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Grant number: FA-252032-17

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Casey O'Callaghan
Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO 63130-4899)

A Multisensory Philosophy of Perception

A book-length argument for a theory of multisensory perception of human consciousness.

Seeing What You Hear: A Multisensory Philosophy of Perception argues that human perceptual consciousness is richly multisensory. This project’s thesis is that the coordinated use of multiple senses enhances and extends human perceptual capacities in three critical ways: (1) Crossmodal perceptual illusions reveal hidden multisensory interactions that typically make each sense more reliable as a source of evidence about the environment; (2) The joint use of multiple senses discloses more of the world, including novel features and qualities; (3) Through perceptual learning, each sense is reshaped by the influence of others. The implication is that no sense—not even vision itself—can be understood entirely in isolation from the others. This undermines the prevailing approach to perception, which proceeds sense by sense, and sets the stage for a revisionist multisensory methodology that illuminates the nature, scope, and character of perceptual consciousness.

Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, Other; Philosophy, Other

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2017 – 6/30/2018