Listening to speech in a language you know differs phenomenologically from listening to speech in an unfamiliar language, a fact often exploited in debates about the phenomenology of thought and cognition. It is plausible that the difference is partly perceptual. Some contend that hearing familiar language involves auditory perceptual awareness of meanings or semantic properties of spoken utterances; but if this were so, there must be something distinctive it is like auditorily to perceptually experience specific meanings of spoken utterances. (...) However, an argument from homophony shows that auditory experiences do not resolve differences in meaning not marked by differences in sound. I propose an alternative explanation of the perceptual phenomenal difference in terms of perceptual awareness of language-specific but non-semantic features. (shrink)
Jones and Coleman are among a handful of otherwise normal as a child and the number 5 was red and 6 was green. This the- people who have synesthesia. They experience the ordinary ory does not answer why only some people retain such vivid world in extraordinary ways and seem to inhabit a mysterious sensory memories, however. You might _think _of cold when you no-man’s-land between fantasy and reality. For them the sens- look at a picture of an ice cube, (...) but you probably do not feel es—touch, taste, hearing, vision and smell—get mixed up in- cold, no matter how many encounters you may have had with stead of remaining separate. ice and snow during your youth. Modern scientists have known about synesthesia since Another prevalent idea is that synesthetes are merely being 1880, when Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, pub- metaphorical when they describe the note C ﬂat as “red” or say lished a paper in _Nature _on the phenomenon. But most have that chicken tastes “pointy”—just as you and I might speak of brushed it aside as fakery, an artifact of drug use (LSD and a “loud” shirt or “sharp” cheddar cheese. Our ordinary lan- mescaline can produce similar effects) or a mere curiosity. guage is replete with such sense-related metaphors, and perhaps About four years ago, however, we and others began to un- synesthetes are just especially gifted in this regard. cover brain processes that could account for synesthesia. Along We began trying to ﬁnd out whether synesthesia is a gen- the way, we also found new clues to some of the most mysteri- uine sensory experience in 1999. This deceptively simple ques- ous aspects of the human mind, such as the emergence of ab- tion had plagued researchers in this ﬁeld for decades. One nat- stract thought, metaphor and perhaps even language. ural approach is to start by asking the subjects outright: “Is this A common explanation of synesthesia is that the affected just a memory, or do you actually see the color as if it were right people are simply experiencing childhood memories and asso- in front of you?” When we tried asking this question, we did ciations.. (shrink)
Starting from the context in which Wittgenstein thinks of the concepts of “seeing-as” and “hearing-as”, the basic relation is clarified between the question of representation, musical understanding, and the theory of musical expressiveness. The points of views of Wollheim, Scruton, Levinson, and Ridley are discussed, in a re-consideration of the notions of hearing and understanding within Wittgenstein’s “last philosophy”.
According to Paul Snowdon, one directly perceives an object x iff one is in a position to make a true demonstrative judgement of the form “That is x”. Whenever one perceives an object x indirectly (or dependently , as Snowdon puts it) it is the case that there exists an item y (which is not identical to x) such that one can count as demonstrating x only if one acknowledges that y bears a certain relation to x. In this paper (...) I argue that what we hear directly are sounds, and that material objects (such as violins and goldfinches) are only indirectly heard. However, there are cases of auditory object perception that should count as direct : Some blind persons’ ears are so sensitive to the way sound waves are modified by things in their surroundings that they can detect objects such as other persons, fences or trees. Interestingly, objects localized in this way make themselves felt via a kind of pressure in the perceiver’s face (that is why the phenomenon is commonly called “facial vision”), the perception is phenomenally quite different from hearing. Since, to some degree, most people are able to conclude from the way it sounds that, say, they stand at the foot of a concrete wall (when there is enough traffic noise around), we can imagine situations where two persons perceive the same wall, one indirectly (demonstratively apprehending sounds) and the other directly (demonstratively apprehending nothing but the wall). These cases invite us to discuss the role phenomenology plays in determining whether an object is perceived directly or indirectly. (shrink)
The time is near where ‘therapeutic’ bodily assistive devices, developed to mimic species-typical body structures in order to enable normative body functioning, will allow the wearer to outperform the species-typical body in various functions. Although such devices are developed for people that are seen to exhibit sub species-typical abilities, many ‘therapeutic enhancements’ might also be desired and used by people that exhibit species-typical body abilities. This paper presents the views of members of the World Federation of the Deaf on potential (...) beyond species-typical abilities enabling therapeutic assistive devices (i.e. related to hearing). Survey respondents showed support for the development and uptake of beyond normal hearing enabling devices. The views of survey respondents as clients affect hearing-enabling professions (such as audiologist and speech pathologists). The paper analyzes what guidance code of ethics of hearing enabling professions give in regards to beyond normal hearing enabling devices. This paper suggests that people labeled impaired and the professions that serve them should more involved in the enhancement discourse. (shrink)
