Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Volume 43$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Brad Inwood

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199666164

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199666164.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 15 December 2017

Aristotle On Odour And Smell

Aristotle On Odour And Smell

Chapter:
(p.142) (p.143) Aristotle On Odour And Smell
Source:
Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Volume 43
Author(s):

Mark A. Johnstone

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199666164.003.0006

The sense of smell occupies a peculiar intermediate position in Aristotle's theory of sense perception: odours, like colours and sounds, are perceived at a distance through an external medium; yet in their nature they are intimately related to flavours, the proper objects of taste, which for Aristotle is a form of touch. This paper examines Aristotle's claims about odour and smell, especially in De Anima II.9 and De Sensu 5, to see what light they shed on his theory of sense perception more generally. First, it is argued that neither of the two most influential recent ways of understanding Aristotle's theory of perception can adequately account for what he says about the sense of smell. Then the paper offers a new, positive account, resolving various puzzles raised by Aristotle's claims about the nature of odour and its relation to flavour. Finally, it is concluded that Aristotle's discussions of odour and smell suggest a plausible way of understanding the relationship, on his view, between ordinary, material changes in the sense organs and the activation of the capacity to perceive, considered as such.

Keywords:   Aristotle, sense, perception, smell, soul, De Anima, De Sensu, odour, flavour, sense perception

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .