Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (4):321-348 (2009)
AbstractIn philosophical discussions of the secondary qualities, color has taken center stage. Smells, tastes, sounds, and feels have been treated, by and large, as mere accessories to colors. We are, as it is said, visual creatures. This, at least, has been the working assumption in the philosophy of perception and in those metaphysical discussions about the nature of the secondary qualities. The result has been a scarcity of work on the “other” secondary qualities. In this paper, I take smells and place them front and center. I ask: What are smells? For many philosophers, the view that colors can be explained in purely physicalistic terms has seemed very appealing. In the case of smells, this kind of nonrelational view has seemed much less appealing. Philosophers have been drawn to versions of relationalism—the view that the nature of smells must be explained (at least in part) in terms of the effects they have on perceivers. In this paper, I consider a contemporary argument for this view. I argue that nonrelationalist views of smell have little to fear from this argument.
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References found in this work
From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis.Frank Jackson - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
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Smell's Puzzling Discrepancy: Gifted Discrimination, yet Pitiful Identification.Benjamin D. Young - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (1):90-114.
Can Disjunctivists Explain Our Access to the Sensible World?Adam Pautz - 2011 - Philosophical Issues 21 (1):384-433.
Odors, Objects and Olfaction.Dan Cavedon-Taylor - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (1):81-94.
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