The nature of noise

Philosophers' Imprint 8 (11):1-16 (2008)
Abstract
There is a growing consensus in the philosophical literature that sounds differ rather profoundly from colors. Colors are qualities, while sounds are particulars of some sort or other, such as events or pressure waves. A key motivation for this is that sounds seem to be transient, to evolve over time, to begin and end, while colors seem like stable qualities of objects' surfaces. I argue that sounds are indeed, like colors, stable qualities of objects. Sounds are not transient, and they do not seem to be, even though they are typically perceived transiently. In particular, sounds are dispositions of objects to vibrate in response to being stimulated. This stable property view of sounds aligns nicely with, and owes an inspirational debt to, reflectance physicalist accounts of color. The upshot is a unified picture of colors, sounds, and the perception thereof.
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Citations of this work BETA
Mark A. Johnstone (2013). Aristotle on Sounds. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (5):631-48.
Casey O'Callaghan (2011). Hearing Properties, Effects or Parts? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (3pt3):375-405.
Similar books and articles
Clare Batty (2009). What's That Smell? Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (4):321-348.
Casey O'Callaghan (2011). Hearing Properties, Effects or Parts? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (3pt3):375-405.
Matthew Nudds (2010). What Are Auditory Objects? Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (1):105-122.
Casey O'Callaghan (2009). Sounds and Events. In Matthew Nudds & Casey O'Callaghan (eds.), Sounds and Perception: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press. 26--49.
Jonathan Cohen (2010). Sounds and Temporality. Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 5:303-320.
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