Who is Étienne Bonnot de Condillac?

Who is Étienne Bonnot de Condillac?

June 25, 2021 Off By Felso

Étienne Bonnot Étienne Bonnot de Condillac (b. 1715 – d. 1780), French philosopher.

Influenced by the empiricism of John Locke, he developed a sensuous theory of knowledge. Adopting a sensibility based on the principle that observations arising from sense perceptions are the source of knowledge, Condillac argued that all information is a transformed sensation. Beyond knowledge, he reduced everything that is spiritual in man, all mental activities of man to the sensation of the outside world, and sought ways to prove this thesis.

Certain of Condillac’s views approach modern philosophy, and in particular logical empiricism, to the point of making him the precursor of modern thought.

Condillac’s works, especially “Traité des Sensations” (Treatise on Sensations) and “Essai sur l’Origine des Connaissances Humaines” (Essay on the Source of Human Knowledge) have been studied and studied by historians of philosophy. In these two works, the ideas that we can define as modern occupy very little space, and these issues are rarely mentioned. These subjects are not mentioned at all in the Treatise on Sensations, while in the Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge, a very insignificant place is given to the Theory of Signs, which we will discuss below.

Condillac’s views, which are very close to modern thinking, must have escaped the notice of Philosophy historians for this reason. So, by introducing these two books, we want to point out the importance of these ideas for Condillac, and at the same time show that Condillac, for all his reputation, is not well known.

It seems appropriate to gather the thoughts of the philosopher, which should be dealt with in these two works, which are little known and therefore we want to introduce, around the following three main points:

> Theory of Signs
> The importance of analysis
> Attitude towards metaphysics

Author: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Who is Condillac in Open Education Philosophy Textbook?