AC5: Philosophy of the Internal Body


This course will delve into questions about what role our internal body plays in cognition and experience. We will consider traditional questions about the bodily contribution to emotion and then ask whether current research in affective neuropsychology can give us answers to these yet. Focussing in particular on interoception research we will explore how internal bodily changes might be relevant for cognition and consciousness, investigating in particular how the experience of these might contribute to, or shape, experiences of psychopathology.

This course will complement Wanja Wiese’s ‘Philosophy of Mind’ course, but will not presume familiarity with the issues covered in that course. No philosophy background is required to take part.


To get an overview of the current research on the contribution of the internal body to cognition and experience.

To understand how research in philosophy can draw upon affective neuroscience and neuropsychology, and how they in turn might benefit from philosophy.


Cameron, O. G. (2001). Interoception: the inside story—a model for psychosomatic processes. Psychosomatic Medicine, 63(5), 697–710.

Herbert, B. M., & Pollatos, O. (2012). The Body in the Mind: On the Relationship Between Interoception and Embodiment. Topics in Cognitive Science, 4(4), 692–704.

James, W. (1884). What is an emotion? Mind; a Quarterly Review of Psychology and Philosophy, 9(34), 188–201.

Ratcliffe, M. (2010). The Phenomenology of Mood and the Meaning of Life. In P. Goldie (Ed.), Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion (pp. 349–371). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Course location

Hörsaal 4

Course requirements


Instructor information.

Mog Stapleton


Mog Stapleton is a Research Fellow in the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. Her background is in Philosophy and Cognitive Science, having gained Masters degrees in each before completing a PhD in Philosophy of Cognitive Science under the supervision of Professor Andy Clark at the University of Edinburgh. Since then she has held postdoctoral positions in the Philosophy of Neuroscience Group, Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, University of Tübingen, the Philosophy and Religious Studies Programme at the University of Macau (SAR, China), and in Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Stuttgart.

Mog works at the intersection of philosophy, cognitive science, and neurophysiology. Her research is focussed on understanding what contributions the non-neural body, and the sense of the internal body (interoception), make to perception, cognition, and experience and - in particular - how this relates to feelings, emotions, and the experience of psychopathology.