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Philosophy of Sound

In this episode, we reflected on what sound is. Where does it come from? Can it be considered an individual or entity? Is it continuous or discrete? Does silence really exist/is sound ever really absent?

This episode was inspired by a podcast episode by Emergence Magazine entitled "When the Earth Started to Sing" by David G. Haskell which got me thinking about how we are constantly surrounded by sound. Us as individuals both experience and produce sounds constantly, but there are also sounds being made and heard all over our planet and universe at this very moment. So what really defines a sound? Is it the object that produces it or the listener that hears it?

In the episode, we talked about medial and distal theories of sound. Medial theories characterise sound as physical sound waves that travel through a medium, whereas distal theories characterise sound as properties of objects or local events that involve both the source and medium. On the other hand, proximal theories of sound characterise sound as perceptions and sensations. These different viewpoints are well described at this Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy page.


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