When the stored representation of the meaning of a stimulus is accessed through the processing of a sensory input it is maintained in an activated state for a certain amount of time that allows for further processing. This semantic activation is generally accompanied by conscious identification, which can be demonstrated by the ability of a person to perform discriminations on the basis of the meaning of the stimulus. The idea that a sensory input can give rise to semantic activation without (...) concomitant conscious identification was the central thesis of the controversial research in subliminal perception. Recently, new claims for the existence of such phenomena have arisen from studies in dichotic listening, parafoveal vision, and visual pattern masking. Because of the fundamental role played by these types of experiments in cognitive psychology, the new assertions have raised widespread interest. (shrink)
In On Liberty, John Stuart Mill argues that free speech possesses value because listening is valuable: it can advance one’s own thinking and action. However, listening becomes difficult when one finds the views of a speaker to be wrong, repellant, or even simply naïve. Everyday wisdom would have it that such cases present the greatest opportunities for growth. Is there substance to this claim? In particular, is there radical political value to be found in listening to others (...) at the very times one is most disinclined to do so? I contend that there is. This paper explores the political potential of what I call “radical listening.” What characterizes radical listening? How can it serve politically transformative purposes? To what extent are the powers of radical listening strategic, and to what extent is it valuablefor more conceptual reasons? Under what circumstances is it appropriate? What are the limits to, and dangers of, radical listening? (shrink)
In claiming that metadata possess the power to put historical awareness into the act of listening, this article examines digital music use as an aesthetic situation driven by potentialities of becoming. Working from a theoretical foundation amalgamating digital music archives and metadata as environments the article discusses Georgina Born’s notion of musical assemblages alongside the concept of virtuality, and by letting these meet the article argues for a musical assemblage built from sensibilities of becoming rather than layers of mediation. (...) The inner workings of digital music use constitute an ecology in which recorded music history moves and reconnects, and this makes the historicity of recorded music be fluid, thus turning listening into a historicised action. In exemplifying this, the article discusses some of the strategic programming of metadata on the digital music platform Diskoteket, and through an analysis of sampled music, the prospects of recorded music’s historicity are shown as affective capacities. (shrink)
We are inhabitants of a culture that knows how to speak but not how to listen. Against a tradition that has endorsed the power of discourse, where warring monologues are mistaken for genuine dialogue, Gemma Corradi Fiumara examines and reveals the other side of language - listening.
Using Jean-Luc Nancy's productive concept of resonant listening, this article interrogates silence in the films of Michael Haneke. Arguing for a kind of open, resonating and sonorous form of philosophic listening, Nancy articulates the distinctions among listening, hearing and understanding. Working from these concepts, this article considers the particular form of resonance in the instance of cinematic silence and in particular the use of silence in the philosophically engaged cinema of Haneke.
In this essay, the author considers intertextuality in contemporary musical work, conceptualizing it not only as a critical category and as an artistic convention, but also as an aesthetic strategy. Listening for texts, as it were, opens the work for influences and gives it new purposes. The multiple texts, which are mutually interdependent, alter each other’s meaning and are “read” and “re-read” during aesthetic experience. Depending on the listener, these meanings are more or less pronounced; some are seen as (...) primary, while others are seen as secondary. Sometimes they are co-dependent and meaningful together, but sometimes they shy each other out. The multilayered quality of the work is acknowledged and seen as important even before individual meanings can be discovered. The author proposes a look at intertextuality in reference to musical works by Steve Reich,. The author uses Ryszard Nycz’s definition of intertextuality and confronts it with Umberto Eco’s idea of interpretation and the structural openness of art. Putting forward a concept of listening-in as a necessary element of receiving and understanding certain musical works, she suggests accepting an intertextual aesthetic strategy for a satisfactory aesthetic experience. Assuming the presence of multiple texts, which are different in character and meaning, and accepting their interdependence, changes the reception of the work and colors its qualities. The challenge is not only to seek out different texts hidden behind the purely musical face of the work but to find out the way they influence each other, knowing full well that the major or minor role those texts play depend on the listener as much as on the author. