Acta Analytica

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 175–186

On Privations and Their Perception


DOI: 10.1007/s12136-010-0101-1

Cite this article as:
O’Callaghan, C. Acta Anal (2011) 26: 175. doi:10.1007/s12136-010-0101-1


Despite its admirable bottom-up methodology, Roy Sorensen's Seeing Dark Things (OUP, 2008) raises difficult theoretical questions concerning the metaphysics and perception of absences. Metaphysical difficulties include how to individuate, count, locate, and classify absences, and what determines their features. Perceptual difficulties include how to distinguish experiences of absences and presences, especially when nonveridical, and what subjects contribute to perceptual experience according to Sorensen's causal theory. In addition to articulating these difficulties, this paper also presents and explores, on Sorensen's terms, an alternative account of silence.


AbsencesSilenceSoundPerceptual awareness

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyRice UniversityHoustonUSA