Michel Serres: the philosopher of the senses R.I.P.

Michel Serres, the French philosopher, died yesterday. The essayistic style of his philosophy of the senses has been a source of inspiration for the study of scent culture.

In the context of the our current event series bridging the world of literature and scent at the Solothurner Literaturtage one quotation deserves mentioning:

Smell and taste differentiate, whereas language, like sight and hearing, integrates.

Serres, M. (2009). The five senses: a philosophy of mingled bodies (M. Sankey & P. Cowley, Trans.). London; New York: Continuum.

Another thought worth revisiting is what I earlier called a smelly theory of private property:

The privatization of the common and the appropriation of space do not occur only by yelling or spitting; sometimes excrement is enough. (…) Those who see only public space have no sense of smell. (…) The first one who, having shit on a terrain, then decided to say, this is mine, immediately found people who were disgusted enough to believe him. They distanced them­ selves from his territory, without war or treaty.

Smelly theory of private property

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