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What kinds of kind are the senses?

Keeley, Brian L. (2012) What kinds of kind are the senses? In: UNSPECIFIED.

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In Western common sense, one speaks of there being five human senses, a claim apparently challenged by the biological and psychological sciences. Part of this challenge comes in the form of claiming the existence of additional senses (proprioception, pain, a human pheromone sense). Part of the challenge comes from positing multiple senses where common sense only speaks of one, such as with the fractionation of “touch” into pressure and temperature senses. One conceptual difficulty in thinking about the number and division of senses is that it's not clear whether the different senses constitute natural kinds and, if not, what kind of kind they are. Should we favor antirealism with respect to the senses, akin to the arguments of some concerning the nature of species or race? I will argue that this first problem is compounded by another: that we ought to be pluralists with respect to the senses—what is meant by the term “sense” varies from context to context, varying even between scientific contexts.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Keeley, Brian
Additional Information: Draft of a book chapter for a book on the senses to be entitled _Making Sense of the Senses: A multidisciplinary perspective on the philosophy of perception_. Please contact me before citing.
Keywords: Natural kinds, senses, sensory modalities, philosophy of neuroscience, philosophy of psychology, pluralism
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Biology > Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Psychology/Psychiatry
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Dr. Brian L. Keeley
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2012 12:48
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2012 12:48
Item ID: 9139

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