Is there a tactile field?

Philosophical Psychology 35 (3):301-326 (2022)
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Abstract

It seems that there are important differences concerning the way in which space itself is presented in visual and tactile modalities. In the case of vision, it is usually accepted that visual objects are experienced as located in a visual field. However, it is controversial whether similar field-like characteristics can be attributed to the space in which tactile entities are experienced to be located. The paper investigates whether postulating the presence of a tactile field is justified. I argue that the answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ due to the dual nature of touch: touch is both an interoceptive modality that presents states of one’s body and an exteroceptive modality that presents external entities. More specifically, the interoceptive tactile space has a character of a spatial field. On the other hand, the exteroceptive tactile space does not have characteristics necessary for ascribing the field-status.

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Błażej Skrzypulec
Jagiellonian University

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