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Sensation vs Sense vs Feeling vs Sensibility

Sensationsensefeelingsensibility are comparable when they mean the power to respond or the capacity for or the act of responding to stimuli, especially external physical stimuli.

Sensation in technical use often denotes nothing more than the mere seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, or feeling and does not imply recognition or comprehension.

In more general use the term usually suggests somewhat more than mere receiving of impressions and may imply not only recognition but more or less clearly defined intellectual and emotional reactions (as pleasure or pain or curiosity). It therefore may apply to responses to other than purely physical stimuli.

Sense is applied specifically to any one of the perceptive powers associated with the sensory end organs or in the plural (occasionally in the singular) to the combined powers which enable a sentient being to establish relations between itself and what is external to itself, but it differs from sensation, when applied to the power or act of responding to stimuli, in suggesting a less corporeal and a more intellectual reaction and often a less objective stimulus. In fact its most emphatic implication in this sense is often that of intense awareness or of full consciousness.

Feeling (see also FEELING 2 ) ( ATMOSPHERE 2 ) in its most specific meaning denotes the sense that has its end organs in the skin; usually it signifies the sense of touch, but often it is more inclusive and suggests other sensations (as heat, cold, or pressure) that are typically perceived through stimulation of the skin.

But feeling is also used to denote a response to a stimulus or a set of stimuli that is a combination of sensation, emotion, and a degree of thought. Often also, the term denotes not the response, but the power to respond in general or as a characteristic.

In this latter sense feeling is often replaced by sensibility, especially when a keenly impressionable nature and unusually delicate powers of appreciation or its opposite are implied.

Sometimes sentimental or affected responsiveness is suggested.