Audible Independence and Binding

  • Casey O’CallaghanEmail author
Part of the Studies in Brain and Mind book series (SIBM, volume 6)


Leddington argues that one hears sound sources directly in hearing their sounds (the Heideggerian view), and that one does not hear sound sources indirectly by or in virtue of hearing their sounds (the Berkeleyan view). He argues that auditory experience presents sounds as bound to their sources (Phenomenological Binding) and thus not as independent from their sources (Phenomenological Independence), and he argues that auditory experience presents sound sources as being available for primitive demonstrative reference (Phenomenological Intimacy). He assumes that hearing is "through and through" a matter of hearing sounds (Sonicism). I argue in reply that Phenomenological Independence, Binding, and Intimacy are compatible. Perceptibly distinct things may appear bound in the manner of parts to a common whole, and perceptual awareness of parts may secure demonstrative reference to a whole. I propose that sounds audibly are constituent parts of events that audibly have sounds, and thus audition makes possible demonstrative reference to audible sound sources. In addition, I argue that this does not require accepting either the Berkeleyan or the Heideggerian view. These do not exhaust the options because Sonicism is not mandatory. It may be that not every episode of hearing a non-sound constitutively involves or depends upon a concurrent episode of hearing a sound. I conclude with a warning about the use of phenomenological claims that concern the apparent relations among objects of auditory awareness to draw a conclusion about the nature of the relationship (priority, dependence) that holds between auditory experiences of those objects.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyRice UniversityHoustonUSA

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