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Odours, Sense Data and Pluralism about Perception

ERI 149
Wednesday 3 October 2018 (15:15-17:00)

Philosophy Society Seminar Series 2018/19

  • Speaker: Dr Louise Richardson (University of York)

For more information please contact the convenors, Scott Sturgeon and Henry Taylor.


Because awareness of odours mediates olfactory perception of other things, Sense Data Theory looks, superficially, to be a better fit for smell than it does for sight. My first aim is to propose a view of odours on which this appearance of fit is not superficial. On this view, odours have sense data-like features and play a sense data-like role. If this view were accepted, we would have reason to believe that different philosophical theories of perception apply to different varieties of perception. My second aim is to consider the consequences of allowing that perception is in this way not a unitary phenomenon, and some ways those consequences might be avoided.

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