It is appropriate that a lecture in a series on ‘Philosophy and Practice’ should open by considering Bentham's ideas on imprisonment. For Bentham, incontestably a philosopher, was equally incontestably a practical reformer. This, indeed, is a received idea among philosophers; that is to say, most philosophers know that Bentham designed ‘a model prison of novel design’, but few have actually considered the design, its implications or its effects. Most are content, like Warnock, with observing that the panopticon plan was formally (...) rejected, before passing on to the abstraction of Bentham's felicific calculus, his notion of utility, and his ideas about the foundations of law. Yet, strange as it may seem, the underlying idea of the panopticon has never been completely abandoned. One aspect of the idea pervades penal thinking, even while prison practice is still influenced by Bentham's practical proposals; moreover, the panoptic ideal has taken root far beyond the walls of actual prisons. Here is philosophy in practice, and yet, in many ways, practically and intellectually a failure. (shrink)
Tradition has it that, although we experience darkness, we can neither hear nor hallucinate silence. At most, we hear that it is silent, in virtue of lacking auditory experience. This cognitive view is at odds with our ordinary thought and talk. Yet it is not easy to vouchsafe the perception of silence: Sorensen‘s recent account entails the implausible claim that the permanently and profoundly deaf are perpetually hallucinating silence. To better defend the view that we can genuinely hear and hallucinate (...) silence, we must reject the austere picture of conscious experience which underpins the cognitive theory. According to that picture, conscious experience is a simple relation between subjects and objects. In the absence of an object, there is no relation, and so no experience. By enriching this picture, room can be found for the experience of silence. I explore this idea in two phases. First, I defend the thought that we can hear and hallucinate certain forms of silence, such as pauses, in virtue of experiencing contrastive sounds. Second, I draw on Moore‘s analysis of sensation to suggest that simply experiencing silence is a special form of objectless consciousness. I offer two ways of fleshing out this idea. According to the first, auditory experience possesses a temporal field within which the absence of sounds can be perceived. According to the second, purely Moorean account, it is our capacity to listen in the absence of sounds that underlies the phenomenon of experiencing silence. (shrink)
Jones and Coleman are among a handful of otherwise normal as a child and the number 5 was red and 6 was green. This the- people who have synesthesia. They experience the ordinary ory does not answer why only some people retain such vivid world in extraordinary ways and seem to inhabit a mysterious sensory memories, however. You might _think _of cold when you no-man’s-land between fantasy and reality. For them the sens- look at a picture of an ice cube, (...) but you probably do not feel es—touch, taste, hearing, vision and smell—get mixed up in- cold, no matter how many encounters you may have had with stead of remaining separate. ice and snow during your youth. Modern scientists have known about synesthesia since Another prevalent idea is that synesthetes are merely being 1880, when Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, pub- metaphorical when they describe the note C ﬂat as “red” or say lished a paper in _Nature _on the phenomenon. But most have that chicken tastes “pointy”—just as you and I might speak of brushed it aside as fakery, an artifact of drug use (LSD and a “loud” shirt or “sharp” cheddar cheese. Our ordinary lan- mescaline can produce similar effects) or a mere curiosity. guage is replete with such sense-related metaphors, and perhaps About four years ago, however, we and others began to un- synesthetes are just especially gifted in this regard. cover brain processes that could account for synesthesia. Along We began trying to ﬁnd out whether synesthesia is a gen- the way, we also found new clues to some of the most mysteri- uine sensory experience in 1999. This deceptively simple ques- ous aspects of the human mind, such as the emergence of ab- tion had plagued researchers in this ﬁeld for decades. One nat- stract thought, metaphor and perhaps even language. ural approach is to start by asking the subjects outright: “Is this A common explanation of synesthesia is that the affected just a memory, or do you actually see the color as if it were right people are simply experiencing childhood memories and asso- in front of you?” When we tried asking this question, we did ciations.. (shrink)
Discussions of value play a central role in contemporary philosophy. This book considers the role of values in truth seeking, in morality, in aesthetics and also in the spiritual life. The distinguished contributors include Simon Blackburn, Jonathan Dancy, Paul Horwich, John Leslie, Timothy Sprigge, and David Wiggins.
Hearing Things is the first work to treat systematically the relation between Cavell's pervasive authorial voice and his equally powerful, though less discernible, impulse to produce a set of usable philosophical methods.
