Imagining the Sounds Themselves

Malcolm Riddoch investigates the relationship between the auditory imagination and our perception of sound. He states that, from a physical perspective, both imaginary and ex­ternally stimulated sound would seem to be the product of neurological processes. From a phenomenological perspective, however, phenomenal sound is fundamentally something that is heard. This apparent paradox leads Riddoch, via the “hard problem of conscious­ness,” to present and discuss a number of different forms and understandings of “sound” and to eventually posit that the sounds themselves—imagined or externally stimulated—are “nonphysical phenomena disclosed in the lived experience of hearkening to the mean­ingful sounds one hears in the world.”

Malcolm Riddoch. “Imagining the Sounds Themselves.” In The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Imagination, Volume 1. Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard, Mads Walther-Hansen and Martin Knakkergaard eds.: Oxford University Press, 2019-09-26.

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