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine the relationship between new technologies and listening, starting from a distinction between two different levels. The first concerns the role new technologies play in the “mere” reproduction and diffusion of music materials that are not necessarily classifiable in the category of the so-called “technological music”; the second concerns the listening modes unavoidably involved in the reception of a music product, due to its very nature. To this end I shall focus my attention on (...) some elements that characterize both music production and reception: historical development of the relationship between technology and music; technologically mediated non-live listening; technologically mediated live listening; ontological oscillation in a musical work of art following its digitalization. These are issues that also bring into play aesthetics in a developmental stage of this discipline, in which a philosophical reflection on technological music may contribute to formulate – as J. Demers wrote – «a theory that acknowledges the interconnectedness of aesthetics with culture and society». (shrink)
Even though Slavoj Žižek has written many words about music without really saying much about it, his work nevertheless contains much that for the philosophically minded musicologist, or for the musically minded philosopher, can stimulate thinking. For the author of this article, for example, some of the ideas presented in Žižek’s 2006 The Parallax View have stimulated thinking about the possibilities of taking a comparable approach—that is, a metaphorically ‘parallax’ approach that involves considering an object of attention alternately from more (...) than one perspective—not just to music but to sounds in general. Along with summarizing Žižek’s views on music per se, “Focused Listening: The Aesthetics of Parallax” explores various ways in which persons in the presence of a single ‘sound object’ might listen to, and thus perceive and hear, that sonic phenomenon. (shrink)
This paper addresses the question whether we can conceive of music cognition in ecosemiotic terms. It claims that music knowledge must be generated as a tool for adaptation to the sonic world and calls forth a shift from a structural description of music as an artifact to a process-like approach to dealing with music. As listeners, we are observers who construct and organize our knowledge and bring with us our observational tools. What matters is not merely the sonic world in (...) its objective qualities, but the world as perceived. In order to make these claims operational we can rely on the ecological concept of coping with the sonic world and the cybernetic concepts of artificial and adaptive devices. Listeners, on this view, are able to change their semantic relations with the sonic world through functional adaptations at the level of sensing, acting and coordinating between action and perception. This allows us to understand music in functional terms of what it affords to us and not merely in terms of its acoustic qualities. There are, however, degrees of freedom and constraints which shape the semiotization of the sonic world. As such we must consider the role of event perception and cognitive economy: listeners do not perceive the acoustical environment in terms of phenomenological descriptions but as ecological events. (shrink)
The music in here--. Music as body ; Music as mind ; Music as heart ; Feeling mind, thinking heart -- --out there--. Music as life ; Music as story ; Music as mirror -- --and everywhere--. Music on the Zen elevator ; The enlightened listener ; Living the waves.
It is well known that philosophical hermeneutics has long been associated in political discussions with a conservative orientation. Many Gadamerians have sought to rebut this suggestion, convincingly emphasizing progressive political dimensions of hermeneutics in general and of Gadamer’s thought in particular. One version of the association of hermeneutics with conservatism has been overlooked, however, namely, Hans Blumenberg’s provocative claim that the predilection in the hermeneutic tradition for metaphors of hearing and listening indicates that hermeneutics passively heeds and takes in (...) tradition as we would unwillingly receive a loud sound, and is thereby politically conservative. This paper critically responds to Blumenberg’s critique of what I call the conservatism of listening, and aims to interrogate the extent to which Gadamer’s hermeneutics can be characterized by this form of conservatism. Through a consideration of ocular metaphors in Gadamer’s thinking, we will discover in Gadamerian hermeneutics a conception of dynamic, constructive, and embodied engagement with historical traditions that makes room for critique. In this way, Gadamer avoids the charge of adhering to the conservatism of listening. (shrink)
This article argues for an epistemology of music, stating that dealing with music can be considered as a process of knowledge acquisition. What really matters is not the representation of an ontological musical reality, but the generation of music knowledge as a tool for adaptation to the sonic world. Three major positions are brought together: the epistemological claims of Jean Piaget, the biological methodology of Jakob von Uexküll, and the constructivistic conceptions of Ernst von Glasersfeld, each ingstress the role of (...) the music user rather than the music. Dealing with music, in this view, is not a matter of representation, but a process of semiotization of the sonorous environment as the outcome of interactions with the sound. Hence the role of enactive cognition and perceptual-motor interaction with the sonic environment. What is considered a central issue is the way how listeners as subjects experience their own phenomenal world or Umwelt, and how they can make sense out of their sonic environment. Umwelt-research, therefore, is highly relevant for music education in stressing the role of the listener and his/her listening strategies. (shrink)
