21 senses ata minimum


the moral sense

the seven senses

sense limitations

21 senses or more !

How Many Senses Do You Really Have?

"All sensation is true;
sensation is the primary source of knowledge."


What Epicurus Can Teach Us about Freedom and Happiness

sense is defined as:

to grasp;

to perceive;

to understand;

to detect gnostically;

natural apprehension

good judgement;

complying with consensus;

moral perception or apprehension;

a general conscious awareness;

something sound or reasonable;

the normal ability to think or reason soundly;

an intuitive or acquired perception or ability to estimate;

to become aware of; meaning; import; significance;

a perception or feeling produced by a stimulus; sensation;

natural understanding or emotional intelligence, especially in practical matters.

perception by the sensory organs of the body; sensation; sensibility; feeling;

the faculties of sensation as means of providing physical gratification and pleasure;

recognition or perception either through the senses or through the intellect;

intellectual interpretation, as of the significance of an event or the conclusions reached by a group;

perception through the intellect; apprehension; recognition; understanding; discernment;

of or relating to the portion of the strand of double-stranded DNA that serves as a template for and is transcribed into RNA;

one of two opposite directions in which a line, surface, or volume, may be supposed to be described by the motion of a point, line, or surface;

dound perception and reasoning; correct judgement; good mental capacity; understanding; also, that which is sound, true, or reasonable; rational meaning;

Any of the faculties by which stimuli from outside or inside the body are received and felt, as the faculties of hearing, sight, smell, touch, taste, and equilibrium.

A faculty, possessed by animals, of perceiving external objects by means of impressions made upon certain organs (sensory or sense organs) of the body, or of perceiving changes in the condition of the body; as, the senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, touch, and equilibrium.

Some philosophers have given a technical signification to these terms, which may here be stated. Sense is the mind acting in the direct cognition either of material objects or of its own mental states. In the first case it is called the outer, in the second the inner, sense. Understanding is the logical faculty, i. e., the power of apprehending under general conceptions, or the power of classifying, arranging, and making deductions. Reason is the power of apprehending those first or fundamental truths or principles which are the conditions of all real and scientific knowledge, and which control the mind in all its processes of investigation and deduction. These distinctions are given, not as established, but simply because they often occur in writers of the present day.

"All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason." - Immanuel Kant

seven major sense groups:

eyes are useless when the mind is blind


"He who sees, knows;
he who sees not, knows not."

phoenix tears


Our noses sense 10 types of odors

"He who smells, desires;
he who smells not, desires not."

empathetic touch


"He who touches, knows;
he who touches not, knows not."

The deprivation of physical sensory contact,
is the principal root cause of violence.

"The ultimate evil on Earth is not is not war itself but aggression. Aggression is the 'mother of all wars'. That aggression has a potential foothold inside every one of us. Each time we deliberately inflict pain on another, we know we are doing evil." - Amos Oz

"The social forms and institutions of nonaggressive cultures positively reinforce acts that benefit the group as a whole while negatively reinforcing acts (and eliminating goals) that harm some members of the group. The social forms of aggressive cultures, on the other hand, reward actions that emphasize individual gain, even or especially when that gain harms others in the community." - Ruth Benedict

"Pleasure and violence have a reciprocal relationship, the presence of one inhibits the other. When the brain's pleasure circuits are 'on,' the violence circuits are 'off,' and vice versa. A pleasure-prone personality rarely displays violence or aggressive behaviors, and a violent personality has little ability to tolerate, experience, or enjoy sensuously pleasing activities.

The reciprocal relationship of pleasure and violence is highly significant because certain sensory experiences during the formative periods of development will create a neuropsychological predisposition for either violence seeking or pleasure seeking behavior later in life. Abnormal social and emotional behaviors result from 'somatosensory' deprivation, a lack of tender and loving care.

Derived from the Greek word for 'body,' the term 'somatosensory' refers to the sensations of touch and body movement which differ from the senses of seeing, hearing, smelling and tasting. The deprivation of body touch and contact are the basic causes of a number of emotional disturbances include depressive behaviors, sexual aberration, drug abuse, violence, and aggression. Not surprisingly, when high self-needs are combined with the deprivation of physical affection, the result is self-interest and high rates of narcissism.

The deprivation of body pleasure throughout life - but particularly during the formative periods of infancy, childhood, and adolescence - are very closely related to the amount of warfare and interpersonal violence a culture experiences - high self-needs coupled with high rates of self-interest and narcissism.

Another way of looking at the reciprocal relationship between violence and pleasure is to examine a society's choice of drugs as a society will support behaviors that are consistent with its values and social mores.

American society is a competitive, aggressive, and violent society. Consequently, it supports drugs that facilitate competitive, aggressive, and violent behaviors and oppose drugs that counteract such behaviors. Alcohol is well known to facilitate the expression of violent behaviors, and, although addicting and very harmful to chronic users, is acceptable to American society. Methamphetamine and engineered tobacco also belong to a competitive, aggressive, and violent society.

Marijuana, on the other hand, is an active pleasure inducing drug which enhances the pleasure of touch and actively inhibits violent aggressive behaviors. It is for this reason that marijuana is rejected in American culture.

In Western philosophical dualistic thought man is not a unitary being but is divided into two parts, body and soul.

The Greek philosophical conception of the relationship between body and soul was quite different than the Judeo-Christian concept which posited a state of war between the body and soul. Within Judeo-Christian thought the purpose of human life was to save the soul, and the body, flesh, was seen as an impediment to achieving this objective. Consequently, the flesh must be punished and deprived.