Accused persons who are subjected to a saturation level of negative media coverage may be denied an impartial hearing, which is perhaps the most important aspect of the right to a fair hearing. Despite this, the courts have generally held that the social imperative of prosecuting accused trumps the interests of the accused. The justification for an impartial hearing stems from the repugnance of convicting the innocent. Viewed dispassionately, this imperative is not absolute, given that every (...) legal system condones procedures which result in the conviction of some innocent people. While the importance of guarding against wrongful convictions has been overstated, the imperative to bring to trial all accused has been even more exaggerated. The legal system has displayed a capacity to deal with cases where the guilty walk free. The institutional integrity of the criminal justice system would be significantly compromised by convictions that are tarnished by pre-judgment. Confidence in the criminal justice system is more important than individual criminal accountability. The inability to receive an impartial hearing should result in a permanent stay. The only exception is where the alleged crime has the capacity to cause widespread fear or social unrest. This only applies in relation to serious acts of terrorism. This article focuses on recent legal fair trial developments in Australia, however, the analysis, reasoning and conclusion applies in relation to all jurisdictions where juries determine guilt and innocence. (shrink)
High noise levels may have an adverse effect on the normal cochlea function and lead to significant hearing loss. Clinically, exposure to high intensity impulse noise produces a wide range of audiometric effects which may result in long term or even irreversible symptoms. Nevertheless, there is sometimes a spontaneous rebound recovery of the auditory function. This phenomenon was previously studied in the vision, another sensory function. It was called the visual survival attractor.In view of the importance that the sensory (...) organs have for the brain, and in particular in its function of recognising and dealing with its environment, it was interesting to know whether this survival attractor concept already described for vision occurs more generally in all the sensory functions. With this in mind we present here the results of a new study, this time on hearing. (shrink)
Personal reports of receiving bad news provide data that describes patients’ comprehension, reflections, experienced emotions, and an interpretative commentary with the wisdom of hindsight. Analysis of autobiographical accounts of “hearing bad news” enables the identification of patterns of how patients found out diagnoses, buffering techniques used, and styles of receiving the news. I describe how patients grapple with the news, their somatic responses to hearing, and how they struggle and strive to accept what they are hearing. I (...) discuss metaphors used within the languages of hearing bad news. Finally, I discuss implications for a change of focus in the breaking bad news research agenda, that is, from the physician’s “performance” to a patient-focused agenda. (shrink)
Jason Leddington (2013). What We Hear. In Richard Brown (ed.), Consciousness Inside and Out: Phenomenology, Neuroscience, and the Nature of Experience. Springer Studies in Brain and Mind.score: 12.0
A longstanding philosophical tradition holds that the primary objects of hearing are sounds rather than sound sources. In this case, we hear sound sources by—or in virtue of—hearing their sounds. This paper argues that, on the contrary, we have good reason to believe that the primary objects of hearing are sound sources, and that the relationship between a sound and its source is much like the relationship between a color and its bearer. Just as we see objects (...) in seeing their colors, so we hear sound sources in hearing their sounds. (shrink)
“Reasonable hostility” is a norm of communicative conduct initially developed by studying public exchanges in education governance meetings in local U.S. communities. In this paper I consider the norm’s usefulness for and applicability to a U.S. state-level public hearing about a bill to legalize civil unions. Following an explication of reasonable hostility and grounded practical theory, the approach to inquiry that guides my work, I de-scribe Hawaii’s 2009, 18-hour pub-lic hearing and analyze selected segments of it. I show (...) that this par-ticular public hearing raised de-mands for testifiers on the anti-civil union side of the argument that rea-sonable hostility does not do a good job of addressing. Development of a norm of communication conduct for this practice, as well as others, must engage with the culture and time-specific beliefs that a society holds, beliefs that will shape not only how to argue but what may be argued and what must be assumed about particular categories of persons. (shrink)
Can humans see causal interactions? Evidence on the visual perception of causal interactions, from Michotte to contemporary work, is best interpreted as showing that we can see some causal interactions in the same sense as that in which we can hear speech. Causal perception, like speech perception, is a form of categorical perception.
