The First Sense: a philosophical study of human touch

MIT Press (2014)

Authors
Matthew Fulkerson
University of California, San Diego
Abstract
It is through touch that we are able to interact directly with the world; it is our primary conduit of both pleasure and pain. Touch may be our most immediate and powerful sense—“the first sense" because of the central role it plays in experience. In this book, Matthew Fulkerson proposes that human touch, despite its functional diversity, is a single, unified sensory modality. Fulkerson offers a philosophical account of touch, reflecting the interests, methods, and approach that define contemporary philosophy; but his argument is informed throughout by the insights and constraints of empirical work on touch. Human touch is a multidimensional object of investigation, Fulkerson writes, best served by using a variety of methods and approaches. To defend his view of the unity of touch, Fulkerson describes and argues for a novel, unifying role for exploratory action in touch. He goes on to fill in the details of this unified, exploratory form of perception, offering philosophical accounts of tool use and distal touch, the representational structure of tangible properties, the spatial content of touch, and the role of pleasure in tactual experience. Fulkerson’s argument for the unique role played by exploratory action departs notably from traditional vision-centric philosophical approaches to perception, challenging the received view that action plays the same role in all sensory modalities. The robust philosophical account of touch he offers in The First Sense has significant implications for our general understanding of perception and perceptual experience.
Keywords touch  senses  perception
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ISBN(s) 9780262019965   0262019965  
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Citations of this work BETA

Experience, Seemings, and Evidence.Indrek Reiland - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (4):510-534.
Recent Work on Naive Realism.James Genone - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (1).
Objects for Multisensory Perception.Casey O’Callaghan - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1269-1289.
The Chemical Senses.Barry C. Smith - 2015 - In Mohan Matthen (ed.), The Oxford Handbook to Philosophy of Perception. New York, NY, USA: pp. 314-353.
The Sense of Touch: From Tactility to Tactual Probing.Filip Mattens - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (4):688-701.

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