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  1. Spatial Experience and Olfaction: A Role for Naïve Topology.Bartek Chomanski - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    In this paper, I provide an account of the spatiality of olfactory experiences in terms of topological properties. I argue that thinking of olfactory experiences as making the subject aware of topological properties enables us to address popular objections against the spatiality of smells, and it makes sense of everyday spatial olfactory phenomenology better than its competitors. I argue for this latter claim on the basis of reflection on thought experiments familiar from the philosophical literature on olfaction, as well as (...)
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  2. Material Objects as the Singular Subjects of External Perception.Mohan Matthen - forthcoming - In Aleksandra Mroczko-Wąsowicz & Rick Grush (eds.), Sensory individuals, properties, and perceptual objects: unimodal and multimodal perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Higher animals need to identify and track material objects because they depend on interactions with them for nutrition, reproduction, and social interaction. This paper investigates the perception of material objects. It argues, first, that material objects are tagged, in all five external senses, as bearers of the features detected by them. This happens through a perceptual process, here entitled Generalized Completion, which creates the appearance of objects that have properties that transcend the activation of sensory receptors. The paper shows, secondly, (...)
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  3. Smellosophy: What the Nose Tells the Mind, by A.S. Barwich. [REVIEW]Louise Richardson - forthcoming - Mind.
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  4. Tracking Representationalism and Olfaction.Błażej Skrzypulec - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    While philosophers of perception develop representational theories of olfactory experiences, there are doubts regarding whether features of olfactory perception can be accommodated within the representationalist framework. In particular, it is argued that the function of olfaction is not to represent stimuli but rather to evaluate it. The paper claims that the major representational accounts of olfaction have problems in accommodating the evaluative aspects of olfactory phenomenology. However, an alternative position, named “olfactory evaluativism,” is proposed which is free of these problems (...)
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  5. Maybe We Don’T Smell Molecular Structure.Benjamin D. Young - forthcoming - In Andreas Keller & Benjamin D. Young (eds.), Theoretical Perspective on Smell. Routledge.
    Any comprehensive theory of smell must account for (1) the distal nature of smells, (2) how smells are represented within odorous experiences, and (3) the olfactory quality of smells. Molecular Structure Theory (MST) and more recent developments arguably provide an account of these questions. It has been argued that we can account for (3) olfactory quality in light of the molecular structure of chemical compounds that compose the odorant plumes which we perceive as (1) distal mereological complex perduring objects within (...)
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  6. Smelling Odors and Tasting Flavors: Distinguishing Orthonasal Smell From Retronasal Olfaction.Benjamin D. Young - forthcoming - In Aleksandra Mroczko-Wasowicz & Rick Grush (eds.), Sensory individuals, properties, and perceptual objects: unimodal and multimodal perspectives. Oxford University Press.
    It is arguably the case that olfactory system contains two senses that share the same type of stimuli, sensory transduction mechanism, and processing centers. Yet, orthonasal and retronasal olfaction differ in their types of perceptible objects as individuated by their sensory qualities. What will be explored in this paper is how the account of orthonasal smell developed in the Molecular Structure Theory of smell can be expanded for retronasal olfaction (Young, 2016, 2019a-b, 2020). By considering the object of olfactory perception (...)
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  7. Theoretical Perspective on Smell.Benjamin D. Young & Andreas Keller (eds.) - forthcoming - Routledge Press.
    Theoretical Perspective on Smell will be the first collection of its kind devoted exclusively to philosophical research on olfaction. The contributed essays bring together leading theorists working on smell in a format that allows for inclusive engagement with the emerging field, while also providing those new to the philosophy of smell with a resource to begin their journey . The collection builds upon an international-workshop on the philosophy of smell with the world’s leading theorists, as well as up and coming (...)
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  8. Olfactory Amodal Completion.Benjamin D. Young & Bence Nanay - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    Amodal completion is the representation of those parts of the perceived object that we get no sensory stimulation from. While amodal completion is rife and plays an essential role in all sense modalities, philosophical discussions of this phenomenon have almost entirely been limited to vision. The aim of this paper is to examine in what sense we can talk about amodal completion in olfaction. We distinguish three different senses of amodal completion – spatial, temporal and feature-based completion – and argue (...)