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. (shrink)
Hearing, Sound, and the Auditory in Ancient Greece represents the first comprehensive study of the role of sound and hearing in the ancient Greek world. While our modern western culture is almost an entirely visual one, hearing and sound were central to ancient Greeks. The fifteen chapters of this edited volume explore "hearing" as being philosophically significant across numerous texts and figures in ancient Greek philosophy. Through close analysis of the philosophy of such figures as Heraclitus, (...) Sophocles, Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle, Hearing, Sound, and Auditory in Ancient Greece presents new and unique research from philosophers and classicists that aims to redirect us to the ways in which sound, hearing, music, listening, voice, and even silence shaped and reflected the worldview of ancient Greece. (shrink)
Karl Popper champions an open society in which all institutions, principles and values are open to criticism. Anthony O’Hear contends that Popper’s vision is utopian because an open society can survive only if some non-liberal values are assumed, including the prohibition of criticism of fundamental liberal principles and values. I correct O’Hear’s interpretation of Popper and I rebut most of his criticisms, arguing that an open society is stronger if it permits criticism of all views. However, I accept and strengthen (...) O’Hear’s rejection of Popper’s assimilation of an open society to a scientific community. I also suggest that the survival of open societies may require limits on immigration from societies permeated by Islamic fundamentalism or similar ideologies. (shrink)
Hearing the difference between a patriarchal voice and a relational voice defines a paradigm shift: a change in the conception of the human world. Theorizing connection as primary and fundamental in human life leads to a new psychology, which shifts the grounds for philosophy and political theory. A crucial distinction is made between a feminine ethic of care and a feminist ethic of care. Voice, relationship, resistance, and women become central rather than peripheral in this reframing of the human (...) world. (shrink)
Personal reports of receiving bad news provide data that describes patients’ comprehension, reflections, experienced emotions, and an interpretative commentary with the wisdom of hindsight. Analysis of autobiographical accounts of “hearing bad news” enables the identification of patterns of how patients found out diagnoses, buffering techniques used, and styles of receiving the news. I describe how patients grapple with the news, their somatic responses to hearing, and how they struggle and strive to accept what they are hearing. I (...) discuss metaphors used within the languages of hearing bad news. Finally, I discuss implications for a change of focus in the breaking bad news research agenda, that is, from the physician’s “performance” to a patient-focused agenda. (shrink)
Through hearing we learn about source events: events in which objects move or interact so that they vibrate and produce sound waves, such as when they roll, collide, or scrape together. It is often claimed that we do not simply hear sounds and infer what event caused them, but hear source events themselves, through hearing sounds. Here I investigate how the idea that we hear source events should be understood, with a focus on how hearing an event (...) relates to hearing the objects involved in that event. I argue that whereas we see events such as rollings and collisions by seeing objects move through space, this cannot be how we hear them, and go on to examine two other possible models. On the first, we hear events but not their participant objects. On the second, to hear an event is to hear the appearance of an object to change. I argue that neither is satisfactory and endorse a third option: to hear a source event is to hear an object as extending through time. (shrink)
This study compares 20 subjects, in each of three different settings, with serious psychotic disorder who hear voices, and compares their voice-hearing experience. We find that while there is much that is similar, there are notable differences in the kinds of voices that people seem to experience. In a California sample, people were more likely to describe their voices as intrusive unreal thoughts; in the South Indian sample, they were more likely to describe them as providing useful guidance; and (...) in our West African sample, they were more likely to describe them as morally good and causally powerful. What we think we may be observing is that people who fall ill with serious psychotic disorder pay selective attention to a constant stream of many different auditory and quasi-auditory events because of different “cultural invitations”—variations in ways of thinking about minds, persons, spirits and so forth. Such a process is consistent with processes described in the cognitive psychology and psychiatric anthropology literature, but not yet described or understood with respect to cultural variations in auditory hallucinations. We call this process “social kindling.”. (shrink)
The time is near where ‘therapeutic’ bodily assistive devices, developed to mimic species-typical body structures in order to enable normative body functioning, will allow the wearer to outperform the species-typical body in various functions. Although such devices are developed for people that are seen to exhibit sub species-typical abilities, many ‘therapeutic enhancements’ might also be desired and used by people that exhibit species-typical body abilities. This paper presents the views of members of the World Federation of the Deaf on potential (...) beyond species-typical abilities enabling therapeutic assistive devices (i.e. related to hearing). Survey respondents showed support for the development and uptake of beyond normal hearing enabling devices. The views of survey respondents as clients affect hearing-enabling professions (such as audiologist and speech pathologists). The paper analyzes what guidance code of ethics of hearing enabling professions give in regards to beyond normal hearing enabling devices. This paper suggests that people labeled impaired and the professions that serve them should more involved in the enhancement discourse. (shrink)
