Condillac, Étienne Bonnot de

Étienne Bonnot de Condillac (ātyĕn´ bônō´ də kôNdēyäk´), 1715–80, French philosopher who developed the theory of sensationalism (i.e., that all knowledge comes from the senses and that there are no innate ideas). He took holy orders, and in 1768 he became a member of the French Academy of Sciences. His major works were Essai sur l'origine des connaissances humaines (1746) and Traité des sensations (1754). In these he tried to simplify Locke's theory of knowledge by arguing that all conscious experience is simply the result of passive sensations. In spite of this reduction of consciousness to the passive reception of sensation he nevertheless retained the Cartesian dualism of soul and body. He thus attempted to harmonize his deterministic psychology with his religious profession.

See I. F. Knight, The Geometric Spirit (1968).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Condillac: Selected full-text books and articles

Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge By Etienne Bonnot de Condillac; Hans Aarsleff; Hans Aarsleff Cambridge University Press, 2001
Philosophical Writings of Etienne Bonnot, Abbe de Condillac By Etienne de Bonnot; Harlan Lane; Franklin Philip L. Erlbaum Associates, vol.1, 1982
Philosophical Writings of Etienne Bonnot, Abbe de Condillac By Etienne Bonnot de Condillac; Franklin Philip; Harlan Lane Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, vol.2, 1982
The Authority of Experience: Sensationist Theory in the French Enlightenment By John C. O'Neal Pennsylvannia State University Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Condillac and the Meaning of Experience"
The Theories of Instinct: A Study in the History of Psychology By E. C. Wilm Yale University Press, 1925
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IX "Empiricist and Nativist Controversies of the Eighteenth Century: Condillac and Reimarus"
Condillac: Language, Thought, and Morality in the Man and Animal Debate By Coski, R. Christopher French Forum, Vol. 28, No. 1, Winter 2003
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Reading the French Enlightenment: System and Subversion By Julie Candler Hayes Cambridge University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Condillac and the Identity of the Other"
The Western Tradition from Socrates to Saussure By Roy Harris; Talbot J. Taylor Routledge, 1997 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 11 "Condillac on the Origin of Language and Thought"
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