Everybody assumes (1) that musical performances are sonic events and (2) that their expressive properties are sonic properties. This paper discusses recent findings in the psychology of music perception that show that visual information combines with auditory information in the perception of musical expression. The findings show at the very least that arguments are needed for (1) and (2). If music expresses what we think it does, then its expressive properties may be visual as well as sonic; and if its (...) expressive properties are purely sonic, then music expresses less than we think it does. And if the expressive properties of music are visual as well as sonic, then music is not what we think it is—it is not purely sonic. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to demonstrate that the recent anti-Ticking Bomb argument offered by Bufacchi and Arrigo is unsuccessful. To adequately refute the Ticking Bomb strategy, I claim, requires carefully addressing both policy questions and questions involving exceptional conduct.
Frequently, we learn of the locations of things and events in our environment by means of hearing. Hearing, I argue, is a locational mode of perceiving with a robustly spatial nature. I defend three proposals. First, audition furnishes information about the locations of things and events in one's environment because auditory experience itself is spatial. Audition represents space. Second, we hear the locations of things and events by or in hearing locational information about their sounds. Third, we (...) auditorily experience sounds themselves as having relatively stable distal locations. I reject skepticism about spatial audition tracing to Strawson's Individuals, and suggest that spatial audition supports the view that audition and vision share a dimension of perceptual content. (shrink)
Given that in our view the child has a fundamental right to be heard in all collective deliberative processes determining his or her future, we set out, firstly, what is required of such processes to respect this right – namely that the child's authentic voice is heard and makes a difference – and, secondly, the distance between this ideal and practice exemplified in the work of child welfare and child protection workers in Norway and the UK, chiefly in their display (...) of an instrumental attitude to children's views. (shrink)
"Mantras were not viewed as the only means of expressing truth, however. Thought, which was defined as internalized speech, offered yet another aspect of truth. And if words and thoughts designated different aspects of truth, or reality, then there had to be an underlying unity behind all phenomena" (S. A. Nigosian 1994: World Faiths, p. 84).
The senses, or sensory modalities, constitute the different ways we have of perceiving the world, such as seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling. But how many senses are there? How many could there be? What makes the senses different? What interaction takes place between the senses? This book is a guide to thinking about these questions. Together with an extensive introduction to the topic, the book contains the key classic papers on this subject together with nine newly commissioned essays. (...) -/- One reason that these questions are important is that we are receiving a huge influx of new information from the sciences that challenges some traditional philosophical views about the senses. This information needs to be incorporated into our view of the senses and perception. Can we do this whilst retaining our pre-existing concepts of the senses and of perception or do we need to revise our concepts? If they need to be revised, then in what way should that be done? Research in diverse areas, such as the nature of human perception, varieties of non-human animal perception, the interaction between different sensory modalities, perceptual disorders, and possible treatments for them, calls into question the platitude that there are five senses, as well as the pre-supposition that we know what we are counting when we count them as five (or more). -/- This book will serve as an inspiring introduction to the topic and as a basis from which further new research will grow. -/- This volume is the first on the philosophy of the non-visual senses. -/- It combines older, hard-to-find essays on the non-visual senses with contemporary essays by well-known philosophers in the field. -/- Macpherson's introduction to the volume traces the philosophy of the senses throughout history and points towards new directions in its future. -/- Readership: The market will be scholars in philosophy of mind, as well as students particularly in graduate seminars. (shrink)
