The space of sensory modalities

Macpherson, F. (2014) The space of sensory modalities. In: Stokes, D., Matthen, M. and Biggs, S. (eds.) Perception and its Modalities. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199832798 (doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199832798.001.0001)

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Is there a space of the sensory modalities? Such a space would be one in which all the actual, and at least some of the possible, sensory modalities could be represented. The position of the senses in this space would indicate how similar and how different the senses are from each other. The chapter argues that such a space can be constructed in a non-arbitrary manner. The space is one with a high number of dimensions. Principal component analysis (PCA) can be used to reduce the number of dimensions, and doing so might (a) reveal factors important for individuating the senses not previously considered, (b) help to define what a sense is, and (c) provide grounds for deciding what is one token sense rather than multiple token senses. Philosophers should consider whether PCA might be useful in taxonomizing other entities.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Macpherson, Professor Fiona
Authors: Macpherson, F.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Publisher:Oxford University Press
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