The inner touch: archaeology of a sensation
Down the ages, great minds have explored the idea that sentient life incorporates a distinctive and elusive feature––a feature that cannot be wholly captured in terms of the qualitative character associated with what the individual senses are designed to track when performing their offices in enabling creatures to navigate the external world. From Aristotle onwards, rich attention has been paid to this alleged sense (or feeling) of living, of existing, or of one’s lived body and so on. The feeling in question purportedly is that which attends all unimpaired sentient activity (and possibly even its absence)––it has been thought of as a kind of animal feeling, that can be disrupted or made more manifest by certain psychological and medical disorders.
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