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Music and ConsciousnessPhilosophical, Psychological, and Cultural Perspectives$
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David Clarke and Eric Clarke

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199553792

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199553792.001.0001

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Towards a theory of proprioception as a bodily basis for consciousness in music

Towards a theory of proprioception as a bodily basis for consciousness in music

(p.215) Chapter 12 Towards a theory of proprioception as a bodily basis for consciousness in music
Music and Consciousness

Alicia Peñalba Acitores

Oxford University Press

This chapter highlights the importance of the body as a basis for consciousness. The first section addresses primary consciousness as a source of awareness in the perception of ongoing musical material in which the body is involved. The second focuses on higher-order consciousness — our capacity to become self-conscious. It can be argued that both types of consciousness, traditionally studied separately, can be considered as belonging to a continuum, as stated by Merleau–Ponty: ‘all thought of something is at the same time self-consciousness’. Based on this idea of a continuum, it is also argued that primary and higher-order consciousness are both built on bodily input and that the feeling of that body is possible through proprioception. The third section uses ideas from O'Regan and Noë's sensorimotor contingency theory to offer an explanation of how musical consciousness takes place.

Keywords:   body, primary consciousness, perception, higher-order consciousness, self-conscious, sensorimotor contingency theory, musical consciousness

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