Perception and Its Modalities

New York, NY: Oxford University Press (2014)
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This volume is about the many ways we perceive. Contributors explore the nature of the individual senses, how and what they tell us about the world, and how they interrelate. They consider how the senses extract perceptual content from receptoral information. They consider what kinds of objects we perceive and whether multiple senses ever perceive a single event. They consider how many senses we have, what makes one sense distinct from another, and whether and why distinguishing senses may be useful. They consider the extent to which the senses act in concert, rather than as discrete modalities, and whether this influence is epistemically pernicious, neutral, or beneficial. They explore both the familiar five sense modalities and other candidate sense modalities, including a sense for flavour, inner senses (e.g., a sense for pain), and various senses that may result from using sensory substitution devices. Contributors often represent competing views, and the methods they deploy sometimes differ from one essay to the next—with some drawing upon the sciences and engineering and others relying upon conceptual analysis. All contributors agree, nonetheless, that traditional theorizing about the senses is hampered by a neglect of the senses other than vision, and by the misconception that vision is a passive receptacle for an image thrown by a lens. And many contributors believe that it is unduly restrictive to think of perception as a collation of contents provided by individual sense modalities; they think that to understand perception properly, we need to build into our accounts the idea that the senses work together. The ambition of the volume is to begin to develop better paradigms for understanding the senses, and thereby to move toward a better understanding of perception.



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Author Profiles

Stephen Biggs
Iowa State University
Dustin Stokes
University of Utah
Mohan Matthen
University of Toronto, Mississauga

Citations of this work

The contents of perception.Susanna Siegel - 2005 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Color.Barry Maund - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Auditory Perception.Casey O'Callaghan - 2014 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2009.
High-Level Perception and Multimodal Perception.Dan Cavedon-Taylor - 2021 - In Heather Logue & Louise Richardson (eds.), Purpose and Procedure in Philosophy of Perception. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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