The aim of the paper is to present an analysis of the relation between sensations and sense data. A discussion about the historical roots of both concepts (Descartes, Malebranche, Berkeley, Condillac, Reid) is followed by considerations concerning the similarities and differences between sensations and sense data: sense data were interpreted as having objective character, whereas sensations were treated either as being properties of things perceived or as subjective states of mind; sense data are objective and normally they are perceived, although they do not have to be objects of attention, whereas sensations are not perceived in normal circumstances of perception; sense data are neutral as far as dualistic solutions of the mind-body problem are concerned, whereas the subjectivity of sensations forces us to localize them in the non-physical subject. Next, the opposition between sensations and sense data is illustrated by an exposition of Husserl's considerations on sensations (Empfindung) and sense data (Abschattung) as belonging to noetic and noematic structures of consciousness. The end of the paper is devoted to an analysis of arguments for and against the existence of sense data (Ryle, Chisholm, Ayer).
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