What's That Smell?: A Philosophy of the Olfactory (Short Circuits) (Paperback)

What's That Smell?: A Philosophy of the Olfactory (Short Circuits) By Simon Hajdini Cover Image

What's That Smell?: A Philosophy of the Olfactory (Short Circuits) (Paperback)


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How our sense of smell engages with philosophy, psychoanalysis, and political economy—and how it can help enrich our understanding of the nature of truth, language, economy, and sexuality.

Why is it that, in Indo-European languages at least, we have no language to describe smells, leaving us (and famously Juliet) no choice but to call the scent of a rose simply “sweet”? In What's That Smell?, a groundbreaking exploration of the intersection between philosophy, psychoanalysis, and the oft-neglected sense of smell, Simon Hajdini sets out to answer this complex question. Through new readings of traditional and modern philosophical texts, Hajdini places smell at the very center of a philosophical critique of the traditional notion of truth, challenging the idea that smell is the antiphilosophical sense par excellence.

Through fresh engagements with fundamental philosophical issues, original analyses of modern literature and film, and the novel use of scientific research into smell within a humanities context, Hajdini situates problems of olfaction at the very point of inception of cultural life. He proposes that ontology, civilization, and capitalist economy alike can be said to amount to "shit management." And only by following the philosophically most deplorable of the senses, the book argues, can we better understand the central philosophical, psychoanalytical, and political issues of truth, sex, and exploitation.
Simon Hajdini is Senior Research Associate in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana. He is the author of two books in Slovene and several research articles in contemporary philosophy, social and political theory, German idealism, and psychoanalysis.
Product Details ISBN: 9780262547567
ISBN-10: 0262547562
Publisher: The MIT Press
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 216
Language: English
Series: Short Circuits