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Sandalwood and CarrionSmell in Indian Religion and Culture$
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James McHugh

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199916306

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199916306.001.0001

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Earth, Wind, Foul and Fragrant

Earth, Wind, Foul and Fragrant

The Theory of Smelling and Odors in Early South Asia

Chapter:
(p.20) 2 Earth, Wind, Foul and Fragrant
Source:
Sandalwood and Carrion
Author(s):

James McHugh

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199916306.003.0002

The theory of olfaction was relatively similar in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain philosophies: odor is either good or bad, and consists of particles carried to the nose by the wind. The place of smell in the hierarchies of the senses these traditions commonly used, however, varied greatly. This chapter explores these commonalities and differences in South Asian sense-theory and, building on the work of John Clayton, proposes that dialogue between religious traditions not only marks difference, but also leads to convergence in certain cases.

Keywords:   olfaction, odor, philosophy, senses, classification

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