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  9. An Empirical Solution to the Puzzle of Macbeth’s Dagger.Justin D’Ambrosio - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):1377-1414.
    In this paper I present an empirical solution to the puzzle of Macbeth's dagger. The puzzle of Macbeth's dagger is the question of whether, in having his fatal vision of a dagger, Macbeth sees a dagger. I answer this question by addressing a more general one: the question of whether perceptual verbs are intensional transitive verbs (ITVs). I present seven experiments, each of which tests a collection of perceptual verbs for one of the three features characteristic of ITVs. One of (...)
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  10. Barwich, A. S. (2020). Smellosophy: What the Nose Tells the Mind. [REVIEW]Ekin Erkan - 2021 - Perception 50:1-3.
    Book review of Ann-Sophia Barwich's Smellosophy: What the Nose Tells the Mind (2020), focusing on stereotypic stimulus mapping vs behavioral approaches that a proper study of olfaction, and perception tout court, necessitates.
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  11. Categorizing Smells: A Localist Approach.Yasmina Jraissati & Ophelia Deroy - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45:1-26.
    Humans are poorer at identifying smells and communicating about them, compared to othersensory domains. They also cannot easily organise odour sensations in a general conceptual space like with colours. We challenge the conclusion that there is no olfactory conceptual map at all. Instead we propose a new framework, with local conceptual spaces.
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  12. Katelynn Robinson. The Sense of Smell in the Middle Ages: A Source of Certainty. (Studies in Medieval History and Culture.) X + 228 Pp., Index. New York/London: Routledge, 2020. $155 (Cloth); ISBN 9780367000684. E-Book Available. [REVIEW]James McHugh - 2021 - Isis 112 (1):182-183.
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  13. Towards a Sensorimotor Approach to Flavour and Smell.Becky Millar - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (2):221-240.
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  14. Common Structure of Vision and Olfaction.Błażej Skrzypulec - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (4):1703-1724.
    According to a common opinion, human olfactory experiences are significantly different from human visual experiences. For instance, olfaction seems to have only rudimentary abilities to represent space; it is not clear whether olfactory experiences have any mereological structure; and while vision presents the world in terms of objects, it is a matter of debate whether there are olfactory object-representations. This paper argues that despite these differences visual and olfactory experiences share a hierarchical subject/property structure. Within this structure, olfactorily experienced odours (...)
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  15. Individuating the Senses of ‘Smell’: Orthonasal Versus Retronasal Olfaction.Keith A. Wilson - 2021 - Synthese 199:4217-4242.
    The dual role of olfaction in both smelling and tasting, i.e. flavour perception, makes it an important test case for philosophical theories of sensory individuation. Indeed, the psychologist Paul Rozin claimed that olfaction is a “dual sense”, leading some scientists and philosophers to propose that we have not one, but two senses of smell: orthonasal and retronasal olfaction. In this paper I consider how best to understand Rozin’s claim, and upon what grounds one might judge there to be one or (...)
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  16. Review of L. Shiner's Art Scents. [REVIEW]Benjamin D. Young - 2021 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
    Larry Shiner's book is a great exploratory sniff of the aesthetics of smell and the myriad types of odorific arts. Shiner does a fantastic job of introducing those unfamiliar with the subject matter to the use of smells as artwork, as well as their importance within aesthetic experiences across history and cultures. The book offers a pluralist conception of art that makes room for worldwide olfactory aesthetics, drawing on numerous historical and contemporary examples of scent arts, introductory olfactory neuroscience, and (...)
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  17. How Reliably Misrepresenting Olfactory Experiences Justify True Beliefs.Angela Mendelovici - 2020 - In Berit Brogaard & Dimitria Gatzia (eds.), The Epistemology of Non-visual Perception. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 99-117.
