Are Sounds Events? Materiality in Auditory Perception

Phenomenology and Mind 25 (25):226-240 (2023)
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Whilst arguing for sounds as repeatable objects does not seem suitable to our auditory experience, considering them as events can then help us understand some of their main features. In this sense, sounds are events happening to material objects; they have a beginning and an end; they are ephemeral entities that we cannot grasp as ordinary objects. Nevertheless, supporters of event theory usually focus on the autonomous status that sounds manifest from the things in the world. Conversely, when we hear sounds, we hear what and where they are sounding even in those theories that I will call detached-sound theories; in hearing them we hear how different materials create different sounds. Within the different positions of the event theory to pure-event or acousmatic proposal, the importance and role that the material has in the creation of diverse sounds does not always seem to be recognized. In this paper, I therefore aim to show how the materiality of resonating bodies and objects is given in all forms of auditory experience, not until analyzed the differences between object and event accounts in the philosophy of sound.

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Elia Gonnella
University of Salento


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