Colours and sounds: the field of visual and auditory consciousness

Junichi Murata

in The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Phenomenology

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199594900
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Colours and sounds: the field of visual and auditory consciousness

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  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Epistemology



This chapter, which describes the spatiality of conscious phenomena, such as colours and sounds, addresses James Gibson’s ecological approach to confirm and develop further the Husserlian phenomenological view of colours and sounds. The ecological approach to perception could be regarded as an attempt to undertake empirical research corresponding to the phenomenological insight of perception. In this context, in addition to the Husserlian concept of “adumbration” and the Gibsonian concept of “ecological optics,” the differentiation of various modes of colour appearances, which David Katz explicated, is focused on, developed and applied further to the phenomena of sounds. On the basis of these discussions, the multi-dimensional character of colours and sounds are explicated, and traditional views on colours and sounds, which neglect this character, are criticized. The concept of multi-dimensionality discovers the remarkable diversity of the world of colours and sounds, which demonstrate the diversity and multiple dimensionality of the field of consciousness.

Keywords: consciousness; colours; sounds; James Gibson; ecological approach; adumbration; Husserlian phenomenology; hearing

Article.  9443 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind ; Epistemology

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