The First Sense: A Philosophical Study of Human Touch

The First Sense: A Philosophical Study of Human Touch

by Matthew Fulkerson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262019965
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 12/06/2013
Series: The MIT Press
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Matthew Fulkerson is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xv

1 What Is Touch? 1

1.1 Introduction 1

1.2 Examples of Human Touch 4

1.3 Divisions of Tactual Experience 6

1.3.1 Cutaneous (Tactile)/Haptic 6

1.3.2 Active/Passive 7

1.3.3 Control/No Control 7

1.3.4 Body Directed/Object Directed 8

1.3.5 Intensive/Geometrical 10

1.3.6 Discriminative/Emotional 10

1.3.7 Stereognosis/Prehension 11

1.3.8 Implicit (Background, Recessive, Unattended)/Explicit (Foreground, Forward, Attended) 12

1.4 Summary of Terminology 12

1.5 Sensory Individuation 13

1.6 Touch and Multisensory Perception 14

2 The Unity of Human Touch 17

2.1 The Challenge 17

2.2 Clarifying the Challenge 20

2.3 The Functional Dissociation Criterion 24

2.4 The Shared Content Criterion 27

2.5 The Multiple Stimulus Criterion 30

2.6 Unisensory Experience 32

2.7 The Unity of Touch 39

2.8 Looking Ahead 43

3 Exploratory Action in Touch 45

3.1 Introduction 45

3.2 Feature Binding 46

3.3 Sensory Exploration 54

3.4 Temporal Extension 60

3.5 Grouping, Segmentation, and Recognition 62

3.6 The Evolution of Exploratory Action in Touch 64

3.7 Passive and Uncontrolled Touch 67

3.8 Action and Perception 69

4 Touch and Bodily Awareness 77

4.1 Introduction 77

4.2 Preliminary Clarifications 79

4.3 Causal Dependence 80

4.4 Noncausal Dependence 82

4.5 Inferential Dependence 86

4.6 Experiential Dependence 89

4.7 Strong Experiential Dependence 92

4.8 Informational Bodily Dependence 94

4.9 The Duality of Touch 100

4.10 The "Directness" of Touch 104

4.11 Conclusion: General Bodily Dependence 108

5 Tangible Qualities 111

5.1 Introduction 111

5.2 "Basic" Sensory Qualities 112

5.3 Intensive Features 114

5.4 Intrinsic Spatial Features 121

5.5 Complex Tangibles 127

5.6 Armstrong's Account 131

6 Distal Touch 137

6.1 Introduction 137

6.2 Perceptual Reference 138

6.3 The Contact Thesis 141

6.4 The Apparent Contact Thesis 142

6.5 Some Problematic Cases 144

6.6 The Connection Principle 147

6.7 Mediated Contact Thesis 150

6.8 Varieties of Distal Touch 155

6.8.1 Tactual Filling In 155

6.8.2 Volume Touch 156

6.8.3 Indirect Touch 157

6.8.4 Tactual Projection 157

6.9 Where Do We Represent Distal Touch Objects as Located? 159

6.10 Conclusion 164

7 Pleasant Touch 165

7.1 Introduction 165

7.2 Two Kinds of Perceptual Affect 166

7.3 Touch as Affect Presenting 173

7.4 Emotional and Pleasant Touch 174

7.5 An Account of Pleasant Touch 179

7.6 Conclusion 187

Notes 189

References 203

Index 215

What People are Saying About This

Richard Gray

This first book-length study of touch is likely to become a new focal point in the literature. Matthew Fulkerson's views on the nature of tactual perception, tangible qualities, and distal touch are required reading for anyone interested in the philosophy of perception.

Wayne Wu

Matthew Fulkerson's The First Sense is an engaging, empirically informed, philosophical account of touch. Fulkerson successfully illuminates both the diversity and unity of touch. The book will reward careful attention and announces the entry of a strong voice among philosophers producing detailed accounts of the non-visual senses.

Matthew Ratcliffe

This fascinating and original book exemplifies empirically informed philosophy at its best. Fulkerson has produced the most comprehensive philosophical study of touch to date. Anyone with an interest in touch, or in the senses more generally, ought to read it.

From the Publisher

This fascinating and original book exemplifies empirically informed philosophy at its best. Fulkerson has produced the most comprehensive philosophical study of touch to date. Anyone with an interest in touch, or in the senses more generally, ought to read it.

Matthew Ratcliffe, Department of Philosophy, Durham University

This first book-length study of touch is likely to become a new focal point in the literature. Matthew Fulkerson's views on the nature of tactual perception, tangible qualities, and distal touch are required reading for anyone interested in the philosophy of perception.

Richard Gray, Cardiff University

The First Sense is mandatory reading for anybody whose interest in perception goes beyond vision. It covers major issues in contemporary philosophy of perception and, in particular, the relationships between touch and multimodality, action, bodily awareness, and emotion.

Frederique de Vignemont, Institut Jean Nicod, Paris

Matthew Fulkerson's The First Sense is an engaging, empirically informed, philosophical account of touch. Fulkerson successfully illuminates both the diversity and unity of touch. The book will reward careful attention and announces the entry of a strong voice among philosophers producing detailed accounts of the non-visual senses.

Wayne Wu, Associate Professor, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Carnegie Mellon University

Endorsement

Matthew Fulkerson's The First Sense is an engaging, empirically informed, philosophical account of touch. Fulkerson successfully illuminates both the diversity and unity of touch. The book will reward careful attention and announces the entry of a strong voice among philosophers producing detailed accounts of the non-visual senses.

Wayne Wu, Associate Professor, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Carnegie Mellon University

Frederique de Vignemont

The First Sense is mandatory reading for anybody whose interest in perception goes beyond vision. It covers major issues in contemporary philosophy of perception and, in particular, the relationships between touch and multimodality, action, bodily awareness, and emotion.

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