    This chapter argues that olfactory experiences represent either everyday objects or ad hoc olfactory objects as having primitive olfactory properties, which happen to be uninstantiated. On this picture, olfactory experiences reliably misrepresent: they falsely represent everyday objects or ad hoc objects as having properties they do not have, and they misrepresent in the same way on multiple occasions. One might worry that this view is incompatible with the plausible claim that olfactory experiences at least sometimes justify true beliefs about the (...)
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  18. Perceiving Smellscapes.Benjamin D. Young - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (2):203-223.
    We perceive smells as perduring complex entities within a distal array that might be conceived of as smellscapes. However, the philosophical orthodoxy of Odor Theories has been to deny that smells are perceived as having a distal location. Recent challenges have been mounted to Odor Theories’ veracity in handling the timescale of olfactory perception, how it individuates odors as a distal entities, and their claim that olfactory perception is not spatial. The paper does not aim to dispute these criticisms. Rather, (...)
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  19. Smell's Puzzling Discrepancy: Gifted Discrimination, yet Pitiful Identification.Benjamin D. Young - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (1):90-114.
  20. Odors: From Chemical Structures to Gaseous Plumes.Benjamin D. Young, James A. Escalon & Dennis Mathew - 2020 - Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 111:19-29.
    We are immersed within an odorous sea of chemical currents that we parse into individual odors with complex structures. Odors have been posited as determined by the structural relation between the molecules that compose the chemical compounds and their interactions with the receptor site. But, naturally occurring smells are parsed from gaseous odor plumes. To give a comprehensive account of the nature of odors the chemosciences must account for these large distributed entities as well. We offer a focused review of (...)
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  21. Spatial Aspects of Olfactory Experience.Solveig Aasen - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (8):1041-1061.
    Several theorists argue that one does not experience something as being at or coming from a distance or direction in olfaction. In contrast to this, I suggest that there can be a variety of spatial aspects of both synchronic and diachronic olfactory experiences, including spatial distance and direction. I emphasise, however, that these are not aspects of every olfactory experience. Thus, I suggest renouncing the widespread assumption there is a uniform account of the nature, including the spatial nature, of what (...)
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  22. Smelling Objects.Becky Millar - 2019 - Synthese 196 (10):4279-4303.
    Objects are central to perception and our interactions with the world. We perceive the world as parsed into discrete entities that instantiate particular properties, and these items capture our attention and shape how we interact with the environment. Recently there has been some debate about whether the sense of smell allows us to perceive odours as discrete objects, with some suggesting that olfaction is aspatial and doesn’t allow for object-individuation. This paper offers two empirically tractable criteria for assessing whether particular (...)
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  23. The Structure of Audio–Visual Consciousness.Błażej Skrzypulec - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2101-2127.
    It is commonly believed that human perceptual experiences can be, and usually are, multimodal. What is more, a stronger thesis is often proposed that some perceptual multimodal characters cannot be described simply as a conjunction of unimodal phenomenal elements. If it is the case, then a question arises: what is the additional mode of combination that is required to adequately describe the phenomenal structure of multimodal experiences? The paper investigates what types of audio–visual experiences have phenomenal character that cannot be (...)
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  24. The Nonclassical Mereology of Olfactory Experiences.Błażej Skrzypulec - 2019 - Synthese 198 (1):867-886.
    While there is a growing philosophical interest in analysing olfactory experiences, the mereological structure of odours considered in respect of how they are perceptually experienced has not yet been extensively investigated. The paper argues that odours are perceptually experienced as having a mereological structure, but this structure is significantly different from the spatial mereological structure of visually experienced objects. Most importantly, in the case of the olfactory part-structure, the classical weak supplementation principle is not satisfied. This thesis is justified by (...)
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  25. The Many Problems of Distal Olfactory Perception.Benjamin D. Young - 2019 - In Tony Cheng, Ophelia Deroy & Charles Spence (eds.), Spatial Senses: Philosophy of Perception in an Age of Science. Routledge Press.
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  26. Smelling Molecular Structure.Benjamin D. Young - 2019 - In Dena Shottenkirk, Steven Gouveia & J. Curado (eds.), Perception, Cognition, and Aesthetics. Routledge Press.
