• Roberta Guccinelli



Living Bodily Self-Sense, Self-Deception, Delusion, Transformation Process.


In this paper I would like to describe, even if in broad terms, certain ways, more or less adequate, in which it is possible to experience our own or others’ subjectivity and to acquire from it, in less unhappy cases, a more or less deep knowledge. In particular, I present an ecological model of the Self, which is capable of constituting, in the specific “sense” in which it manifests itself – the self-sense, the sense of our own embodied and embedded being – a fundamental presupposition of an eventual self-knowledge and knowledge of others. The self-sense or sense of our own living bodyness, evident, for example, in feeling good or bad in one’s own body, in the hunger or in the pain, in the attunement (or non-attunement) of the subject involved with its own environment and with other animals (human and non-human), points out, in other words, in the contextual perspective that is outlined, the minimal form that can assume self-knowledge and knowledge of others. In an indirect route, that is to say, turned towards the recognition of possible failures and pathologies of self-knowledge and knowledge of others, of “unhappy knowledge” so to speak, I uncover the role that self-sense and its eventual failure play in the possible conquest or failure of second-order self-knowledge and knowledge of others (social cognition, personal and interpersonal knowledge). Above all, I turn my attention to axiological-affective self-deceptions and to delusions and affective “blindness”, suggesting a possible alternative route, or at least an integrative route, in comparison with standard theories of self-deception and delusion, essentially characterized in a propositional sense. I show in the end the formative and transformative power of art, its expressive and material dimension and its therapeutic relevance or dis-illusory, absolutely antithetical, as such, to anaesthetizing or simply protective (of a would-be equilibrium of one’s own self) and adaptive power that certain self-deceptions can have.