Modern Classical Philosophers: Selections Illustrating Modern Philosophy from Bruno to Bergson

By Benjamin Rand | Go to book overview

ETIENNE BONNOT DE CONDILLAC (1715-1780)

TREATISE ON SENSATIONS
Translated from the French * by FREDERICK C. DE SUMICHRAST
CHAPTER I. THE FIRST NOTIONS OF A MAN POSSESSING THE SENSE OF SMELL ONLY
1. THE notions of our statue being limited to the sense of smell, can include odours only. It cannot have any conception of extent, of form, of anything external to itself, or to its sensations, any more than it can have of colour, sound or taste.
2. If we offer the statue a rose, it will be, in its relation to us, a statue which smells a rose; but in relation to itself, it will be merely the scent itself of the flower.
3. Therefore, according to the objects which act upon its organ, it will be scent of rose, of carnation, of jasmine, of violet. In a word, odours are, in this respect, merely modifications of the statue itself or modes of being; and it is not capable of believing itself aught else, since these are the only sensations it can feel.
4. Let those philosophers to whom it is so evident that everything is material, put themselves for a moment in the place of the statue, and let them reflect how they could suspect that there exists anything resembling what we call matter.
5. We may then already be convinced that it is sufficient to increase or to diminish the number of the senses to cause us to come to conclusions wholly different from those which are at present so natural to us, and our statue, limited to the sense of smell, may thus enable us to comprehend somewhat the class of beings whose notions are the most restricted.
____________________
*
From Traité des Sensations, Paris and London, 1754.

-347-

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Modern Classical Philosophers: Selections Illustrating Modern Philosophy from Bruno to Bergson
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) 1
  • Francis Bacon (1561-1626) 24
  • Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) 57
  • RenÉ Descartes (1596-1650) 101
  • Baruch De Spinoza (1632-1677) 148
  • Gottfried Wilhelm Von Leibnitz (1646-1716) 199
  • John Locke (1632-1704) 215
  • George Berkeley (1685-1753) 263
  • David Hume (1711-1766) 307
  • Etienne Bonnot De Condillac (1715-1780) 347
  • Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) 376
  • Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814) 486
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Von Schelling. (1775-1854) 535
  • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) 569
  • Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) 629
  • Auguste Comte (1798-1857) 672
  • John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) 690
  • Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) 703
  • Index 733
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