Monday, August 22, 2011

Ross on Macpherson on the Senses

From NDPR: Peter Ross reviews Fiona Macpherson's new collection on the senses (a collection containing a piece by my good buddy Brian Keeley).

This collection makes it clear that philosophical issues about the sensory modalities deserve attention. It comprises eleven 'classic' works, eight previously unpublished papers, and a substantial introduction by Macpherson. All of the classic works (with the exception of a selection from Aristotle's De Anima) were published in the past 50 years. Some of these selections -- in particular, De Anima and H. P. Grice's 1962 essay "Some Remarks about the Senses" -- are classic in any context. However, the other classic selections have been underappreciated until recently, when the philosophical literature on sensory modalities started gaining more attention. Together the classic works demonstrate the challenge, complexity, and sheer (philosophical) fun of issues having to do with senses. The previously unpublished papers, most of which originated as invited papers for a 2004 conference titled "Individuating the Senses" at University of Glasgow, largely build on the classic works.