A longstanding philosophical tradition holds that the primary objects of hearing are sounds rather than sound sources. In this case, we hear sound sources by—or in virtue of—hearing their sounds. This paper argues that, on the contrary, we have good reason to believe that the primary objects of hearing are sound sources, and that the relationship between a sound and its source is much like the relationship between a color and its bearer. Just as we see objects (...) in seeing their colors, so we hear sound sources in hearing their sounds. (shrink)
Hearing Voices and Other Unusual Experiences examines the long-recognized and striking similarities between features of mental disorders and features of religions. Robert McCauley and George Graham emphasize underlying cognitive continuities between familiar features of religiosity, of mental disorders, and of everyday thinking and action. They contend that much religious thought and behavior can be explained in terms of the cultural activation of humans' natural cognitive systems, which address matters that are essential to human survival: hazard precautions, agency detection, language (...) processing, and theory of mind. Those systems produce responses to cultural stimuli that may mimic features of cognition and conduct associated with mental disorders, but are sometimes coded as "religious" depending on the context. Their approach promises to shed light on both mental abnormalities and religiosity. (shrink)
Hearing and auditory perception are rapidly developing topics in the philosophy of perception. Recent work has focused on characterizing what we hear and on similarities and differences between audition and other modalities. Future work should address how theorizing about audition impacts theorizing about perception more generally. This entry concerns questions about the objects and contents of hearing. It includes discussion of the spatial content of audition, of the role of time and pitch in the individuation of auditory objects, (...) and of audition's role in the perception of speech. (shrink)
_The Hearing Impaired Child_ introduces the background issues of hearing impairment then discusses specific aspects. These include causes of hearing loss, speech and language, personality and emotional development, and careers. Appendices provide checklists for language acquisition and reading and writing skills, lists of useful addresses, a helpful glossary and references for further reading.
This dissertation aims to revive wave theory in the philosophy of sound. Wave theory identifies sounds with compression waves. Despite its wide acceptance in the scientific community as the default position, many philosophers have rejected wave theory and opted for different versions of distal theory instead. According to this current majority view, a sound has its stationary location at its source. I argue against this and other alternative philosophical theories of sound and develop wave theory into a more defensible form. (...) Philosophers of sound tend to emphasise how sounds are experienced to be in their arguments. Most often, it is assumed that that which appears to be a distally located bearer of auditory properties in an auditory experience is a sound. Chapter 1 argues that if this distal entity is the sound source instead, many of the existing theories of sound will be severely affected. Chapter 2 discusses auditory perception and criticises the common assumption that we hear non-sound entities in virtue of hearing sounds. I show that this assumption begs the question against certain theories of sound and that the contrary view that sound sources can be directly heard is more plausible. If sound sources can be directly heard, then features commonly attributed to sounds based on auditory experiences might rather be features of sound sources. I examine eight of such features in Chapter 3. Only four of them survive. Chapters 4 and 5 review the existing theories of sound. After a taxonomy of existing theories of sound, each theory is criticised one-by-one. Some of them are problematic precisely because they rely on the implausible assumption that that which appears to be distally located in an auditory experience is a sound rather than a sound source. Lastly, Chapter 6 focuses on wave theory. It begins with two positive arguments for wave theory in general, followed by my replies to two common objections in the literature. I then move on to develop my version of wave theory. There are two core aspects of my view. The first one is a metaphysics of compression waves; the second is an account of what it is to hear compression waves. After comparing my view with a similar theory, I demonstrate the explanatory power of my view in two steps. First, the eight commonly accepted features of sounds examined in Chapter 3 are revisited. It turns out that my view can accommodate all of them. Second, explanations for four special sound-related phenomena are offered at the end of the chapter. I conclude in the last chapter with the suggestion that, as a philosopher, the best way to defend wave theory is to offer a better understanding of auditory perception which explains how compression waves are experienced. (shrink)
