If any member of staff or student wishes to post an event, please contact Clare Simpson at Clare dot Simpson at warwick dot ac dot uk.
Postgraduate Work in Progress Seminar
Traditionally, philosophers of perception have focused their attention nearly exclusively on vision. The traditional debate on perception in philosophy is based on the paradigmatic case of sight. Recently, however, the scientific and philosophical interest in studying other sensory modalities and their interaction has grown. In particular, auditory perception has become an important field of research (O’Callaghan 2007, Nudds & O’Callaghan 2009).
In this context, listening to music is usually presented as one variety of auditory perception (O’Callaghan 2016). Nevertheless, at the moment, there is no satisfactory explanation for this classification. While the philosophy of music has generated a vast literature, the perception of music has remained largely unexplored.
DeBellis’ (1995) work on music stands as an exception in the context of the perceptual studies on audition. Indeed, he provides a representational account of musical hearing in which conceptualisation plays a central role. DeBellis’ aims are: 1) to expand on Peacocke’s view of non-conceptual content of mental states 2) to furnish a definition of the difference between levels of musical hearing in conceptual terms.
In this paper, I will try to demonstrate that DeBellis’ work does not provide a consistent argument especially for the second goal outlined above. To do so, focusing on DeBellis’ notion of “weakly non-conceptual hearing”, I will provide both philosophical reasons and motives based on musical practice. Finally, I will present some unsolved questions that arise by this discussion and which represent the starting point of my research.