Sniffing and smelling

Philosophical Studies 162 (2):401-419 (2013)
Abstract
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 argue that philosophers have been misled by a visuocentric model of what exteroceptivity involves. Since olfaction lacks the spatial features that make vision exteroceptive the conclusion that olfaction is nonexteroceptive can appear quite compelling, particularly in the absence of an alternative model of exteroceptivity appropriate to olfaction. I offer a model according to which odours seem to be external to the body because they seem to be brought into the nose from without by sniffing and breathing through the nostrils. I argue that some natural-seeming objections to this model rely on substantive assumptions about how the senses are distinguished from one another, and how perceptual experience is put together out of its modality-specific parts, that require defence
Keywords Perception  Perceptual experience  Distinguishing the senses  Olfactory experience  Visuocentricism
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References found in this work BETA
Clare Batty (2010). Scents and Sensibilia. American Philosophical Quarterly 47 (2):103-118.
Clare Batty (2009). What's That Smell? Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (4):321-348.

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Citations of this work BETA
Vivian Mizrahi (2014). Sniff, Smell, and Stuff. Philosophical Studies 171 (2):233-250.
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Clare Batty (2011). Smelling Lessons. Philosophical Studies 153 (Mar.):161-174.
Clare Batty (2010). Scents and Sensibilia. American Philosophical Quarterly 47 (2):103-118.
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Clare Batty (2009). What's That Smell? Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (4):321-348.
Benjamin D. Young (2012). Stinking Consciousness! Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (3-4):223-243.
Brad J. Thompson (2010). The Spatial Content of Experience. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (1):146-184.
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