    There is consensus within the chemosciences that olfactory perception is of the molecular structure of chemical compounds, yet within philosophical theories of smell there is little agreement about the nature of smell. The paper critically assesses the current state of debate regarding smells within philosophy in the hopes of setting it upon firm scientific footing. The theories to be covered are: Naïve Realism, Hedonic Theories, Process Theory, Odor Theories, and non-Objectivist Theories. The aforementioned theories will be evaluated based on their (...)
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  27. Olfactory imagery: is exactly what it smells like.Benjamin D. Young - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3303-3327.
    Mental Imagery, whereby we experience aspect of a perceptual scene or perceptual object in the absence of direct sensory stimulation is ubiquitous. Often the existence of mental imagery is demonstrated by asking one’s reader to volitionally generate a visual object, such as closing ones eyes and imagining an apple. However, mental imagery also arises in auditory, tactile, interoceptive, and olfactory cases. A number of influential philosophical theories have attempted to explain mental imagery in terms of belief-based forms of representation using (...)
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  28. Odors, Objects and Olfaction.Dan Cavedon-Taylor - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (1):81-94.
    Olfaction represents odors, if it represents anything at all. Does olfaction also represent ordinary objects like cheese, fish and coffee-beans? Many think so. This paper argues that it does not. Instead, we should affirm an austere account of the intentional objects of olfaction: olfactory experience is about odors, not objects. Visuocentric thinking about olfaction has tempted some philosophers to say otherwise.
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  29. Olfaction and Space in the Theatre.Susan L. Feagin - 2018 - British Journal of Aesthetics 58 (2):131-146.
    My general topic is whether limitations in olfaction’s conceptual and generally mental capabilities hinder its suitability for playing significant and sophisticated roles in theatrical productions of the standard narrative type. This is a big question and I only scratch the surface here. I begin with a brief look at smell’s most prominent roles in the theatre, as illustration and to evoke mood and atmosphere. Next, I consider the relation between smell and the experience of space, looking first at a kind (...)
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  30. Odours as Olfactibilia.Louise Richardson - 2018 - In Thomas Crowther & Clare Mac Cumhaill (eds.), Perceptual Ephemera. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 93-114.
    It is natural to think that sight is distinctive amongst the senses in that we typically see ordinary objects directly, rather than seeing a visual equivalent to a sound or odour. It is also natural to think that sounds and odours (like rainbows and holograms) are sensibilia, in that they are each intimately related to just one of our senses. In this chapter, I defend these natural-seeming claims. I present a view on which odours are indeed sensibilia, a claim that (...)
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  31. Up the Nose of the Beholder? Aesthetic Perception in Olfaction as a Decision-Making Process.Ann-Sophie Barwich - 2017 - New Ideas in Psychology 47:157-165.
    Is the sense of smell a source of aesthetic perception? Traditional philosophical aesthetics has centered on vision and audition but eliminated smell for its subjective and inherently affective character. This article dismantles the myth that olfaction is an unsophisticated sense. It makes a case for olfactory aesthetics by integrating recent insights in neuroscience with traditional expertise about flavor and fragrance assessment in perfumery and wine tasting. My analysis concerns the importance of observational refinement in aesthetic experience. I argue that the (...)
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  32. Enactivism's Last Breaths.Benjamin D. Young - 2017 - In M. Curado & S. Gouveia (eds.), Contemporary Perspective in the Philosophy of Mind. Cambridge Scholars Press.
    Olfactory perception provides a promising test case for enactivism, since smelling involves actively sampling our surrounding environment by sniffing. Smelling deploys implicit skillful knowledge of how our movement and the airflow around us yield olfactory experiences. The hybrid nature of olfactory experience makes it an ideal test case for enactivism with its esteem for touch and theoretical roots in vision. Olfaction is like vision in facilitating the perception of distal objects, yet it requires us to breath in and physically contact (...)
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  33. Smelling Matter.Benjamin D. Young - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):1-18.
