Worlds of Sense Exploring the senses in history and across cultures
First published in 1993, Worlds of Sense is an exploration of the historical and cultural formation of the senses. As the author demonstrates, different cultures have strikingly different ways of ‘making sense’ of the world. In the modern urban West, we are accustomed to thinking in terms of visual models such as ‘world view,’ whereas the Ongee of the Andaman Islands, for example, live in a world ordered by smell and the Tzotzil of Mexico hold that temperature is the basic force of the cosmos. In a fascinating examination of the role of the senses in diverse societies and eras, Constance Classen shows the extent to which perception is shaped by and expressive of cultural values. This book will be of interest to students of cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, and philosophy.
Acknowledgement Introduction: through the looking-glass 1. The odour of the rose: floral symbolism and the olfactory decline of the West 2. Natural wits: the sensory skills of ‘wild children’ 3. Words of sense 4. The odour of the other: olfactory codes and cultural categories 5. Literacy as anti-culture: the Andean experience of the written word 6. Worlds of sense Notes Bibliography Name index Subject index