Philosophical Studies 162 (2):401-419 (2013)

Authors
Louise Richardson
University of York
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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DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9774-6
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References found in this work BETA

The Transparency of Experience.Michael G. F. Martin - 2002 - Mind and Language 17 (4):376-425.
Scientific Thought.C. D. Broad - 1923 - Routledge and Kegan Paul.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Contents of Perception.Susanna Siegel - 2005 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Smelling Objects.Becky Millar - 2019 - Synthese 196 (10):4279-4303.
Odors, Objects and Olfaction.Dan Cavedon-Taylor - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (1):81-94.
Objects for Multisensory Perception.Casey O’Callaghan - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1269-1289.
Spatial Aspects of Olfactory Experience.Solveig Aasen - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (8):1041-1061.

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