Andreas Keller, "Olfaction & Experiential Authenticity"

Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 7 - 8:30pm

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As part of the Spring 2020 Intra-Disciplinary Seminar series, Andreas Keller recorded a lecture on April 21, 2020. Watch online.

Our perceptual experiences are increasingly mediated digitally, which allows for easy storage, duplication, manipulation, and sharing of what we see and hear. In parallel, perceptions that are created de novo and do not represent aspects of the physical world we live in become more sophisticated and difficult to identify. Olfaction has so far largely resisted attempts to be digitized and there is reason to believe that it will continue to be difficult to convincingly simulate olfactory phenomenology. Therefore, smells can serve as a marker of experiential authenticity.

Andreas Keller is an expert on the human sense of smell. He holds a Ph.D. in genetics from the Julius-Maximilian-University in Wuerzburg, Germany and a Ph.D. in philosophy from The City University of New York (CUNY). He is the 2019 recipient of the Barry Jacobs Memorial Award for Research in the Psychophysics of Human Taste and Smell and the author of The Philosophy of Olfactory Perception as well as numerous journal articles. Andreas currently teaches in CUNY's Department of Philosophy and at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and works as a consultant to the fragrance industry.

The Spring 2020 IDS Lecture Series at The Cooper Union is organized by Leslie Hewitt and Omar Berrada. The IDS Public Lecture Series is part of the Robert Lehman Visiting Artist Program at The Cooper Union. We are grateful for major funding and support from the Robert Lehman Foundation for the series. The IDS Public Lecture Series is also made possible by generous support from The Open Society Foundations.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.