Andrea Togni

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On Synaesthetic Worlds and the Senses

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Individuation of the Senses, Intermodal Gray Area, Experiential-Ontological Criterion, Subtractive Criterion, Synaesthesias

The debate on the individuation of the senses aims at shaping criteria to answer two different but interrelated questions: what the sensory modalities are (metaphysical question), and how they should be categorized (classificatory question). In this essay, I analyze how the experiential-ontological criterion and the subtractive criterion deal with what I call the «intermodal gray area», where perceptions in one sensory modality are strictly associated with experiences normally related to a different sensory modality. Synaesthesias are paradigmatic cases of intermodal experiences. The experiential-ontological and the subtractive criterion are used to study the nature of synaesthetic experiences and their place in the catalog of the senses. My proposal is to grant synaesthetic experiences a phenomenological reality irreducible to the reality of the experiences associated with the inducing and the concurrent sensory modalities, and to classify each synaesthetic combination as an independent sense

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