Philosophical Studies 171 (2):233-250 (2014)

Vivian Mizrahi
University of Geneva
Most philosophers consider olfactory experiences to be very poor in comparison to other sense modalities. And because olfactory experiences seem to lack the spatial content necessary to object perception, philosophers tend to maintain that smell is purely sensational or abstract. I argue in this paper that the apparent poverty and spatial indeterminateness of odor experiences does not reflect the “subjective” or “abstract” nature of smell, but only that smell is not directed to particular things. According to the view defended in this paper, odors are properties of stuffs. This view, motivated by several arguments grounded in the phenomenology of olfactory experience, explains in particular why odors appear to be located both in the air around our nose and in the objects from which they emanate. It also explains the power of smell in the task of discriminating chemical compounds
Keywords Perception  Perceptual experience  Odors  Smell  Olfactory experience
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-013-0265-9
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References found in this work BETA

Epiphenomenal Qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.
Seeing And Knowing.Fred I. Dretske - 1969 - Chicago: University Of Chicago Press.
The Problem of Perception.A. D. Smith - 2002 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Spatial Aspects of Olfactory Experience.Solveig Aasen - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (8):1041-1061.
Odors, Objects and Olfaction.Dan Cavedon-Taylor - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (1):81-94.
Smelling Molecular Structure.Benjamin D. Young - 2019 - In Dena Shottenkirk, Steven Gouveia & J. Curado (eds.), Perception, Cognition, and Aesthetics. Routledge Press.
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.

View all 16 citations / Add more citations

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