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A Critique of Olfactory Objects

Barwich, Ann-Sophie (2019) A Critique of Olfactory Objects. Frontiers in Psychology. ISSN 1664-1078

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Abstract

Does the sense of smell involve the perception of odor objects? General discussion of perceptual objecthood centers on three criteria: stimulus representation, perceptual constancy, and figure-ground segregation. These criteria, derived from theories of vision, have been applied to olfaction in recent philosophical debates about psychology. An inherent problem with such framing of olfactory objecthood is that philosophers explicitly ignore the constitutive factors of the sensory systems that underpin the implementation of these criteria. The biological basis of odor coding is fundamentally different from the coding principles of the visual system. This article analyzes the three measures of perceptual objecthood against the biological background of the olfactory system. It contrasts the coding principles in olfaction with the visual system to show why these criteria of objecthood fail to be instantiated in odor perception. The argument demonstrates that olfaction affords perceptual categorization without the need to form odor objects.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Barwich, Ann-Sophieabarwich@iu.edu0000-0003-0123-9366
Keywords: Olfaction; Smell; Chemoreception; Perpetual Objects; Figure-Ground Segregation; Perceptual Constancy; Stimulus Representation; Olfactory Objects; Odor Object
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Neuroscience > Cognitive Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Perception
Depositing User: Dr. Ann-Sophie Barwich
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2019 17:55
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2019 17:55
Item ID: 16285
Journal or Publication Title: Frontiers in Psychology
DOI or Unique Handle: doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01337
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Neuroscience > Cognitive Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Perception
Date: 12 June 2019
ISSN: 1664-1078
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16285

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