O’Callaghan wins NEH grant

Casey O’Callaghan

Casey O’Callaghan, professor of philosophy and of philosophy-neuroscience-psychology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has won a prestigious Fellowship for University Teachers from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The $50,400 award will support work on “Seeing What You Hear: A Multisensory Philosophy of Perception,” O’Callaghan’s current book project. Building on his previous investigations into sound and vision, O’Callaghan argues that no sense can be entirely understood in isolation. Rather, each sense operates against a background of other senses, and people typically perceive using multiple senses at once.

“Perceiving is not just seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling at the same time,” O’Callaghan explained. Instead, each sense is both extended and reshaped through coordination with the others.

“A Multisensory Philosophy of Perception” was one of just six Missouri projects to receive NEH funding in the most recent round of awards — and one of just four nationwide — awarded to faculty residing in philosophy departments. Last fall,  O’Callaghan participated in the Center for the Humanities in Arts & Sciences’ Grant Writing Program, which helps faculty workshop and critique grant proposals.

Read a Q&A with O’Callaghan on the Arts & Sciences site.

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