What are things like experience of smell, taste and touch classified as? Are the experience of smell, taste and touch classified differently from the experience of eyesight? And how do philosophers differentiate physical things located in space and time as opposed to the experience we have of them, and does the experience of eyesight considered to be different from the experience of smell, touch and taste? How so?

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    Experiences coming from different senses do not seem to be substantively different philosophically, although vision gets much more attention because it provides the bulk of sensory input (except for blind people). Experiential aspects of perceptions, as distinguished from physical correlates underlying them, are studied under the heading of qualia.
    – Conifold
    Jul 30, 2020 at 5:36
  • You might be interested in Kant. The experience of a "physical thing" is the result of multiple concepts, including those provided by the senses, and those raising independently of the senses (Kant: a priori). Kant calls the experiences 'intuitions'.
    – RodolfoAP
    Jul 31, 2020 at 19:57
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    Does this answer your question? What makes our senses qualitatively different from each other?
    – tkruse
    Aug 2, 2020 at 0:02

1 Answer 1


They are classified as senses which are processed by the brain. The specifics and details of those experiences, and how you process them, develop what is referred to as your “perception”, or how your brain understands or recognizes /the stimuli that cause them/ or /the experience that is caused by those stimuli/. Each sense (sight, smell, touch, hearing, taste) is delegated to its own category under the Five basic human senses. Studies have been done by various organizations (from colleges to the CIA) about the possibility of a sixth sense, though the specification has been open to various designations of what this ‘sixth sense’ could be (telepathy, telekinesis, psychic insight). Basically generalizing any sense not covered by the 5 basic senses.

  • ..."things like experience of smell, taste and touch" are "classified as senses". Wrong. The sense of smell is a mechanism of perception, which is not the same as the experience of smelling odors.
    – RodolfoAP
    Jul 31, 2020 at 19:59
  • The experience of smelling or the experience of a smell (same thing) is a perception. The means by which we experience this is by the SENSE of smell. The perception of it is defined by chemical mechanisms that process the experience. The means of perceiving is categorized as a SENSE. The perception is derived from data picked up by the sense. It isn’t a question of what causes the sensation, but what mechanism the body perceives it WITH. The perception isn’t the sense. The mechanism used by which the perception is PERCEIVED is categorized as a SENSE. Ask “HOW does it receive the experience?”
    – Emero
    Jul 31, 2020 at 20:25
  • A perception is formulated as a RESPONSE to stimuli. Ask how the smell was picked up. Ask how the sight was seen. Ask how the sensation was felt. Each is answered by a certain SENSE that humans utilize BY WHICH to perceive things.
    – Emero
    Jul 31, 2020 at 20:27
  • You are not getting the comment meaning. In simpler words, your nose (the sense) is not the same as the odor of vinegar (the experience).
    – RodolfoAP
    Jul 31, 2020 at 20:34
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    A nose is not a sense. And an odor is not a sense. A nose is the tool by which the sense is performed/executed. An odor is the stimuli that is picked up by the sense (using the nose as the machine by which to do so) that is perceived by the machine with the designated function of doing to. That is the fundamental basis by which the senses are categorized by. You might be misinterpreting the definition of sense.
    – Emero
    Jul 31, 2020 at 20:51

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