Olfactory Objects

In S. Biggs, D. Stokes & M. Matthen (eds.), Perception and its Modalities. Oxford University Press. pp. 222-245 (2014)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Much of the philosophical work on perception has focused on vision. Recently, however, philosophers have begun to correct this ‘tunnel vision’ by considering other modalities. Nevertheless, relatively little has been written about the chemical senses—olfaction and gustation. The focus of this paper is olfaction. In light of new physiological and psychophysical research on olfaction, I consider whether olfactory experience is object-based. In particular, I explore the claim that “odor objects” constitute sensory individuals. It isn’t obvious—at least at the outset—whether they meet the widely accepted principles of object individuation and recognition at work in the visual and auditory cases. Among the general issues I consider, then, is whether these traditional principles form necessary, or simply sufficient, conditions on object perception. As we see, at the very least, considering the object-recognition model of olfaction challenges us to look more closely at well-entrenched models of object perception. But the payoff of doing so is high. We not only learn something about a modality that philosophers have historically neglected; by asking new questions and challenging old assumptions, we also further our understanding of perception in general.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2016-03-03
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

View all 16 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
206 ( #21,062 of 50,149 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
10 ( #41,049 of 50,149 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.