When high self-needs are combined with the deprivation of physical affection, the result is self-interest and high rates of narcissism. Cultures which are repressive of human sexuality tend to have rich pornographic art forms such as exhibitionistic dancing and pornography - a substitute for normal sexual expression.

-James W. Prescott, a neuropsychologist and health scientist administrator at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland.

great taste !


"He who tastes, knows;
he who tastes not, knows not."

NSA hearing


"He who hears, knows;
he who hears not, knows not."

do not be afraid to feel


"He who feels, desire;
he who feels not, desire not."

equilbrium system


"He who is in balance, knows;
he who is not in balance, desire not."

"Our senses are limited. We 'see' only some wavelengths of light ; we 'smell' only a range of odours; we 'hear' only a range of sounds. If we see nothing, then this does not mean that nothing is there. The extents of our senses, both quantitatively and qualitatively, are also the results of an adaptive selection process that must allocate scarce resources. We could have evolved eyes that were thousands of times more sensitive, but that ability would need to have been paid for by using resources that could have been used elsewhere. We have ended up with a package of senses that makes efficient use of the scarce resources available." - John D. Barrow

dorothy can hear !

Although human senses are limited they are truly quite magnificent.

A human with normally functioning senses can;

feel on the fingertips or face a pressure that depresses the skin a .00004 inch,

feel the weight of a bee's wing falling on the cheek from less than half an inch away,

see a small candle flame from 30 miles away on a clear, dark night,

distinguish among more than 300,000 different color variations,

smell one drop of perfume diffused through a three-room apartment,

taste .04 ounce-of table salt dissolved in 530 quarts of water,

gauge the direction of a sound's origin based on a .00003 second difference in its arrival from one ear to the other.

21 senses

21 senses or more !

The commonly held definition of a "sense" is "any system that consists of a group of sensory cell types that respond to a specific physical phenomenon and that corresponds to a particular group of regions within the brain where the signals are received and interpreted.

The commonly held human senses are as follows:

Sight: This technically is two senses given the two distinct types of receptors present, one for color (cones) and one for brightness (rods).

Taste: This is sometimes argued to be five senses by itself due to the differing types of taste receptors (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami), but generally is just referred to as one sense. For those who don't know, umami receptors detect the amino acid glutamate, which is a taste generally found in meat and some artificial flavoring. The taste sense, unlike sight, is a sense based off of a chemical reaction

Touch: This has been found to be distinct from pressure, temperature, pain, and even itch sensors. Pressure: Obvious sense is obvious. ;-)

Itch: Surprisingly, this is a distinct sensor system from other touch-related senses.

Thermoception: Ability to sense heat and cold. This also is thought of as more than one sense. This is not just because of the two hot/cold receptors, but also because there is a completely different type of thermoceptor, in terms of the mechanism for detection, in the brain. These thermoceptors in the brain are used for monitoring internal body temperature.

Sound: Detecting vibrations along some medium, such as air or water that is in contact with your ear drums. Smell: Yet another of the sensors that work off of a chemical reaction. This sense combines with taste to produce flavors.

Proprioception: This sense gives you the ability to tell where your body parts are, relative to other body parts. This sense is one of the things police officers test when they pull over someone who they think is driving drunk. The "close your eyes and touch your nose" test is testing this sense. This sense is used all the time in little ways, such as when you scratch an itch on your foot, but never once look at your foot to see where your hand is relative to your foot.

Tension Sensors: These are found in such places as your muscles and allow the brain the ability to monitor muscle tension.
Nociception: In a word, pain. This was once thought to simply be the result of overloading other senses, such as "touch", but this has been found not to be the case and instead, it is its own unique sensory system. There are three distinct types of pain receptors: cutaneous (skin), somatic (bones and joints), and visceral (body organs).


Equilibrioception: The sense that allows you to keep your balance and sense body movement in terms of acceleration and directional changes. This sense also allows for perceiving gravity. The sensory system for this is found in your inner ears and is called the vestibular labyrinthine system. Anyone who's ever had this sense go out on them on occasion knows how important this is. When it's not working or malfunctioning, you literally can't tell up from down and moving from one location to another without aid is nearly impossible.

Stretch Receptors: These are found in such places as the lungs, bladder, stomach, and the gastrointestinal tract. A type of stretch receptor, that senses dilation of blood vessels, is also often involved in headaches.

Chemoreceptors: These trigger an area of the medulla in the brain that is involved in detecting blood born hormones and drugs. It also is involved in the vomiting reflex.

Thirst: This system more or less allows your body to monitor its hydration level and so your body knows when it should tell you to drink.

Hunger: This system allows your body to detect when you need to eat something.

Magentoception: This is the ability to detect magnetic fields, which is principally useful in providing a sense of direction when detecting the Earth's magnetic field. Unlike most birds, humans do not have a strong magentoception, however, experiments have demonstrated that we do tend to have some sense of magnetic fields. The mechanism for this is not completely understood; it is theorized that this has something to do with deposits of ferric iron in our noses. This would make sense if that is correct as humans who are given magnetic implants have been shown to have a much stronger magnetoception than humans without.

Time: This one is debated as no singular mechanism has been found that allows people to perceive time. However, experimental data has conclusively shown humans have a startling accurate sense of time, particularly when younger. The mechanism we use for this seems to be a distributed system involving the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and basal ganglia. Long term time keeping seems to be monitored by the suprachiasmatic nuclei (responsible for the circadian rhythm). Short term time keeping is handled by other cell systems.

Did you know humans have the ability to ignore one or more of the sensory systems at any given time ?
exit stage left

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