According to Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten (father of aesthetics) theory of aistheta, consists of things perceived (phenomena) and of sensate thinking, what Baumgarten calls aestheticological truth (423-612):
“I believe indeed that it should be completely evident to philosophers that all the specific formal perfection contained in cognition and logical truth had to be bought dearly by a great and significant loss of material perfection. For what else is abstraction than a loss?”
Eyes + Ears = Aesthetics
Aesthetics are geared towards an instant, which extrapolates ourselves from our eternal doubts, a.k.a. eternity. Aesthetics depends on perception and perception depends on senses. Interestingly, Baumgarten follows the idea of aesthetics established in the past by artists and philosophers that states only eyes and ears are capable of beauty. In other words, only images and sounds (painting and music) are competent to elevate human sensations to experience aiesthesis.
Vision and sound operate via “detachment” and therefore they are the only senses to provide transgression (or bridge) real and inner. Other senses are “immersive” and they require direct contact with the world, which makes them primitive and simple, with only one purpose, survival.
Touch + Taste = Ethics
Touch, taste and smell cannot overcome reality and therefore are sentenced to remain outside aesthetics. But, here Ethics come to rescue. Ethics relate to progress and therefore operate with the idea of past and future, employing time as investment.
Ethics imposed itself in between our needs and instincts, turning touch, taste and smell into ethical constraints. To survive, we need primal senses and basic instincts, in other words sex & food. Ethics managed to turn our “garden of paradise” into a “primordial sin”, making us a priori guilty of indulging. In some strange way, the idea of primordial sin has been transferred to sex, disguising taste and touch in relationship to food. But everyone knows that food is the ultimate human need (a.k.a. “sin”), as we have to kill in other to live.
Smell = Aesthetics + Ethics
As we noticed, separation between aesthetics and ethics has been caused by the separation of stimuli. One sense that defies this theory is the sense of smell. Smell is primordial sense, linked to our primal instincts and at the same time capable of “remoteness” (like eyes & ears). Smell is also essential for survival, by detecting rotten form fresh food, etc., and remains at the intersection of senses, where decision are made in some strange, subconscious way.
It is possible to say that the role of smell has not yet been understood, which leaves nose to roam free in between ethics and aesthetics.