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Casey O'Callaghan

​Professor of Philosophy and Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology
PhD, Princeton University
research interests:
  • Philosophy of Mind and Perception
  • Metaphysics
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contact info:

mailing address:

  • Washington University
  • CB 1073
  • One Brookings Drive
  • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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Professor O'Callaghan's research focuses on philosophical questions about perception. In particular, he has written about auditory perception and the nature of its objects and about multisensory perception and consciousness. ​

Casey O'Callaghan's work stems from a more general interest in how perceptual awareness relates to its objects and how it shapes our understanding of the natures of those objects.

Recently, he has been writing about speech perception, the significance of interactions among sense modalities for theorizing more generally about perception, how to differentiate the senses, how perception differs from extra-perceptual cognition, and psychological explanation and taxonomy.

Some essays on these topics are collected in Beyond Vision, published by OUP in 2017. Currently, he is writing a monograph on multisensory perception and consciousness called A Multisensory Philosophy of Perception.

Beyond Vision: Philosophical Essays

Beyond Vision: Philosophical Essays

Beyond Vision brings together eight essays by Casey O'Callaghan. The works draw theoretical and philosophical lessons about perception, the nature of its objects, and sensory awareness through sustained attention to extra-visual and multisensory forms of perception and perceptual consciousness. O'Callaghan focuses on auditory perception, perception of spoken language, and multisensory perception. 

Sounds: A Philosophical Theory

Sounds: A Philosophical Theory

Sounds proposes a novel theory of sounds and auditory perception. Against the widely accepted philosophical view that sounds are among the secondary or sensible qualities, O'Callaghan argues that, on any perceptually plausible account, sounds are events. But this does not imply that sounds are waves that propagate through a medium, such as air or water. Rather, sounds are events that take place in one's environment at or near the objects and happenings that bring them about. This account captures the way in which sounds essentially are creatures of time, and situates sounds in a world populated by items and events that have significance for us.

Sounds & Perception

Sounds & Perception

Sounds and Perception is a collection of original essays on auditory perception and the nature of sounds - an emerging area of interest in the philosophy of mind and perception, and in the metaphysics of sensible qualities. The individual essays discuss a wide range of issues, including the nature of sound, the spatial aspects of auditory experience, hearing silence, musical experience, and the perception of speech; a substantial introduction by the editors serves to contextualise the essays and make connections between them.