The Enigma Of The Universe : Sound not a Quality

Published: 16.12.2014
Updated: 13.01.2015

While criticizing the realists' (in particular Joad's) view, Eddington has considered sound as a sensory quality of the same category as taste. He writes: "The kind of datum from which scientist and philosopher alike must start is exemplified by I-perceive-the-taste-of-an-apple. I use this string of words to indicate to you a particular kind of awareness; it is the awareness, not the description, which constitutes the datum. Another datum may be he-perceives-the-sound-of-a-bell. It is agreed that although I have become possessed of this second datum in an indirect way, it ranks equally with the first which is immediately furnished by my consciousness.[1]

Putting 'sound' on the same footing with 'taste', he proceeds to conclude: "I mean that when from our common sense-data the philosopher derives a communal object the sound- of-a-bell, and still more he derives (I know not how) a bell with a sound in it, he is proceeding away from the external world of physics."[2]

Now, according to the Jain view, "sound" is not a sensory quality of the same category as taste, colour, etc.. In fact, the Jain theory of matter asserts that "sound" is not a "quality", but a "mode" of matter.

Thus, a paramāṇu possesses one colour, one taste, etc. but it does not possess "sound". Sound, according to the Jain view, is a particular mode or form of gross material bodies-skandhas, and as such, Eddington's criticism does not apply to the Jain view.

Footnotes
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Sources

Title: The Enigma Of The Universe

Publisher: JVB University Ladnun

English Edition: 2010

HN4U Online Edition: 2014

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Consciousness
  2. Eddington
  3. Paramāṇu
  4. Science
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