Experiencing Silence – Canadian Journal of Philosophy – article

Experiencing Silence

Phillip John Meadows | Canadian Journal of Philosophy


This paper identifies three claims that feature prominently in recent discussions concerning the experience of silence: (i) that experiences of silence are the most “negative” of perceptions, (ii) that we do not hear silences because those silences cause our experiences of silence, and (iii) 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.


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