Is Trilled Smell Possible? How the Structure of Olfaction Determines the Phenomenology of Smell

Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (11-12):59-95 (2011)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Smell 'sensations' are among the most mysterious of conscious experiences, and have been cited in defense of the thesis that the character of perceptual experience is independent of the physical events that seem to give rise to it. Here we review the scientific literature on olfaction, and we argue that olfaction has a distinctive profile in relation to the other modalities, on four counts: in the physical nature of the stimulus, in the sensorimotor interactions that characterize its use, in the structure of its intramodal distinctions and in the functional role that it plays in people's behaviour. We present two thought experiments in which we detail what would be involved in transforming sounds into smells, and also smells into colours. Through these thought-experiments, we argue that the experiential character of smell derives precisely from the structural features of olfaction, and that an embodied account of olfactory phenomenology is called for.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
COOITS-2
Revision history
Archival date: 2011-03-01
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Consciousness Explained.DENNETT, Daniel C.
Consciousness in Action.Church, Jennifer & Hurley, S. L.

View all 22 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Smelling Objects.Millar, Becky
Enactivism, Action and Normativity: A Wittgensteinian Analysis.Heras-Escribano, Manuel; Noble, Jason & Pinedo García, Manuel De

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index
2011-03-01

Total views
648 ( #3,640 of 40,651 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
74 ( #6,752 of 40,651 )

How can I increase my downloads?

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