According to sensorimotor theory perceiving is a bodily skill involving exercise of an implicit know-how of the systematic ways that sensations change as a result of potential movements, that is, of sensorimotor contingencies. The theory has been most successfully applied to vision and touch, while perceptual modalities that rely less on overt exploration of the environment have not received as much attention. In addition, most research has focused on philosophically grounding the theory and on psychologically elucidating sensorimotor laws, but the (...) theory’s ramifications for neuroscience still remain underexamined. Here we sketch the beginnings of a research program that could address these two outstanding challenges in terms of auditory perception. We review the neuroscience literature on passive listening, which is defined as listening without overt bodily movement, and conclude that sensorimotor theory provides a unique perspective on the consistent finding of motor system activation. In contrast to competing theories, this activation is predicted to be involved not only in the perception of speech- and action-related sounds, but in auditory perception in general. More specifically, we propose that the auditory processing associated with supplementary motor areas forms part of the neural basis of the exercise of sensorimotor know-how: these areas’ recognized role in facilitating spontaneous motor responses to sound and supporting flexible engagement of sensorimotor processes to guide auditory experience and enable auditory imagery, can be understood in terms of two key characteristics of sensorimotor interaction, its “alerting capacity” and “corporality”, respectively. We also highlight that there is more to the inside of the body than the brain: there is an opportunity to develop sensorimotor theory into new directions in terms of the still poorly understood active processes of the peripheral auditory system. (shrink)
I discuss the social dimension of musical experience. I focus on the question of whether there is joint musical listening. One reason for this focus is that Adorno and those in his tradition give us little in the way of an understanding of what the social dimension of musical experience might be. We need a proper clear conception of the issue, which the issue of joint experience yields. I defend a radically individualistic view, while conceding that such a view, (...) inspired by Hanslick, may have political ramifications. I have two arguments. The first is a principled argument against joint musical listening from the impossibility of perceiving the aesthetic properties of music. I connect this with the privacy of our grounds for aesthetic judgements about music. The second argument accepts that joint listening could in principle span different sense modalities, but draws attention to the fact that the experiences on which aesthetic judgements are based cannot be willed in a way they would have to be if there was joint listening. Lastly, I consider two phenomena, of making music together and dancing together, which seem to involve joint listening, but in fact do not. I end by drawing an individualist conclusion about the nature of musical experience. (shrink)
In this lyrical meditation on listening, Jean-Luc Nancy examines sound in relation to the human body. How is listening different from hearing? What does listening entail? How does what is heard differ from what is seen? Can philosophy even address listening, écouter, as opposed to entendre, which means both hearing and understanding? -/- Unlike the visual arts, sound produces effects that persist long after it has stopped. The body, Nancy says, is itself like an echo chamber, (...) responding to music by inner vibrations as well as outer attentiveness. Since “the ear has no eyelid” (Quignard), sound cannot be blocked out or ignored: our whole being is involved in listening, just as it is involved in interpreting what it hears. -/- The mystery of music and of its effects on the listener is subtly examined. Nancy’s skill as a philosopher is to bring the reader companionably along with him as he examines these fresh and vital questions; by the end of the book the reader feels as if listening very carefully to a person talking quietly, close to the ear. (shrink)
Little is known empirically about the role of supervisor listening and the emotional conditions that listening facilitates. Having the opportunity to speak is only one part of the communication process between employees and supervisors. Employees also react to whether they perceive the supervisor as actively listening. In two studies, this paper examines three important outcomes of employee perceptions of supervisor listening. Furthermore, positive and negative affect are investigated as distinct mediating mechanisms. Results from Study 1 revealed (...) that employee perceptions of supervisor listening reflected supervisors’ self-ratings of how they listen to their employees and these perceptions were associated with the three work outcomes. Study 2 replicated the findings in a larger sample and found evidence for two explanatory mechanisms. Positive affect mediated the effects of perceived supervisor listening on organizational citizenship behavior and turnover intention, whereas negative affect mediated listening effects on emotional exhaustion and turnover intention. Implications for organizational research and managerial practice concerning workforce sustainability are discussed. (shrink)
