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Table of contents
PREFACE
TOUCH-1
TOUCH-2
TOUCH-3 (begin)
TOUCH-3 (end)
TOUCH-4 (begin)
TOUCH-4 (end)
SMELL-1
SMELL-2
SMELL-3.1
SMELL-3.2
SMELL-3.3
SMELL-3.4
SMELL-3.5
SMELL-4 (begin)
SMELL-4 (end)
SMELL-5
HEARING-1
HEARING-2
HEARING-3
VISION-1.1
VISION-1.2
VISION-1.3
VISION-2.1
VISION-2.2
VISION-2.3
VISION-2.4
VISION-3
VISION-4
VISION-5
APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B HISTORY-1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.2
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.3
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3.1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3.2
INDEX OF AUTHORS

between those of touch or taste and those of sight or sound, that they 

have much of the vagueness of the first and something of the richness and 

variety of the second. AEsthetically, also, they occupy an intermediate 

position between the higher and the lower senses.[26] They are, at the 

same time, less practically useful than either the lower or the higher 

senses. They furnish us with a great mass of what we may call 

by-sensations, which are of little practical use, but inevitably become 

intimately mixed with the experiences of life by association and thus 

acquire an emotional significance which is often very considerable. Their 

emotional force, it may well be, is connected with the fact that their 

anatomical seat is the most ancient part of the brain. They lie in a 

remote almost disused storehouse of our minds and show the fascination or 

the repulsiveness of all vague and remote things. It is for this reason 

that they are--to an extent that is remarkable when we consider that they 

are much more precise than touch sensations--subject to the influence of 

emotional associations. The very same odor may be at one moment highly 

pleasant, at the next moment highly unpleasant, in accordance with the 

emotional attitude resulting from its associations. Visual images have no 

such extreme flexibility; they are too definite to be so easily 

influenced. Our feelings about the beauty of a flower cannot oscillate so 

easily or so far as may our feelings about the agreeableness of its odor. 

Our olfactory experiences thus institute a more or less continuous series 

of by-sensations accompanying us through life, of no great practical 

significance, but of considerable emotional significance from their 

variety, their intimacy, their associational facility, their remote 

ancestral reverberations through our brains. 

 

It is the existence of these characteristics--at once so vague and so 

specific, so useless and so intimate--which led various writers to 

describe the sense of smell as, above all others, the sense of 

imagination. No sense has so strong a power of suggestion, the power of 

calling up ancient memories with a wider and deeper emotional 

reverberation, while at the same time no sense furnishes impressions which 

so easily change emotional color and tone, in harmony with the recipient's 

general attitude. Odors are thus specially apt both to control the 

emotional life and to become its slaves. With the use of incense religions 

have utilized the imaginative and symbolical virtues of fragrance. All the 

legends of the saints have insisted on the odor of sanctity that exhales 

from the bodies of holy persons, especially at the moment of death. Under 

the conditions of civilization these primitive emotional associations of 

odor tend to be dispersed, but, on the other hand, the imaginative side of 

the olfactory sense becomes accentuated, and personal idiosyncrasies of 

all kinds tend to manifest themselves in the sphere of smell. 


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