© 2017 Benjamin D Young

Perceptible Objects

“Smelling Matter” a greatly revised version of my second chapter was published this year in Philosophical Psychology. The paper is the first part of my project on perception. A more recent paper the “Molecular Structure Theory of Smells” is currently being revised for publication. Building upon the previous paper it gives a more detailed account of my theory that smells are the molecular structure of chemical compound and shows how my theory is superior to the dominant Odor Theory.

 

Thinking about the object of olfactory perception motivated me to develop an advanced B.A./M.A. seminar on Philosophy of Perception, which focused on perceptual modalities other than vision. Developing and teaching the course was the precursor to my research of developing a novel method for individuating the senses using our capacity to track perceptible object. Perceptual object tracking is well studied in vision and to some extent in audition, but not as well understood for the other modalities. Our capacity for tracking objects across time and throughout changes in properties and locations provides an elucidating contrast for highlighting some of the key differences between the perceptual modalities.

 

 Another area of research within the philosophy of perception is my most recent manuscript refuting Nöe’s latest version of enactivism. “Enactivism’s Last Breaths,” which is forthcoming in a collection to be published in 2017. The paper assesses the extent to which sniffing is a necessary component of our olfactory experience in relation to Nöe’s enactive theory of perception. Olfaction presents a great test case of enactive perception, since the sensory-motor sniffing contingencies play a large role in generating our olfactory experience. 

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