In a study that goes beyond the ego affirmed by Freudian psychology, David Levin offers an account of personal growth and self-fulfillment based on the development of our capacity for listening. Drawing on the work of Dewey, Piaget, Erikson, and Kohlberg, he uses the vocabulary of phenomenological psychology to distinguish four stages in this developmental process and brings us the significance of these stages for music, psychotherapy, ethics, politics, and ecology. This analysis substantiates his claim that the development of (...) our listening capacity is a process that fits Foucault's conception of a practice of the self, forming our character as social beings and moral agents. David Levin contends that our self- development as auditory beings is necessary for the achievement of a just and democratic society. (shrink)
In this essay, Mordechai Gordon interprets Martin Buber's ideas on dialogue, presence, and especially his notion of embracing in an attempt to shed some light on Buber's understanding of listening. Gordon argues that in order to understand Buber's conception of listening, one needs to examine this concept in the context of his philosophy of dialogue. More specifically, his contention is that closely examining Buber's notion of embracing the other is critical to making sense of his conception of (...) class='Hi'>listening. Gordon's analysis suggests that, in Buber's model, listening involves a kind of active attentiveness to another's words or actions, engaging them as though they are directed specifically at us. Gordon's discussion of dialogue and listening also indicates that the relation between speaking and listening is one of reciprocity and mutual dependence and that listening plays an essential role in initiating many dialogues by creating a space in which two people can embrace each other as complete individuals. (shrink)
Certain Daoist ideas explored here are compared with features of Peirce's philosophy, supplying a helpful perspective on the latter. In particular, I examine Zhuangzi's instruction about “listening” with one's spirit, along with certain discussions of “listening energy” drawn from texts dealing with the Daoist martial arts. I argue that Daoist “listening” and Peirce's concept of “musement” are both to be regarded as a disciplined form of attentiveness. By attending to no predetermined thing, a person thus disciplined is (...) “ready” for the encounter with what might otherwise remain unperceived in experience, prepared to listen to voices that might otherwise be ignored. (shrink)
Among Japanese nurses ethics is perceived as being distant and unrelated to their practice, although this is filled with ethical concerns and the making of ethical decisions. The reasons for this dissociation are the primacy of western values in modern Japanese health care systems and the suppression of Japanese nurses’ indigenous ethical values because of domination by western ethics. A hermeneutic study was conducted to listen to the ethical voices of Japanese nurses. Seven ethical concerns were revealed. Although some of (...) these concerns may seem to share similar values with western ethical principles, the basis for the concerns was unique and rooted in the Japanese cultural value system. The meanings of each concern are explicated in conjunction with related background meanings. Listening and trying to understand these nurses’ voices in their own context suggests a way of bridging the gap between abstract and universal ethics and practical and local ethics. (shrink)
Our thesis is that reasoning plays a greater—or at least a different—role in understanding oral discourse such as lectures and speeches than it does in understanding comparatively long written discourse. For example, both reading and listening involve framing hypotheses about the direction the discourse is headed. But since a reader can skip around to check and revise hypotheses, the reader’s stake in initially getting it right is not as great as the listener’s, who runs the risk of getting hopelessly (...) lost. We also consider how representing the content of discourse and dealing with its pragmatic logic differs in reading and listening. (shrink)
The majority of evidence on social anxiety -linked attentional biases to threat comes from research using facial expressions. Emotions are, however, communicated through other channels, such as voice. Despite its importance in the interpretation of social cues, emotional prosody processing in SA has been barely explored. This study investigated whether SA is associated with enhanced processing of task-irrelevant angry prosody. Fifty-three participants with high and low SA performed a dichotic listening task in which pairs of male/female voices were presented, (...) one to each ear, with either the same or different prosody. Participants were instructed to focus on either the left or right ear and to identify the speaker’s gender in the attended side. Our main results show that, once attended, task-irrelevant angry prosody elicits greater interference than does neutral prosody. Surprisingly, high socially anxious participants were less prone to distraction from attended-angry prosody than were low socially anxious individuals. These findings emphasise the importance of examining SA-related biases across modalities. (shrink)
