Philosophical Studies

, Volume 153, Issue 1, pp 161–174 | Cite as

Smelling lessons

  • Clare Batty


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 this paper, I consider the question: does human olfactory experience represents objects as thus and so? If we take visual experience as the paradigm of how experience can achieve object representation, we might think that the answer to this question is no. I argue that olfactory experience does indeed represent objects—just not in a way that is easily read from the dominant visual case.


Non-visual perception Olfaction Representation Objects of perception 



Although this is not the original paper that I presented at the Pacific APA in March 2010, it is a more focused presentation of the points taken up by the Symposium’s commentator, Austen Clark. I argue for some of the same points in Batty (2010) and Batty (forthcoming).


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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