieties of
free will worth wanting_, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1984, p. 40,
n. 23, referring to Michael S. Gazzaniga & Joseph E. Ledoux, _The
Integrated Mind_, New York: Plenum, 1978. See also, inter alia, Gazzaniga,
"The Neuronal Platonist" (interview by Shaun Gallagher), _Journal
Consciousness Studies_ 5:5-6 (1998), online at http://www.imprint.co.uk/gazza_iv.htm
 See Kurt Goldstein, T_he Organism: a holistic
approach to biology derived from pathological data in man_, New York:
Zone Books / MIT Press, 1995 (originally published 1934). In modern
neuroscience Goldstein's role as a predecessor of more recent split-brain
studies has been seen by Norman Geschwind, "Disconnexion syndromes
in animals and man," _Brain_ 88 (1965).
 See Nicholas Humphrey, _A History of the mind_,
New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992, pp. 171-176, here, p. 172.
 For more on the 'embodiment' paradigm in cognitive
science, see Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson & Eleanor Rosch, _The
Embodied Mind_, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1991.
 Patricia S. Churchland, _Neurophilosophy: towards
a unified science of the mind/brain_, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1986,
 Daniel Dennett, "Quining Qualia," in
A.J. Marcel & E. Bisiach, eds., _Consciousness and contemporary
science_, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988.
 Thomas Nagel, "What is it like to be a bat?,"
_Philosophical Review_ 83:4 (1974).
 William G. Lycan, "What is the 'subjectivity'
of the mental?", in James Tomberlin, ed., _Philosophical Perspectives
vol. 4: Action theory and the philosophy of mind_, Atascadero: Ridgeview
Publishing, 1990, p. 126.
 Patricia S. Churchland, "Reduction and the
neurobiological basis of consciousness," in Marcel & Bisiach,
eds., _Consciousness and contemporary science_, p. 282.
 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, _New Essays on Human
Understanding_, P. Remnant & J. Bennett, ed. & trans. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1982, book II, chapter I, sect. 15.
 Rene Descartes, Oeuvres, C. Adam & P. Tannery,
eds. 11 vols., reprint, Paris: Vrin, 1964-1974, vol. IX, p. 60.
 Paul M. Churchland, _The Engine of reason, the
seat of the soul_, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1995, p. 198.
 David Armstrong, in his exchange with Norman Malcolm,
_Consciousness and causality. A debate on the nature of mind_, Oxford:
Blackwell, 1984, p. 112. See Armstrong's _A Materialist theory of the
mind_, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968 (2nd ed., 1993), pp.
100-115, for the materialist's reconstruction of introspection.
 Lycan, "What is the 'subjectivity' of the
pp. 110, 116.
 See e.g. J.J.C. Smart, "The Identity theory
of mind," _Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy_ (http://plato.stanford.edu)
(2000) and Armstrong, in Armstrong & Malcolm, _Consciousness and
110-112. Admittedly, most of the cognitive science discussions of proprioception
seem to miss its philosophical implications, too. In his broad and influential
work _Being There. Putting brain, body and world back together again_,
Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1997, Andy Clark simply says that proprioception
is "the inner sense that tells you how your body is located in
space" (p. 22) and leaves it at that.
 Charles Olson, "Proprioception" [1961-1962],
in _Collected Prose_, ed. Donald Allen & Benjamin Friedlander, Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1997, pp. 181, 182. Thanks to Homa Shojaie
for helping me locate this text.
 See Walter J. Freeman, "The Physiology of
Perception," _Scientific American_ 264 (February 1991) and _How
Brains Make Up Their Minds_, London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1999.
 Lycan, "What is the 'subjectivity' of the
mental?", p. 117.
 Erwin Straus, _Du sens des sens_, Grenoble: J.
Millon, 1989, p. 183.
 Deleuze & Guattari, _Qu'est-ce que la philosophie?_,
 For Merleau-Ponty's overtly mystical statements
about 'Flesh' see e.g. _Phenomenology of perception_, trans. Colin Smith,
London: Routledge Kegan Paul, 1962, p. 212: "Just as the sacrament
not only symbolizes... an operation of Grace, but is also the real presence
of God... in the same way the sensible has not only a motor and vital
significance but is a way of being in the world... sensation is literally
a form of communion."
