L'objectivité du toucher [The Objectivity of the Sense of Touch]

Dissertation, Aix-Marseille (2010)
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This thesis vindicates the common-sense intuition that touch is more objective than the other senses. The reason why it is so, it is argued, is that touch is the only sense essential of the experience of physical effort, and that this experience constitutes our only acquaintance with the mind-independence of the physical world. The thesis is divided in tree parts. Part I argues that sensory modalities are individuated by they proper objects, realistically construed. Part II argues that the proper objects of touch are pressures and tensions, defined as pairs of real and antagonist forces. Part III argues that experiences of pressures are an essential part of the experience of physical effort and that the experience of physical effort (which amounts to the experience of resistance to our will), constitutes our only immediate access to the mind-independence of the physical world.
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