Perceiving Smellscapes

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (2):203-223 (2020)
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Abstract

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, what will be shown is that Molecular Structure Theory, a refinement of Odor Theory, can be further developed to handle these challenges. The theory is further refined by focusing on distal perception that requires considering the perceptual object as mereologically complex persisting odor against a background scene conceived of as a smellscape. What will be offered is an expansion of Molecular Structure Theory to account for distal smell perception within natural environments.

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Benjamin D. Young
University of Nevada, Reno

Citations of this work

Tracking representationalism and olfaction.Błażej Skrzypulec - 2022 - Mind and Language 38 (2):446-463.
Spatial content of painful sensations.Błażej Skrzypulec - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (4):554-569.
Olfactory Amodal Completion.Benjamin D. Young & Bence Nanay - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (2):372-388.

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Consciousness and Experience.William G. Lycan - 1996 - Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
The Problem of Perception.A. D. Smith - 2002 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Consciousness and Experience.William G. Lycan - 1996 - Philosophy 72 (282):602-604.

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