Good sciences have good metaphors. Indeed, good sciences are good because they have good metaphors. AI could use more good metaphors. In this editorial, I would like to propose a new metaphor to help us understand intelligence. Of course, whether the metaphor is any good or not depends on whether it actually does help us. (What I am going to propose is not something opposed to computationalism -- the hypothesis that cognition is computation. Noncomputational metaphors are in vogue these days, (...) and to date they have all been equally plausible and equally successful. And, just to be explicit, I do not mean “IQ” by “intelligence.” I am using “intelligence” in the way AI uses it: as a semi-techical term referring to a general property of all intelligent systems, animal (including humans), or machine, alike.). (shrink)
Sounds are audible, and sound sources are audible. What is the audible relation between audible sounds and audible sources? Common talk and philosophy suggest three candidates. The first is that sounds audibly are properties instantiated by their sources. I argue that sounds are audible individuals and thus are not audibly instantiated by audible sources. The second is that sounds audibly are effects of their sources. I argue that auditory experience presents no compelling evidence that sounds audibly are causally related to (...) audible sources. The third is that sounds audibly are related mereologically to their sources. I present and offer a defence of this third candidate. (shrink)
Pragmatist responses to radical skepticism do not receive much attention in contemporary analytic epistemology. This observation is my motivation for undertaking a search for a coherent pragmatist reply to radical doubt, one that can compete, in terms of clarity and sophistication, with the currently most popular approaches, such as contextualism and relevant alternatives theory. As my point of departure I take the texts of C. S. Peirce and William James. The Jamesian response is seen to consist in the application of (...) a wager argument to the skeptical issue in analogy with Pascal's wager. The Peircean strategy, on the other hand, is to attempt a direct rejection of one of the skeptic's main premises: that we do not know we are not deceived. I argue that while the Jamesian attempt is ultimately incoherent, Peirce's argument contains the core of a detailed and characteristically "pragmatic" rebuttal of skepticism, one that deserves to be taken seriously in the contemporary debate. (shrink)
Is speech special? This paper evaluates the evidence that speech perception is distinctive when compared with non-linguistic auditory perception. It addresses the phenomenology, contents, objects, and mechanisms involved in the perception of spoken language. According to the account it proposes, the capacity to perceive speech in a manner that enables understanding is an acquired perceptual skill. It involves learning to hear language-specific types of ethologically significant sounds. According to this account, the contents of perceptual experience when listening to familiar speech (...) are of a variety that is distinctive to hearing spoken utterances. However, perceiving speech involves neither novel perceptual objects nor a unique perceptual modality. Much of what makes speech special stems from our interest in it. (shrink)
Ongoing hostilities between evolution and intelligent design adherents reveal deeper epistemological and ethical crises in American life. First, when adjudicating sociopolitical differences among people, how much epistemological “diversity” can be embraced before the very canons of judgment become suspect? Pragmatist notions of inquiry, warranted assertability, and pluralism can help strike a better balance. Second, the related crisis of factionalized “communities” might be addressed, along Deweyan lines, by the construction of a philosophical “total attitude” redolent of democratic ideals, more broadly conceived. (...) This attitude could grow out of reconstructed educational methods that train imaginative and interactive habits of inquiry and communication. (shrink)
My name is William Dembski. I’m an associate research professor in the conceptual foundations of science at Baylor University. I hold a Ph.D. in mathematics is from the University of Chicago. One of the things I do for a living is study the probabilistic underpinnings of neo-Darwinian evolution.
