Epistemology and sensation
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Sensation is recognized by epistemology as one of the sources of knowledge, alongside memory, testimony, reason, induction and introspection, but this has not always been the case. It is a defining feature of modern epistemology that the senses provide valuable information about the world that cannot be reached through reason alone. However, because the senses can have an intensity and uniqueness that is difficult to describe, it is sometimes not entirely clear what they offer as knowledge, or even whether epistemology has a secure and adequate grasp of them. This chapter explains some of the key theories of sensation in the history of epistemology, from ancient Greece to the present day, and shows how competing views of the relation between philosophy and science inform contemporary ideas about the senses.
Cazeaux, C. (2016) 'Epistemology and sensation' in Miller, H. (ed) Sage Encyclopaedia of Theory in Psychology. Sage
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