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Perceiving Representations

A project examining our perception of language, pictures and music.

Beautiful lotus flowers and many colours. Painting.

Illustration: Colourbox

How does representation work?

We perceive representations in language, music and pictures by perceiving the sounds or objects that encode them. But how can perceiving one thing—a painting, for example—enable us to perceive another, e.g. the object depicted, and is there a common structure to our perception of visual and auditory representations?

In this project we draw upon recent philosophical and scientific research to evaluate the hypothesis that there is a common structure to the perception of speech, pictures and music. This affords an extraordinary opportunity to study linguistic, mimetic and musical representation together, and to develop a novel framework for understanding key issues about how representation works.

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The project ‘Perceiving Representations: A Study of Structural Commonalities between Language, Pictures and Music’ runs from 2018 to 2022 and is funded by The Research Council of Norway.

Tags: Philosophy, Perception, Representation, Language, Music, Dance, Speech, Rhythm, Aesthetics, Philosophy of mind, Metaphysics
Published Mar. 19, 2018 4:12 PM - Last modified July 12, 2021 3:25 PM