Philosophy Compass 5 (12):1137-1146 (2010)

Clare Batty
University of Kentucky
Much of the philosophical work on perception has focused on vision. Recently, however, philosophers have been turning their attention to the ‘other modalities’. In a pair of entries, I consider olfaction—a sense modality that, along with gustation, has been largely overlooked by philosophers. In this first entry, I consider the challenge that olfactory experience presents to upholding a representational view of the sense modalities. It is common for philosophers to think that visual experience is world‐directed and, in particular, that it is representational. World‐directed views contrast with subjectivist views—views according to which experiences are raw feels or mere sensations. Unlike visual experience, olfactory experience doesn't obviously support a representational view. Indeed, given its phenomenology, a subjectivist view of olfactory experience might seem unavoidable. But it is not. Once we begin to unravel ourselves from the dominant visual model of perception, we see that there is a representational view available that honors the phenomenology of olfactory experience. In turn, we learn that although there are some basic similarities between visual experience and olfactory experience, there are significant differences that prevent us from making easy generalizations from the visual case
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DOI 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2010.00355.x
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References found in this work BETA

Reference and Consciousness.J. Campbell - 2002 - Oxford University Press.
Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man.Thomas Reid - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA

The Contents of Perception.Susanna Siegel - 2005 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Spatial Aspects of Olfactory Experience.Solveig Aasen - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (8):1041-1061.
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.

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