This book draws theoretical and philosophical lessons about perception, the nature of its objects, and sensory awareness through sustained attention to extra-visual and multisensory forms of perception and perceptual consciousness. The chapters focus on auditory perception, perception of spoken language, and multisensory perception. The first chapters concern the nature of audition’s objects, focusing on sounds, especially drawing attention to the ways in which they contrast with vision’s objects. The middle chapters explore forms of auditory perception that could not be explained without understanding audition’s interactions with other senses. This bridges work on sound perception with work on multisensory perception, and it raises multisensory perception as an important topic for understanding perception even in a single modality. It has noteworthy consequences. Not even vision can be fully understood wholly in isolation from the other senses. The last chapters are devoted to multisensory perception and perceptual consciousness. They argue that no complete account of perception overall or of multisensory perceptual consciousness can be developed in modality-specific terms—perceiving amounts to more than just seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling at the same time. The final chapter presents a new framework for understanding what it is to be modality-specific or to be multisensory.
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