    While the objects of olfaction are intuitively individuated by reference to the ordinary objects from which they arise, this intuition does not accurately capture the complex nature of smells. Smells are neither ordinary three-dimensional objects, nor Platonic vapors, nor odors. Rather, smells are the molecular structures of chemical compounds within odor plumes. Molecular Structure Theory is offered as an account of smells, which can explain the nature of the external object of olfactory perception, what we experience as olfactory objects, and (...)
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  34. Disgusting Smells and Imperativism.Manolo Martínez - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (5-6):191-200.
    I sketch and defend an imperativist treatment of the phenomenology associated with disgusting smells. This treatment, I argue, allows us to make better sense than other intentionalist alter-natives both of the neuroanatomy of olfaction, and of a natural pre-theoretical stance regarding the sense of smell.
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  35. The Muted Sense: Neurocognitive Limitations of Olfactory Language.Jonas K. Olofsson & Jay A. Gottfried - 2015 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 19 (6):314-321.
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  36. Formative Non-Conceptual Content.Benjamin D. Young - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (5-6):201-214.
    The olfactory system processes smells in a structural manner that is unlike the composition of thoughts or language, suggesting that some of the content of our olfactory experiences are represented in a format that does not involve concepts. Consequently, formative non-conceptual content is offered as an alternative theory of non-conceptual content according to which the difference between conceptual and non-conceptual states is simply a matter of the format of their structural parts and relations within a system of representations. Aside from (...)
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  37. A Sense So Rare: Measuring Olfactory Experiences and Making a Case for a Process Perspective on Sensory Perception.Ann-Sophie Barwich - 2014 - Biological Theory 9 (3):258-268.
    Philosophical discussion about the reality of sensory perceptions has been hijacked by two tendencies. First, talk about perception has been largely centered on vision. Second, the realism question is traditionally approached by attaching objects or material structures to matching contents of sensory perceptions. These tendencies have resulted in an argumentative impasse between realists and anti-realists, discussing the reliability of means by which the supposed causal information transfer from object to perceiver takes place. Concerning the nature of sensory experiences and their (...)
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  38. Olfactory Consciousness Across Disciplines.Andreas Keller & Benjamin D. Young - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
    Although vision is the de facto model system of consciousness research, studying olfactory consciousness has its own advantages, as this collection of articles emphatically demonstrates. One advantage of olfaction is its computational and phenomenological simplicity, which facilitates the identification of basic principles. Other researchers study olfactory consciousness not because of its simplicity, but because of its unique features. Together, olfaction's simplicity and its distinctiveness make it an ideal system for testing theories of consciousness. In this research topic, the results of (...)
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  39. Sniff, Smell, and Stuff.Vivian Mizrahi - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (2):233-250.
    Most philosophers consider olfactory experiences to be very poor in comparison to other sense modalities. And because olfactory experiences seem to lack the spatial content necessary to object perception, philosophers tend to maintain that smell is purely sensational or abstract. I argue in this paper that the apparent poverty and spatial indeterminateness of odor experiences does not reflect the “subjective” or “abstract” nature of smell, but only that smell is not directed to particular things. According to the view defended in (...)
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  40. Smelling Phenomenal.Benjamin D. Young - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
    Qualitative-consciousness arises at the sensory level of olfactory processing and pervades our experience of smells to the extent that qualitative character is maintained whenever we are aware of undergoing an olfactory experience. Building upon the distinction between Access and Phenomenal Consciousness the paper offers a nuanced distinction between Awareness and Qualitative-consciousness that is applicable to olfaction in a manner that is conceptual precise and empirically viable. Mounting empirical research is offered substantiating the applicability of the distinction to olfaction and showing (...)
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  41. Quality-Space Theory in Olfaction.Benjamin D. Young, Andreas Keller & David Rosenthal - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
    Quality-space theory (QST) explains the nature of the mental qualities distinctive of perceptual states by appeal to their role in perceiving. QST is typically described in terms of the mental qualities that pertain to color. Here we apply QST to the olfactory modalities. Olfaction is in various respects more complex than vision, and so provides a useful test case for QST. To determine whether QST can deal with the challenges olfaction presents, we show how a quality space (QS) could be (...)
