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Sound and Critical Posthumanism

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This chapter is concerned with sound and critical posthumanism as their intersection is articulated through philosophy and through music in the twentieth century. Sound is usually understood as a force of vibration that causes reactions through the auditory cortex. Sound is a given, it is assumed, and we attend to sound as a by-product of the movements of the world. However, this instrumental view is called into question by several philosophical perspectives that problematize the very simple notion of the place of sound. There are many philosophical approaches to sound, though they all appear to atomize sound as a discrete body. Meanwhile, musical compositional strategies have problematized such atomistic tendencies by making musical experiences increasingly inclusive of all those in attendance at a musical event. This chapter surveys these philosophical and musical fields of inquiry, and brings to light the posthumanist attempts to make sound even more inclusive by concentrating on sound’s vibratory force.


  • Media theory
  • Perspectivism
  • Sound
  • Vibration

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Correspondence to Mickey Vallee .

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© 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

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Vallee, M. (2022). Sound and Critical Posthumanism. In: Herbrechter, S., Callus, I., Rossini, M., Grech, M., de Bruin-Molé, M., John Müller, C. (eds) Palgrave Handbook of Critical Posthumanism. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-42681-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-42681-1

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Literature, Cultural & Media StudiesReference Module Humanities and Social Sciences