chapter  10
The plasticity of self-other boundaries: From body ownership to social cognition
ByLara Maister, Manos Tsakiris
Pages 18

For many years, the self has been considered a crucial starting point in social cognition. However, there has been much disagreement what this self is, and what aspects of the self are most involved in our processing of others. One distinction that is emphasised in philosophy of mind and psychological sciences is that between the ‘minimal self ’ and the ‘narrative self ’ (Gallagher, 2000; Damasio, 1999). The minimal self is characterised as the consciousness of oneself as an immediate subject of experience, and is inextricably linked to the body as the source of internally and externally generated multisensory perceptual experience (Legrand, 2006; Gallagher, 2003). In contrast, the narrative self is a consciously held, conceptual self-representation, formed of one’s personality traits, goals and values. Gallagher (2000, p. 15) defines the narrative self as constituted in ‘the various stories that we and others tell about ourselves’, thus embedding it in the social domain. It is for this reason that the narrative self is the aspect of self that social psychologists are most concerned with when addressing the role of self in social cognition.