What is Sensualism? Sensationalism

What is Sensualism? Sensationalism

July 1, 2021 Off By Felso

Sensualism or Sensationism is the general name of the teachings that claim that knowledge comes from sensation. This teaching results from seeing the mind as a tabula rasa (blank paper).

Sansualism or Sensationism is a doctrine opposed to rationalism, which argues that our knowledge is the product of reason, and innateism, which argues that it has been with us since our birth. Empiricism, which argues that knowledge comes from experience, has risen on a sensuous basis.

Sensationism begins with the pedantic movement of Ancient Greek thought. According to Protagoras, the only source of our knowledge is sensation. Knowledge cannot be obtained by any means other than our senses. That is why it is futile to seek the first cause. “Man is the measure of all things.” Thinkers such as the atomist Democritus and Epicurus are also of this opinion.

Sensualism is basically a materialistic doctrine and is based on an objective reality. For sensations are images of the external world, of objective reality. The first and solid proof of the theory of knowledge is that sensations are the only source of our knowledge. Latter; sensation informs man of objective truth. Third; solid and indubitable proof is also expressed very clearly: Objective truth is of material nature.

The doctrine that encompasses sensationalism in its widest sense is the teaching of the French thinker Condillac.

Representatives of Sensuality in the Antiquity; The Cyrene School and the Epicureans. In the New Age, especially Locke and Condillac.


The doctrine that encompasses sensationalism in its broadest sense is the teaching of the French thinker Condillac. Condillac tries to prove that all knowledge is formed through sensations by designing a stone sculpture. Ancient Greek skepticism is also sensual.

Despite this obvious necessity, in the teachings of Sensationism, Avenarius and Mach, an attempt was made to withdraw into idealism, leaving objective reality in the dark. This is because the sensation is two-sided. The subjective sensation of the person and the objective basis of that sensation… Idealists who set out with Berkeley sensibility; they have fallen into the fields of solipsism and agnosticism by taking the first side of sensation and ignoring the second and most important side. Sensuous skepticism rests on such an idealistic basis.

Moreover, if sensation is not handled with a dialectical understanding and abstract thinking in the process of knowledge, it leads to crude materialism and false conclusions like Baron d’Holbach, Helvitius and Feuerbach. In the history of philosophy, sensationism, whether materialistic or idealistic, has been dealt with only from this side (ie, with a metaphysical method) until it comes to dialectical and historical materialism. This is the reason for all the misconceptions.

The doctrine that all knowledge comes only from sensations and is based on sense perceptions. It finds its formula in Locke’s famous sentence: “Nothing that was not before the senses exists in the mind.”
(Psychologically) The understanding that brings (reduces) all spiritual events back to sensations.
(In terms of moral philosophy) Teachings that find the meaning and purpose of life in sense pleasures.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer Yıldırım