[SydPhil] USyd Postgrad Work in Progress Talk 14/10/13

Simon Varey simonvarey at gmail.com
Tue Oct 8 11:29:56 AEDT 2013

Here are the details for the next USyd Postgrad Work in Progress talk:

Speaker: Andrew McGuiness

Title: Perception of sound and the specious present

The notion of the experienced present (sometimes referred to as the
'specious' present) has received a great deal of attention from
philosophers. Discussion of the specious present has largely centered
around perception and particularly on sound, since each sound exhibits
specific temporal properties. The central problem of the specious present
can be stated thus: How can we have experiences of motion, or of
succession, in any one instant (during which neither motion nor succession
can actually occur)? I approach the issue primarily from the perspective of
a musician. First, I identify a cluster of properties of experience which
are associated with the specious present. Among these is the formation of
discrete 'temporal objects', as noted by Husserl and largely ignored by
others. I also argue that temporal relations such as succession and order
are directly perceived. Second, I briefly suggest cognitive science
explanations for some of the properties of experience identified as
associated with the specious present. In doing so, I extend the concept of
directly perceiving relations, and provide a recent brain imaging example
from the literature which identifies a brain response to the direction of
pitch change. I take issue with Grush's (2005) notion of a 'moving window
emulator,' on the grounds that it fails to account for the perceptual
construction of discrete temporal objects. I argue for a two-layered
conception of the perception of temporal properties. One level concerns
motion and sequences of events within short time scales (hundreds of
milliseconds): this is the level at which discrete temporal objects are
constructed. The second level concerns relations between the successive
temporal objects which have been constructed by the perceptual process at
work in the first layer.

Time: 4:30pm, Mon Oct 14
Location: S401, Main Quad, University of Sydney

Hope to see you all there,
Simon Varey
Postgraduate Colloquium Co-ordinator
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