The Senses

Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Philosophers and scientists have studied sensory perception and, in particular, vision for many years. Increasingly, however, they have become interested in the nonvisual senses in greater detail and the problem of individuating the senses in a more general way. The Aristotelian view is that there are only five external senses—smell, taste, hearing, touch, and vision. This has, by many counts, been extended to include internal senses, such as balance, proprioception, and kinesthesis; pain; and potentially other human and nonhuman senses. This “multisensory turn” has been driven partly by developments in contemporary psychology and neuroscience, which have revealed a host of complex interrelations and interactions between sensory modalities previously thought to be distinct. Contrasts between modalities and other crossmodal phenomena, including multisensory integration, synesthesia, and sensory substitution, have also begun to receive more attention in a burgeoning scientific and philosophical literature on multisensory perception and other crossmodal effects. This article focuses on recent empirically informed contributions to the philosophy of perception, as well as key scientific works that provide important background information and insights into the nature of the senses and sensory perception. Indeed, one of the lessons of the multisensory turn, and of contemporary philosophy of mind more generally, is that philosophers ignore this body of empirical research at their peril because many human and animal senses turn out to be richer and more complex than philosophers and scientists had previously imagined, making this a fruitful area for interdisciplinary interaction and research.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,446

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Sorting the Senses.Stephen Biggs, Mohan Matthen & Dustin Stokes - 2014 - In Dustin Stokes, Mohan Matthen & Stephen Biggs (eds.), Perception and Its Modalities. Oxford University Press. pp. 1-19.
Perception and Its Modalities.Dustin Stokes, Mohan Matthen & Stephen Biggs (eds.) - 2014 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
The Space of Sensory Modalities.Fiona Macpherson - 2014 - In Dustin Stokes, Mohan Matthen & Stephen Biggs (eds.), Perception and Its Modalities. Oxford University Press.
Inner-Sense.Vincent Picciuto & Peter Carruthers - forthcoming - In Biggs S., Matthen M. & Stokes D. (eds.), Perception and Its Modalities. Oxford University Press.
Is Consciousnes Multisensory?Tim Bayne & Charles Spence - 2014 - In Dustin Stokes, Stephen Biggs & Mohan Matthen (eds.), Perception and Its Modalities. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 95-132.
Objects for multisensory perception.Casey O’Callaghan - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1269-1289.


Added to PP

119 (#136,814)

6 months
12 (#120,411)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Keith A. Wilson
University College Dublin
Fiona Macpherson
University of Glasgow

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references