sense data
Literally, that which is given by the senses. But in response to the question of what exactly is so given, sense data theories posit private showings in the consciousness of the subject. In the case of vision this would be a kind of inner picture show which itself only indirectly represents aspects of the external world (see representationalism ). The view has been widely rejected as implying that we really only see extremely thin coloured pictures interposed between our mind's eye and reality. Modern approaches to perception tend to reject any conception of the eye as a camera or lens, simply responsible for producing private images, and stress the active life of the subject in the world as the determinant of experience (for an early version of this approach, see Condillac ).

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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