This book is the result of an idea launched by the present editors of providing a gift to Dr. Runner in the form of a Festschrift written by former students. The response was overwhelming. Glenn Andreas, one of Dr. Runner's closest friends, and Paul Schrotenboer, secretary of the Reformed Ecumenical Synod, enthusiastically joined us, together with Bernard Zylstra of the Institute for Christian Studies and Harry Van Dyke of the Free University of Amsterdam, to form a committee for this purpose... (...) Upon the appearance of this publication the editors wish to express their sincere thanks to the members of the committee for the advice and encouragement they gave and for the work they have done. (shrink)
Listening to speech in a language you know differs phenomenologically from listening to speech in an unfamiliar language, a fact often exploited in debates about the phenomenology of thought and cognition. It is plausible that the difference is partly perceptual. Some contend that hearing familiar language involves auditory perceptual awareness of meanings or semantic properties of spoken utterances; but if this were so, there must be something distinctive it is like auditorily to perceptually experience specific meanings of spoken utterances. (...) However, an argument from homophony shows that auditory experiences do not resolve differences in meaning not marked by differences in sound. I propose an alternative explanation of the perceptual phenomenal difference in terms of perceptual awareness of language-specific but non-semantic features. (shrink)
The fact that we can hear a particular passage of music as expressing a “tranquil gratitude” is a central aspect of the phenomenology of musical experience; without it we would be hard pressed to explain how purely instrumental music could move us in the way that it does. The trouble, here as so often elsewhere in philosophy, is that what seems necessary also seems impossible: for how could a mere series of nonlinguistic sounds, however lovely, express a state of mind? (...) One of the central tasks of the philosophy of music is to remove this mystery.... (shrink)
It has been forty years since the first multi-channel cochlear implant was used in Australia. While heralded in the hearing world as one of the greatest inventions in modern medicine, not everyone reflects on this achievement with enthusiasm. For many people in the Deaf community, they see the cochlear implant as a tool that reinforces a social construct that pathologizes deafness and removes Deaf identity. In this paper, I set out the main arguments for and against cochlear implantation. While (...) I conclude that, on balance, cochlear implants improve the well-being and broaden the open futures of deaf children, this does not justify mandating implants in circumstances where parents refuse them because this may compound unintended harms when society interferes in the parent-child relationship. For this reason, I argue that parental refusal of cochlear implantation falls within Gillam’s concept of the zone of parental discretion. (shrink)
Here I explore a new line of evidence for belief–credence dualism, the thesis that beliefs and credences are distinct and equally fundamental types of mental states. Despite considerable recent disagreement over this thesis, little attention has been paid in philosophy to differences in how our mindreading systems represent the beliefs and credences of others. Fascinatingly, the systems we rely on to accurately and efficiently track others’ mental states appear to function like belief–credence dualists: Credence is tracked like an emotional state, (...) composed of both representational and affective content, whereas belief is tracked like a bare representational state with no affective component. I argue on a preliminary basis that, in this particular case, the mechanics of mentalizing likely pick out a genuine affective dimension to credence that is absent for belief, further strengthening the converging case for belief–credence dualism. (shrink)
Given that in our view the child has a fundamental right to be heard in all collective deliberative processes determining his or her future, we set out, firstly, what is required of such processes to respect this right – namely that the child's authentic voice is heard and makes a difference – and, secondly, the distance between this ideal and practice exemplified in the work of child welfare and child protection workers in Norway and the UK, chiefly in their display (...) of an instrumental attitude to children's views. (shrink)
The experiences described in the VIP transcripts are incredibly varied and yet frequently explicitly labelled by participants as "voices." How can we make sense of this? If we reflect carefully on uses of the word "voice", we see that it can express at least two entirely different concepts, which pick out categorically different phenomena. One concept picks out a speech sound (e.g. "This synthesizer has a "voice" setting"). Another concept picks out a specific agent (e.g. "I hear two voices: one (...) is a ten year-old boy…"). This chapter explores how these two concepts are related to one another in the context of voice-hearing. (shrink)
Narrative ethics taps into an inherent human need to tell our own stories centred on our own moral values and to have those stories heard and acknowledged. However, not everyone’s words are afforded equal power. The use of narrative ethics in bioethical decision-making is problematized by a disparity in whose stories are told, whose stories are heard, and whose stories are believed. Here, I conduct an analysis of narrative ethics through a critical theory lens to show how entrenched patterns of (...) narrative neglect in medicine are harming not only our capacity to make use of narrative ethics but also our capacity to deliver effective healthcare. To illustrate this point, I use three examples where the patient’s gender affects how their stories unfold: autism, weight, and pain management. From these, I argue that the use of narrative ethics without the application of a critical theory lens risks the exacerbation of what Miranda Fricker refers to as “testimonial injustice,” the prima facie harm experienced by individuals whose credibility is undermined by others’ prejudices. Finally, I suggest that narrative ethics can be a powerful tool for mitigating oppressive practices in medicine if we couple it with critical analysis that enables us to understand the power dynamics at play in storytelling. (shrink)
