Chapter

The Argument from Vacuums

Casey O'Callaghan

in Sounds

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780199215928
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191706875 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199215928.003.0004
 The Argument from Vacuums

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If sounds are distal events that do not pass through the medium, what is the role of the medium? Is the medium a necessary condition on the existence of a sound, or is it merely a necessary condition on the perceptibility of a sound (as light is a necessary condition for the perceptibility, but not the existence, of a color instance)? This chapter contends that sounds require a medium by arguing that certain audible qualities are medium-relative. An important distinction between normative standards for perceiving visible versus audible qualities allows us to draw the stronger conclusion that no sounds exist in vacuums.

Keywords: vacuum; audible qualities; medium-relative; distal events; perceptibility of sound

Chapter.  3365 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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