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  42. Flavour, Taste and Smell.Louise Richardson - 2013 - Mind and Language 28 (3):322-341.
    I consider the role of psychology and other sciences in telling us about our senses, via the issue of whether empirical findings show us that flavours are perceived partly with the sense of smell. I argue that scientific findings do not establish that we're wrong to think that flavours are just tasted. Non-naturalism, according to which our everyday conception of the senses does not involve empirical commitments of a kind that could be corrected by empirical findings is, I suggest, a (...)
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  43. Sniffing and Smelling.Louise Richardson - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):401-419.
    In this paper I argue that olfactory experience, like visual experience, is exteroceptive: it seems to one that odours, when one smells them, are external to the body, as it seems to one that objects are external to the body when one sees them. Where the sense of smell has been discussed by philosophers, it has often been supposed to be non-exteroceptive. The strangeness of this philosophical orthodoxy makes it natural to ask what would lead to its widespread acceptance. I (...)
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  44. Symposium on Louise Richardson’s “Flavour, Taste and Smell”.Louise Richardson, Fiona Macpherson, Mohan Matthen & Matthew Nudds - 2013 - Mind and Language Symposia at the Brains Blog.
  45. Anosmic Aesthetics.Marta Tafalla - 2013 - Estetika 50 (1):53-80.
    Anosmia is a sensory disability that consists of the inability to perceive odours. The sense of smell can be lost at any time during life, but people suffering from congenital anosmia, as I do, have never had any experience of smelling. My question is whether such an impairment of olfaction impoverishes aesthetic appreciation or makes it different in any way. I hypothesize that congenital anosmia entails two different kinds of loss in aesthetic appreciation. In order to test my hypothesis, I (...)
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  46. Aristotle on Odour and Smell.Mark A. Johnstone - 2012 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 43:143-83.
    The sense of smell occupies a peculiar intermediate position within Aristotle's theory of sense perception: odours, like colours and sounds, are perceived at a distance through an external medium of air or water; yet in their nature they are intimately related to flavours, the proper objects of taste, which for Aristotle is a form of touch. In this paper, I examine Aristotle's claims about odour and smell, especially in De Anima II.9 and De Sensu 5, to see what light they (...)
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  47. Stinking Consciousness!Benjamin D. Young - 2012 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (3-4):223-243.
    Contemporary neuroscientific theories of consciousness are typically based on the study of vision and have neglected olfaction. Several of these (e.g. Global Workspace Theories, the Information Integration theory, and the various theories offered by Crick and Koch) claim that a thalamic relay is necessary for consciousness. Studies on olfaction and the olfactory system's anatomical structure show this claim to be incorrect, thus showing these theories to be either false or inadequate as general and comprehensive accounts of consciousness. Attempts to rescue (...)
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  48. Olfactory Perception as a Compass for Olfactory Neural Maps.Anat Arzi & Noam Sobel - 2011 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (11):537-545.
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  49. Smelling Lessons.Clare Batty - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (1):161-174.
    Much of the philosophical work on perception has focused on vision. Recently, however, philosophers have begun to correct this ‘tunnel vision’ by considering other modalities. Nevertheless, relatively little has been written about the chemical senses—olfaction and gustation. The focus of this paper is olfaction. In this paper, I consider the question: does human olfactory experience represents objects as thus and so? If we take visual experience as the paradigm of how experience can achieve object representation, we might think that the (...)
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  50. Is Trilled Smell Possible? How the Structure of Olfaction Determines the Phenomenology of Smell.Ed Cooke & Erik Myin - 2011 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (11-12):59-95.
    Smell 'sensations' are among the most mysterious of conscious experiences, and have been cited in defense of the thesis that the character of perceptual experience is independent of the physical events that seem to give rise to it. Here we review the scientific literature on olfaction, and we argue that olfaction has a distinctive profile in relation to the other modalities, on four counts: in the physical nature of the stimulus, in the sensorimotor interactions that characterize its use, in the (...)
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