Review of Philosophy and Psychology

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 263–280 | Cite as

Bodily Ownership, Psychological Ownership, and Psychopathology

  • José Luis BermúdezEmail author


Debates about bodily ownership and psychological ownership have typically proceeded independently of each other. This paper explores the relation between them, with particular reference to how each is illuminated by psychopathology. I propose a general framework for studying ownership that is applicable both to bodily ownership (φ-ownership) and psychological ownership (ψ-ownership). The framework proposes studying ownership by starting with explicit judgments of ownership and then exploring the bases for those judgments. Section 3 discusses John Campbell’s account of ψ-ownership in the light of that general framework, emphasizing in particular his fractionation (inspired by schizophrenic delusions) of ψ-ownership into two dissociable components. Section 4 briefly presents an account of φ-ownership that I have developed in more detail elsewhere. Section 5 explores the suggestion, originating with Alexandre Billon, that there needs to be an integrated account of φ-ownership and ψ-ownership because depersonalization disorders typically involve breakdowns of both φ-ownership and ψ-ownership. The argument from depersonalization is not compelling, but Section 6 proposes a different way of reaching the same conclusion. Section 7 shows how reflecting on agency and practical reasoning offers a common thread between the models of φ-ownership and ψ-ownership discussed earlier in the paper.



I am grateful for comments from Alexandre Billon and an anonymous referee.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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