The famous quip "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like" sums up many people's ideas about how to judge a work of art; but there are inherent limitations if we rely on immediate impressions in judging what should be enduring products of our culture. While some might criticize this as a return to "elitism," Joshua Fineberg argues that without some way of determining intrinsic value, there can be no movement forward for creators or their audience. (...) He draws on contemporary thought about "Design space" and "Universal Grammar" to show how intrinsic values can be rediscovered. He then looks at the importance of multimedia in allowing multiple points of entry for the discovering of new works, finally showing how the composer can "Design music for human beings"--creating a kind of art that can preserve the research agenda of conceptual work without renouncing the understanding of human listeners and performers embodied by craft. Classical Music: Why Bother? will intrigue all listeners of contemporary music, students of musical thought, and composers-but it will also interest students of contemporary aesthetics. It answers the age-old question "How can we bring a new audience to contemporary art?" - and challenges both the creators and their audience to broaden their ideas about what is valuable and lasting in today's culture. (shrink)
There are 2,000 hair cells in the cochlea, but only three cones in the retina. This disparity can be understood in terms of the differences between the physical characteristics of the auditory signal (discrete excitations and resonances requiring many narrowly tuned receptors) and those of the visual signal (smooth daylight excitations and reflectances requiring only a few broadly tuned receptors). We argue that this match supports the physicalism of color and timbre.
The phrase "applied ethics" has lost much of the charm it initially had for philosophers. Alasdair MacIntyre, Tom Beauchamp, and others pointed out a decade ago that it is a mistake to think of ethics as a body of theory that can be carted in, when necessary, to sort out some particularly messy real-world moral dilemma.(1) According to these critics' line of thought there may be good reasons to distinguish pure from applied mathematics, for example, but ethics is not (and (...) should not pretend to be) the same sort of inquiry as mathematics. Every time we advertise a course in applied ethics, we implicitly suggest a separation between theory and practice. This separation rings especially false for those of us whose philosophical orientation derives from the work of the classical American pragmatists. In this paper I want to discuss a conception of applied ethics -- call it "applying ethics" -- that is rooted in pragmatic philosophy, and to suggest a kind of practice which I think could be quite valuable both for society at large and for the society of philosophers concerned with ethics. (shrink)
Classical conceptual distinctions in philosophy of education assume an individualistic subjectivity and hide the learning that can take place in the space between child (as educator) and adult (as learner). Grounded in two examples from experience I develop the argument that adults often put metaphorical sticks in their ears in their educational encounters with children. Hearers’ prejudices cause them to miss out on knowledge offered by the child, but not heard by the adult. This has to do with how adults (...) view education, knowledge, as much as child, and is even more extreme when child is also black. The idea is what Miranda Fricker calls ‘epistemic injustice’ which occurs when someone is wronged specifically in their capacity as a knower. Although her work concerns gender and race, I extrapolate her radical ideas to (black) child. Awareness of the epistemic injustice that is done to children and my proposal for increased epistemic modesty and epistemic equality could help transform pedagogical spaces to include child subjects as educators. A way forward is suggested that involves ‘cracking’ the concept of child and a different non-individualised conception of education. (shrink)
... ISBN0199215928 ... -/- Abstract: Vision dominates philosophical thinking about perception, and theorizing about experience in cognitive science traditionally has focused on a visual model. This book presents a systematic treatment of sounds and auditory experience. It demonstrates how thinking about audition and appreciating the relationships among multiple sense modalities enriches our understanding of perception. It articulates the central questions that comprise the philosophy of sound, and proposes a novel theory of sounds and their perception. Against the widely accepted philosophical (...) view that sounds are among the secondary or sensible qualities, and against the scientific view that sounds are waves that propagate through a medium such as air or water, the book argues that sounds are events in which objects or interacting bodies disturb a surrounding medium. This does not imply that sounds propagate through a medium, such as air or water. Rather, sounds are events that take place in one's environment at or near their sources. This account captures the way in which sounds essentially are creatures of time and situates sounds in the world. Sounds are not ethereal, mysterious entities. It also provides a powerful account of echoes, interference, reverberation, Doppler effects, and perceptual constancies that surpasses the explanatory richness of alternative theories. Investigating sounds and audition demonstrates that considering other sense modalities teaches what we could not otherwise learn from thinking exclusively about the visual. This book concludes by arguing that a surprising class of cross-modal perceptual illusions demonstrates that the perceptual modalities cannot be completely understood in isolation, and that a visuocentric model for theorizing about perception — according to which perceptual modalities are discrete modes of experience and autonomous domains of philosophical and scientific inquiry — ought to be abandoned. -/- . (shrink)