Bodily awareness is a kind of perceptual awareness of the body that we do not usually count as a sense. I argue that that there is an overlooked agential difference between bodily awareness and perception in the five familiar senses: a difference in what is involved in perceptual activity in sight, hearing, touch taste and smell on the one hand, and bodily awareness on the other.
How should interaction between the senses affect thought about them? I try to capture some ways in which non sense-specific perception might be thought to make it impossible or pointless or explanatorily idle to distinguish between senses. This task is complicated by there being more than one view of the nature of the senses, and more than one kind of non sense-specific perception. I argue, in particular, that provided we are willing to forgo certain assumptions about, for instance, the relationship (...) between modes or kinds of experience, and about how one should count perceptual experiences at a time, at least one way of thinking about the senses survives the occurrence of various kinds of non sense-specific perception relatively unscathed. (shrink)
Whatever the answer to Molyneux's question is, it is certainly not obvious that the answer is ‘yes’. In contrast, it seems clear that we should answer affirmatively a temporal variation on Molyneux's question, introduced by Gareth Evans. I offer a phenomenological explanation of this asymmetry in our responses to the two questions. This explanation appeals to the modality-specific spatial structure of perceptual experience and its amodal temporal structure. On this explanation, there are differences in the perception of spatial properties in (...) different modalities, but these differences do not stand in the way of the objectivity of perceptual experience. (shrink)
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 (...) plausible view that is not easy to dismiss. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
Abstract: In this paper I offer an account of a particular variety of perception of absence, namely, visual perception of empty space. In so doing, I aim to make explicit the role that seeing empty space has, implicitly, in Mike Martin's account of the visual field. I suggest we should make sense of the claim that vision has a field—in Martin's sense—in terms of our being aware of its limitations or boundaries. I argue that the limits of the visual field (...) are our own sensory limitations, and that we are aware of them as such. Seeing empty space, I argue, involves a structural feature of experience that constitutes our awareness of our visual sensory limitations, and thus, in virtue of which vision has a field. (shrink)