Experiencing Silence

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (2):238-250 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This paper identifies three claims that feature prominently in recent discussions concerning the experience of silence: that experiences of silence are the most “negative” of perceptions, that we do not hear silences because those silences cause our experiences of silence, and that to hear silence is to hear a temporal region devoid of sound. The principal proponents of this approach are Phillips and Soteriou, and here I present a series of objections to common elements of their attempts to place these three claims within an account of experience of silence. The final section of the paper returns to the first of the three claims and argues that, in fact, there is no good reason to accept it as initially formulated. However, when properly formulated, the claim ceases to offer support for Phillips’s and Soteriou’s approach to experience of silence.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,213

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

15 Hearing and Hallucinating Silence.Ian Phillips - 2013 - In Fiona Macpherson & Dimitris Platchias (eds.), Hallucination. MIT Press. pp. 333.
Sourds et silences liturgiques.Anne Bamberg - 2004 - Gregorianum 85 (4):689-698.
Can We Hear Silence?Daniela Šterbáková - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (1):33-53.
How Silent is the Right to Silence?Katherine Biber - 2012 - Cultural Studies Review 18 (3).
Listening From Silence: Inner Composure and Engagement.Leonard J. Waks - 2008 - Paideusis: Journal of the Canadian Philosophy of Education Society 17 (2):65-74.
Discourse, Silence, and Tradition.Bernard P. Dauenhauer - 1979 - Review of Metaphysics 32 (3):437 - 451.
Divine Hiddenness, Divine Silence.Michael C. Rea - 2011 - In Louis P. Pojman & Michael C. Rea (eds.), Philosophy of Religion an Anthology. Wadsworth/Cenage. pp. 266-275.


Added to PP

37 (#312,454)

6 months
5 (#143,195)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Phillip John Meadows
United Arab Emirates University

Citations of this work

Silence Perception and Spatial Content.Błażej Skrzypulec - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 1:1-15.
Silence Perception and Spatial Content.Błażej Skrzypulec - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (3):524-538.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Consciousness and the World.Brian O'shaughnessy - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (205):532-539.
Touching Voids: On the Varieties of Absence Perception.Dan Cavedon-Taylor - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (2):355-366.
A Breath of Fresh Air: Absence and the Structure of Olfactory Perception.Tom Roberts - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (3):400-420.
In Defense of Medial Theories of Sound.Phillip John Meadows - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (3):293-302.
Consciousness and the World.Brian O’Shaughnessy - 2002 - Philosophy 77 (300):283-287.

View all 7 references / Add more references