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3. Synaesthesia通感

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Chapter Summary

The earliest phenomena of synaesthesia to attract attention were the transference of the visual and tactile senses to the auditory. In one's daily life, visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory and gustatory senses may interpenetrate or become associated with each other, and the lines of demarcation between the respective sensory domains of the eyes, ears, tongue, nose and body become blurred. Aristotle claimed that sound was to be divided into the "sharp" and "heavy", as "used by analogy from the sense of touch", for the auditory and tactile senses had aspects in common. The five senses may truly be considered to hold properties in common and to be mutually generating. The English poet William Blake once used the expression "blind hand" to describe a numbed sense of touch. It is an expression which provides an antithesis for the phrase "deaf nose" that seems so perfect as to have been made in heaven.

Keywords: Aristotle; synaesthesia; William Blake



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