Many philosophers and psychologists have sought to explain experiences of auditory verbal hallucinations and “inserted thoughts” in schizophrenia in terms of a failure on the part of patients to appropriately monitor their own inner speech. These self-monitoring accounts have recently been challenged by some who argue that AVHs are better explained in terms of the spontaneous activation of auditory-verbal representations. This paper defends two kinds of self-monitoring approach against the spontaneous activation account. The defense requires first making some important clarifications (...) concerning what is at issue in the dispute between the two forms of theory. A popular but problematic self-monitoring theory is then contrasted with two more plausible conceptions of what the relevant self-monitoring deficits involve. The first appeals to deficits in the neural mechanisms that normally filter or attenuate sensory signals that are the result of one’s own actions. The second, less familiar, form of self-monitoring approach draws an important analogy between Wernicke’s aphasia and AVHs in schizophrenia. This style of self-monitoring theory pursues possible connections among AVHs, inserted thoughts, and the disorganized speech characteristic formal thought disorder. (shrink)
The phenomenon of 'hearing voices,' often viewed as a symptom of schizophrenia, is commonly called, in the scientific and clinical literature, 'auditory-verbal hallucination.' However, reports of hearing soundless voices, voices that are not auditory, which go as far back as Tuttle and Kraepelin and appear in phenomenological interviews and questionnaires are relatively common. What are we to make of such reports?One option is to dismiss these claims: one cannot hear soundless voices. This dismissal could be due to a (...) combination of the following seemingly reasonable claims, each sufficient to consign the notion of 'hearing soundless voices' to the status... (shrink)
"Mantras were not viewed as the only means of expressing truth, however. Thought, which was defined as internalized speech, offered yet another aspect of truth. And if words and thoughts designated different aspects of truth, or reality, then there had to be an underlying unity behind all phenomena" (S. A. Nigosian 1994: World Faiths, p. 84).
Casey O’Callaghan has argued that rather than hearing meanings, we hear phonemes. In this note I argue that valuable though they are in an account of speech perception – depending on how we define ‘hearing’ – phonemes either don’t explain enough or they go too far. So, they are not the right tool for his criticism of the semantic perceptual account (SPA).
Everybody assumes (1) that musical performances are sonic events and (2) that their expressive properties are sonic properties. This paper discusses recent findings in the psychology of music perception that show that visual information combines with auditory information in the perception of musical expression. The findings show at the very least that arguments are needed for (1) and (2). If music expresses what we think it does, then its expressive properties may be visual as well as sonic; and if its (...) expressive properties are purely sonic, then music expresses less than we think it does. And if the expressive properties of music are visual as well as sonic, then music is not what we think it is—it is not purely sonic. (shrink)
In this book Anthony O’Hear examines the reasons that are given for religious faith. His approach is firmly within the classical tradition of natural theology, but an underlying theme is the differences between the personal Creator of the Bible or the Koran and a God conceived of as the indeterminate ground of everything determinate. Drawing on several religious traditions and on the resources of contemporary philosophy, specific chapters analyse the nature of religious faith and of religious experience. They examine connections (...) between religion and morality, and religion and human knowledge – the cosmological, teleological and ontological arguments, process thought, and the problem that evil presents for religion. The final chapter returns to the inherently dogmatic nature of religious faith and concludes that rational people should look beyond religion for the fulfilment of their spiritual needs. (shrink)
We describe a patient LS, profoundly deaf in both ears from birth, with underdeveloped superior temporal gyri. Without hearing aids, LS displays no ability to detect sounds below a fixed threshold of 60 dBs, which classifies him as clinically deaf. Under these no-hearing-aid conditions, when presented with a forced-choice paradigm in which he is asked to consciously respond, he is unable to make above-chance judgments about the presence or location of sounds. However, he is able to make above-chance (...) judgments about the content of sounds presented to him under forced-choice conditions. We demonstrated that LS has faint sensations from auditory stimuli, but questionable awareness of auditory content. LS thus has a form of type-2 deaf hearing with respect to auditory content. As in the case of a subject with acquired deafness and deaf hearing reported on a previous occasion, LS’s condition of deaf hearing is akin in some respects to type-2 blindsight. As for the case of type 2 blindsight the case indicates that a form of conscious hearing can arise in the absence of a fully developed auditory cortex. (shrink)