While researchers have studied how white silence protects white innocence and white ignorance, in this essay Barbara Applebaum explores a form of white silence that she refers to as “listening silence” in which silence protects white innocence but does not necessarily promote resistance to learning. White listening silence can appear to be a constructive pedagogical tool for teaching white students about their implication in the perpetuation of racism. The truth of white students' listening may make it seem (...) as if silence promotes what George Yancy refers to as “tarrying” with a critique of whiteness. Applebaum argues, however, that white listening silence is itself a manifestation of complicity and needs to be disrupted. This examination expands discussions of white silence in the scholarship not by providing a formula for when silence is or is not pedagogically necessary, but rather by demonstrating that listening silence is not a form of “tarrying.” The first section examines the unique features of listening silence and the relationship between silence, ignorance, and innocence. The second section critically examines white listening silence in cross-cultural dialogues and draws upon the work of Linda Martin Alcoff to argue that listening silence must be understood within the discursive context in which it is practiced. Finally, three implications of this emphasis on the discursive context for the role of silence in tarrying with the critique of whiteness are discussed. (shrink)
In light of the widespread existence of financial and non-financial issues that contribute to the appearance or fact of conflict of interest, it is proposed that conflict of interest should generally be assumed, no matter the source of financial support or the expressed declarations of conflicts and even with respect to one’s own work. No new model is advanced for modification of peer-review processes or for elaboration of author declarations of interest. Researchers should be assessing the quality of published work (...) as best they can and make their own decisions on the appropriate use of the work. While some apparent sources of conflict are likely more obvious and serious than others, even subtler biases can influence scientific reports. Ignoring peer-reviewed contributions because of conflict-of-interest concerns is discouraged. Listening skeptically to all sources, including yourself, is encouraged. (shrink)
In his central educational work, The Science of Education (1806), J.F. Herbart did not explicitly develop a theory of listening, yet his concept of the teacher as a guide in the moral development of the learner gives valuable insight into the moral dimension of listening within teacher-student interaction. Herbart's theory radically calls into question the assumed linearity between listening and obedience to external authority, not only illuminating important distinctions between socialization and education, but also underscoring consequences for (...) our understanding of the role of listening in educational relations. In this inquiry, Andrea English argues that critical listening in teaching contributes to the moral education and development of the learner. To do this, she examines Herbart's view of the teacher's task as a moral guide in the realm of moral education. English contends that reexamining Herbart's theory of education (a theory that is, for the most part, no longer discussed in Anglo-American educational philosophy) can productively inform our understanding of moral education in democratic and pluralist societies. (shrink)
In this essay Suzanne Rice examines Aristotle's ideas about virtue, character, and education as elements in an Aristotelian conception of good listening. Rice begins by surveying of several different contexts in which listening typically occurs, using this information to introduce the argument that what should count as “good listening” must be determined in relation to the situation in which listening actually occurs. On this view, Rice concludes, there are no “essential” listening virtues, but rather ways (...) of listening that may be regarded as virtuous in the context of particular concrete circumstances. (shrink)
In this essay, Leonard Waks examines John Dewey's account of listening, drawing on Dewey's writings to establish a direct connection in his work between listening and democracy. Waks devotes the first part of the essay to explaining Dewey's distinction between one-way or straight-line listening and transactional listening-in-conversation, and to demonstrating the close connection between transactional listening and what Dewey called “cooperative friendship.” In the second part of the essay, Waks establishes the further link between Dewey's (...) notions of cooperative friendship and democratic society with particular reference to machine-age technologies of mass communication. He maintains that while these technologies provide the means for extending communications throughout modern industrial nations, they simultaneously undermine the conditions fostering face-to-face listening-in-conversation. It remains an open question, Waks concludes, whether new educational arrangements incorporating interactive digital communication technologies will embody and promote transactional listening-in-conversation and revitalized democratic community. (shrink)