 On the social brain, see Paolo Virno, "Multitude
et principe d'individuation," _Multitudes_ 7 (December 2001),
http://multitudes.samizdat.net/Multitude-et-principe-d.html and Charles
T. Wolfe, "Il cervello sociale," _Forme di vita_ vol. 4 (Rome,
2005).Some of the recent interest in Gilbert Simondon touches upon this
topic, including the recent special issue of _Multitudes_ 17 (2004).
 Andy Clark, _Natural-Born Cyborgs_, pp. 11, 43.
Clark intersects here with a good deal of recent cultural theory, media
theory, and literary theory (when it concerns itself with the relation
between fiction, embodiment and technological forms) -- see in particular
Donna Haraway's "cyborgs" (in "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science,
Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century,"
in _Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature_, New York:
Routledge, 1991, online at http://www.stanford.edu/dept/HPS/Haraway/CyborgManifesto.html)
and Katherine Hayles' "posthuman" subjects (in "The Life
Cycle of Cyborgs: Writing the Posthuman," in _A Question of Identity:
Women, Science and Literature_, ed. M. Benjamin, New Brunswick: Rutgers
University Press, 1993; _How We became posthuman: Virtual bodies in
cybernetics, literature, and informatics_, Chicago: University of Chicago
Press, 1999 and "Flesh and Metal: Reconfiguring the Mindbody in
Virtual Environments," op. cit.). But Clark is unique in that he
speaks from within cognitive science -- which also entails that there
is no utopian dimension to his theory.
 Clark, _Being There_, p. 45.
 Ibid., pp. 21, 87.
 V.S. Ramachandran & L. Levi et al., "Illusions
of body image," p. 34.
 Clark, _Natural-Born Cyborgs_, p. 86.
 Hayles, "Flesh and Metal: Reconfiguring the
Mindbody in Virtual Environments," p. 300.
 Gilles Deleuze, _Negotiations 1972-1990_, trans.
M. Joughin, New York: Columbia University Press, 1995, p. 26.
 Contrast Steven Quartz & Terry Sejnowski's
"neural constructivism" (essentially a kind of 'hyper-plasticity')
with Gazzaniga's insistence that we actually have less plasticity than
is currently thought. Further, consider the 'new innatist' point that
phantom limbs imply the existence of internal representations of our
body which we are born with (e.g., the fetus which knows how to put
its thumb in its mouth without 'putting out its eye', an example
suggested by a participant in the 'Phantom Limb' conference).
Another, more cautionary response to invocations of plasticity is to
point out that cortical remapping is not always a good thing! (Bodies
are not just what Los Angeles media executives make out of them, in
Eagleton's celebrated image -- he was attacking the postmodern obsession
with the body coupled with its disregard for the real-life
"piece of matter that sickens and dies," and concluded that
"the creature who emerges from postmodern thought is centreless,
hedonistic, self-inventing, ceaselessly adaptive. He [is] more like
a Los Angeles media executive than an Indonesian fisherman" [T.
Eagleton, _After Theory_, London: Allen Lane, 2003, p. 186].)
 On the theme of the "cultured brain"
see Warren Neidich, _Blow-Up. Photography, cinema and the brain_, New
York: Distributed Art Publishers, 2003. A 'Deleuzean approach' to the
brain is a significant component of Neidich's analysis; for a helpful
discussion of Deleuze on the brain see John Rajchman, _The Deleuze Connections_,
Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2000, pp. 133f., 136-138, and my review
 Antonio Negri, "Alma Venus. Prolegomena to
the common," trans. Patricia Dailey & Constantino Costantini,
in Charles T. Wolfe, ed., _The Renewal of Materialism_ (Graduate Faculty
Philosophy Journal 22:1, New York, New School for Social Research, 2000),
16b. Online at http://www.generation-online.org/t/almavenus.htm
 See http://www.stelarc.va.com.au and http://www.orlan.net
 As suggested by an anonymous reviewer for CTheory.net
 Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri, _Empire_, Cambridge,
Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000, p. 362. For more on Negri's notion
of "constitutive ontology," see my discussion, "Materialism
and temporality. On Antonio Negri's 'constitutive' ontology," in
Timothy S. Murphy & Abdul-Karim Mustapha, eds., _The Philosophy
Negri 2: Revolution in Theory_, London: Pluto Press, forthcoming
Charles T. Wolfe is an ARC post-doctoral fellow in
the Unit for History and Philosophy of Science, University of Sydney.
He recently edited the collection _Monsters and Philosophy_ (see www.monstersandphilosophy.com)
and works mainly in the area of early modern materialism and its relation
to biological thought. He is also an editor of the Paris-based journal