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<< Monday, October 07, 2013 >>

Sensory Affect: MTS Talk Series

Lecture/Seminar - Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts | October 7 | 3-4:30 p.m. | Kolligian Library, KL 232

 5200 North Lake Rd, Merced, CA 95343

Glushko-Samuelson Foundation

Matthew Fulkerson, assistant professor of philosophy at UC San Diego, offers a lecture on sensory affect. This is just one event in the MTS Talk Series.

Suppose Nina comes home to find the garbage left out, its stench filling her small apartment. She comes to have a vivid olfactory experience of this rotting garbage. She thinks "What an awful smell!" There is a discriminatory dimension to her experience; she could, if asked, distinguish the smell of last week's takeout from today's rotting eggs.

Such a capacity is taken for granted in all extant accounts of perceptual experience. But what about the awfulness? Where does this sensory affect fit in our best account of perceptual experience? Is it just another property of the smell, along with garlicky and smoky?

Or is the awfulness a nonperceptual reaction in Nina, a merely subjective response to the genuine smells in the room?

In this talk, Fulkerson presents and critically discusses three leading philosophical accounts of sensory affect and surveys the empirical literature to see which view the evidence favors.

Before joining UC San Diego, Fulkerson completed a two-year post doc at the University of British Columbia and completed his doctoral work at the University of Toronto. Most of his research focuses on philosophical issues arising from the study of human haptic touch, though more often lately he works on the best theoretical accounts of pain, pleasure and drive states.

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