In the article, Sophie Haroutunian-Gordon asks, Did Plato have a philosophy of listening, and if so, what was it? Listening is the counterpart of speaking in a dialogue, and it is no less important. Indeed, learning from the dialogue is less likely to occur as people participate unless listening as well as speaking takes place. Haroutunian-Gordon defines a philosophy of listening as a set of beliefs that fall into four categories: (1) the aim of listening; (...) (2) the nature of listening; (3) the role of the listener; and (4) the relation between the listener and the speaker. The beliefs, as they fall into these four categories, have implications for one another, and, because they are logically related, constitute a philosophy of listening. In the article, Haroutunian-Gordon argues that Plato had a philosophy of listening and describes its components. (shrink)
This essay builds on various critiques of the relationship between the voice and autonomous individual subjectivity, briefly tracking the specific history through which the voice transformed into an ideal object representing the liberal subject of post-Enlightenment thought. This paper asks: what are we to make of those enfleshed voices that do not conform to the ideal voice of the self-possessed liberal subject? What are we to make of those voices that refuse the imperative of improvement that underpins social and economic (...) contractualism? How might we attend to the sonicity of those voices that refuse to individuate, possess, and accumulate? And what fugitive modes of speech might be transmitted by such un-formed and un-organized voices? Against the idealized voice of liberalism, and the gendered and racialized exclusions that this voice implies, I propose a mode of fugitive listening that allows us to open our ears to the noisy voices and modes of speech that sound outside the locus of politics proper. Indebted to the Black radical tradition, fugitive listening attends to sonic practices that refuse the given grounds of representation. I argue that fugitive listening is a practice that can be situated in what Stefano Harney and Fred Moten call ‘the undercommons’. The essay concludes by turning to gossip, figuring this noisy modality of speech as central to undercommon spaces shaped by Black performance. (shrink)
In accordance with Progressivism, Matthew Lipman, introduced an educational model for renewal and change by means of the child. With his Philosophy for Children programme he wished to offer an alternative for the intellectualistic oriented education which silenced children. The answer to the search for freedom and change, Lipman finds in the symbioses between ‘Philosophy’ and ‘Children’. Philosophy expressed in critical thinking and communication, was the basis to emancipate the child from the oppression of the adult and to cause change. (...) According to Lipman the main purpose of philosophy is to free every individual from determination. This plea is being elaborated by dialogue. The main issue of our paper concerns the question whether Lipman’s alternative ‘Philosophy for Children’ can fulfil the promise of change and freedom. To answer this question we will investigate thoroughly where dialogue and change in Philosophy for Children stand for. Finally we will propose another perspective of dialogue. A dialogue stressed on listening. Listening to how the world appears to us and how we appear to ourselves. (shrink)
Music and listening, music and consciousness -- Conceptualizing consciousness -- The phenomenology of everyday music listening experiences -- Absorption, dissociation and trancing -- Musical and non-musical trancing in daily life -- Imaginative involvement -- Musical and non-musical trancing : similarities and differences -- Experiencing life and art : ethological and evolutionary perspectives on -- Transformations of consciousness -- Everyday music listening experiences reframed.
Long histories and entrenched habits of inattention among advantaged groups mean that even minor challenge and concession can provoke subjective perceptions of victimization. How, in such conditions, might claims of structural injustice break through? Drawing on field work with practitioners across conflict mediation, therapy, education, and performance – four sectors that facilitate listening in fraught contexts yet are undertheorized in politics – this article makes the case that among the most overlooked and powerful resources for cultivating receptivity and responsiveness (...) among advantaged groups are the arts of listening. Practices of engagement across these sectors establish listening as potent rather than passive, given the extent to which it constitutes the field of encounter and shapes what emerges within it, both in terms of expression and, more significantly in this context, receptivity of those to whom one listens. Yet this also means that how one listens is a pivotal consideration – particularly when listening might serve to reinforce and normalize unjustly dominant positions. In contrast to progressive politics’ emphasis on finding more forceful forms of voice and conventional reliance on direct communicative practices, this article explores how specific comedic, theatrical, and embodied tactics can generate ‘oblique forms of listening’ potentially useful to social justice struggles. (shrink)