Audition and composite sensory individuals

In Rick Grush (ed.), Sensory individuals, properties, and perceptual objects: unimodal and multimodal perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press (2022)
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Abstract

What are the sensory individuals of audition? What are the entities our auditory system attributes properties to? We examine various proposals about the nature of the sensory individuals of audition, and show that while each can account for some aspects of auditory perception, each also faces certain difficulties. We then put forward a new conception of sensory individuals according to which auditory sensory individuals are composite individuals. A feature shared by all existing accounts of sounds and sources is that they postulate sensory individuals that are non-composite. They identify the sensory individual of sound hearing or source hearing with one type of entity in the environment, be they sound waves, vibrations, or interactions. We question this assumption and argue that our perceptual systems represent two or more aspects of the environment as a single sensory individual. Finally, we show that taking auditory individuals to be composite sensory individuals allows for an account of audition that is less problematic than its existing alternatives.

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Author Profiles

Nick Young
University of Antwerp
Bence Nanay
University of Antwerp

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