Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):242-255 (2017)

Nick Young
University of Amsterdam
In this paper I argue that empty space can be heard. This position contrasts with the generally held view that the only things that can be heard are sounds, their properties, echoes, and perhaps sound sources. Specifically, I suggest that when sounds reverberate in enclosed environments we auditorily represent the volume of space surrounding us. Clearly, we can learn the approximate size of an enclosed space through hearing a sound reverberate within it, and so any account that denies that we hear empty space must instead show how beliefs about volumes of space can be derived indirectly from what is heard. That is, if space is not auditorily represented when we hear sounds reverberate, what is? I consider whether hearing reverberation can be thought of as hearing a distinct sound, hearing echoes, or hearing a property of a sound. I argue that experiences of reverberation cannot be reduced to the perception of any of these types and that therefore empty space is represented in auditory perceptual content. In the final section I outline two ways in which space might be represented.
Keywords Perception  Hearing  Sounds  Space
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Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1080/00048402.2016.1164202
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References found in this work BETA

Sounds: A Philosophical Theory.Casey O'Callaghan - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Experiencing the Production of Sounds.Matthew Nudds - 2001 - European Journal of Philosophy 9 (2):210-229.
Sounds.Casey O'Callaghan - 2009 - In Timothy J. Bayne, Axel Cleeremans & P. Wilken (eds.), Oxford Companion to Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
XIII—Hearing Properties, Effects or Parts?Casey O'callaghan - 2011 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (3pt3):375-405.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Sounds.Roberto Casati - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Auditory Perception.Casey O'Callaghan - 2014 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2009.
Silence Perception and Spatial Content.Błażej Skrzypulec - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 1:1-15.
Spatial Music.John Dyck - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

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Audition.Casey O'Callaghan - 2009 - In John Symons & Paco Calvo (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Psychology. Routledge.
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