How Reliably Misrepresenting Olfactory Experiences Justify True Beliefs

In Berit Brogaard & Dimitria Gatzia (eds.), The Epistemology of Non-visual Perception. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 99-117 (2020)
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This chapter argues that olfactory experiences represent either everyday objects or ad hoc olfactory objects as having primitive olfactory properties, which happen to be uninstantiated. On this picture, olfactory experiences reliably misrepresent: they falsely represent everyday objects or ad hoc objects as having properties they do not have, and they misrepresent in the same way on multiple occasions. One might worry that this view is incompatible with the plausible claim that olfactory experiences at least sometimes justify true beliefs about the world. This chapter argues that there is no such incompatibility. Since olfactory experiences reliably misrepresent, they can lead to true and justified beliefs about putatively smelly objects.
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