Beyond vision: The vertical integration of sensory substitution devices

In M. Matthen & D. Stokes (eds.), Perception and Its Modalities (forthcoming)
What if a blind person could 'see' with her ears? Thanks to Sensory Substitution Devices (SSDs), blind people now have access to out-of-reach objects, a privilege reserved so far for the sighted. In this paper, we show that the philosophical debates have fundamentally been mislead to think that SSDs should be fitted among the existing senses or that they constitute a new sense. Contrary to the existing assumption that they get integrated at the sensory level, we present a new thesis according to which they are not sensory, and get vertically integrated on the top of existing sensory abilities, from which they should be theoretically distinguished.
Keywords Sensory Modalities  Sensory Substitution  Cognitive Sciences
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