Philosophia 47 (3):881-900 (2019)

Błażej Skrzypulec
Jagiellonian University
In the contemporary analytic discussions concerning human olfactory perception, it is commonly claimed that (1) olfactory experiences are representations having content and (2) olfactory experiences represent odours, like coffee odour or vanilla odour. However, despite these common assumptions, there seems to be an ontological controversy between two views: the first states that odours are perceptually represented as features and the second states that they are represented as objects. In this paper, I aim to systematically address the Bfeature or object^ status of represented odours by concerning whether odours are represented (a) as subjects of properties, (b) as mereological wholes, and (c) entities persisting in a way characteristic for objects. I argue that olfactorily represented odours constitute a sui generis category and cannot be easily classified as objects or features. Such investigations constitute a step in establishing whether various human modalities are unified by organising the environment according to the same categories.
Keywords perception  identity  object perception  olfaction  mereology  perceptual content
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-018-0017-3
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