Cross-Domain Descriptions: The Sensory and the Psychological

Philosophical Quarterly 73 (4):950-964 (2023)
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Cross-domain descriptions are descriptions of features pertaining to one domain in terms of vocabulary primarily associated with another domain. Notably, we routinely describe psychological features in terms of the sensory domain and vice versa. Sorrow is said to be ‘bitter’ and fear ‘cold’. Music can be described as ‘happy’, ‘sad’, ‘mournful’, and so on. Such descriptions are rife in both everyday discourse and literary writings. What is it about psychological features that invites descriptions in sensory terms and what is it about the sensory that invites descriptions in terms of the psychological? Drawing on the literature on polysemy, this paper sheds light on cross-domain descriptions pertaining to the sensory and the psychological domains.

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Michelle Liu
Monash University

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References found in this work

Self-expression.Mitchell S. Green - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Aesthetics of Music.Roger Scruton - 1997 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

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