## How many senses do we have?

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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Philosophy Explorer
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### How many senses do we have?

Used to be five of them and it was that way for many years. Nowadays I'm catching articles saying we have seven or eight of them. So what is a sense, actually?

PhilX

surreptitious57
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### Re: How many senses do we have?

A sense is a specific feeling that can be experienced and it can be either mental or physical

Noax
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### Re: How many senses do we have?

Two.

There's balance, and everything else is a variant on touch, since I require direct contact with photons, air, food, etc to sense them.

If those are separate, then billions of senses, since every nerve ending is a separate sensor.

Greta
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### Re: How many senses do we have?

Noax wrote:
Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:16 pm
Two.

There's balance, and everything else is a variant on touch, since I require direct contact with photons, air, food, etc to sense them.

If those are separate, then billions of senses, since every nerve ending is a separate sensor.
By that logic then balance is a variant of touch too, touching the ground and the air/water, sensing the contrast and orienting. You might say that balance is a gravitationally-based sense with the fluid in our inner ears acting like a spirit level, while other senses pertain exclusively to EM.

Noax
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### Re: How many senses do we have?

Greta wrote:
Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:31 am
By that logic then balance is a variant of touch too, touching the ground and the air/water, sensing the contrast and orienting.
It is nerve based, so I can agree. I just said that to stir things up when I thought the question wasn't exactly a philosophical one. Sense of balance is strictly internal. Orientation is another thing, and requires as you say, touch and visual cues.
You might say that balance is a gravitationally-based sense with the fluid in our inner ears acting like a spirit level, while other senses pertain exclusively to EM.
The inner ear thing doesn't act as a spirit level. There is no bubble. It detects changes in moment of inertia, not linear inertia to which a spirit level is sensitive.

A second sense then would be say a chemical one. There are chemical senses that do not involve nerves.

Greta
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### Re: How many senses do we have?

Noax wrote:
Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:21 am
You might say that balance is a gravitationally-based sense with the fluid in our inner ears acting like a spirit level, while other senses pertain exclusively to EM.
The inner ear thing doesn't act as a spirit level. There is no bubble. It detects changes in moment of inertia, not linear inertia to which a spirit level is sensitive.
I'll tell you that my BPPV surely feels like I have a spirit level in my head! The hairs detect changes in the inner ear's fluid but with BPPV crystals form in the fluid and confuse the hairs.
Noax wrote:A second sense then would be say a chemical one. There are chemical senses that do not involve nerves.
That's just smell and taste, isn't it?

Cerveny
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### Re: How many senses do we have?

Most of us is able to feel the foreign sight at us. I always wonder about physical substance of such phenomenon...

Noax
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### Re: How many senses do we have?

Greta wrote:
Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:04 am
Noax wrote:A second sense then would be say a chemical one. There are chemical senses that do not involve nerves.
That's just smell and taste, isn't it?
Requires direct contact and uses nerves, so I grouped it under touch since sense of heat, pressure, and pain are also similarly differentiated yet are all part of touch.
Most chemical senses are internal (not through skin), and several involve nerves, making it against this rule I've made up (for lack of a better one). How about sense of foreign cell? No nerves there. White cells sense and attack things that don't belong, all without directly informing the IT dept.

duszek
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### Re: How many senses do we have?

How about the sense of humor ?

I am serious now.
It´s a kind of intellectual sense of grasping something that makes you relax and rebel against fears and constraints.

And the sense of forboding ?
You feel intellectually that something is wrong, eerie.
In the films with Inspector Barnaby the music indicates that something bad is going to happen or to be discovered. This is a service for the distracted viewer.
But in real life, do we have a feeling of something bad afoot ?

A sense of mystery.
A sense of fun.
A sense of romantic love.
A sense of logic.

These are some more that I offer for discussion.

Greta
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### Re: How many senses do we have?

Noax wrote:
Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:13 pm
How about sense of foreign cell? No nerves there. White cells sense and attack things that don't belong, all without directly informing the IT dept.
"The IT dept" - I like that :) It seems that microbes, which is what macrophages basically are - our "soldier ants" - do sense things despite not having nervous systems. They simply have a different sensory system http://www.angelfire.com/linux/vjtorley/senses.html , which may be related to the kinds of senses our macrophages enjoy.

-1-
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### Re: How many senses do we have?

duszek wrote:
Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:05 am
How about the sense of humor ?

I am serious now.
It´s a kind of intellectual sense of grasping something that makes you relax and rebel against fears and constraints.

And the sense of forboding ?
You feel intellectually that something is wrong, eerie.
In the films with Inspector Barnaby the music indicates that something bad is going to happen or to be discovered. This is a service for the distracted viewer.
But in real life, do we have a feeling of something bad afoot ?

A sense of mystery.
A sense of fun.
A sense of romantic love.
A sense of logic.

These are some more that I offer for discussion.
I like this. Sense of humour, is closer to sensation than to stimulus sensing, and it's not quite an emotion either. Hunger? a sensation for sure, but not an emotion. The ones you listed, Duszek, are all good examples of senses not requiring touch, but brain function. They can be delivered to the sensing person via visual images, via written or spoken words, via internally generated thoughts. Very good original thinking, Duszek.

A sense of self.
A sense of nonsense.
A sense of sensationalism.
A sense of sexual arousal.
A sense of orgasm.
A sense of hunger, satisfaction.
A sense of needing to go to the washroom. (Saringer.)
A sense of needing to leave the house.
A sense of sensing the nonsense of sensationalist sentences.

-1-
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### Re: How many senses do we have?

Greta wrote:
Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:20 pm
Noax wrote:
Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:13 pm
How about sense of foreign cell? No nerves there. White cells sense and attack things that don't belong, all without directly informing the IT dept.
"The IT dept" - I like that It seems that microbes, which is what macrophages basically are - our "soldier ants" - do sense things despite not having nervous systems. They simply have a different sensory system http://www.angelfire.com/linux/vjtorley/senses.html , which may be related to the kinds of senses our macrophages enjoy.
So the white security guards will escort the intruding Asian programmer, who tried to infiltrate and improve the programs with his code; or else the white security guards will eat and devour the foreign (e.g. Russian) invader.

Makes sense. I have seen a lot of this happening in my days back when I was programming for a bank.

-1-
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### Re: How many senses do we have?

Sense of beating. "Beat a sense into this child."
Sense of beat. (Good dancer or drummer.)
Sense of Bea. (Beatrix is in the room. You know she is even in the dark, for she wears seven different kinds of perfume. All at once.)
Sense of Be. (50% of "To be or not to be.")
Sense of B. (The sensation of identifying with being the letter B.)

duszek
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### Re: How many senses do we have?

Langsam, langsam.

Could it be that we use the word "sense" also in the sense of "understanding something" ?

The word "sense" can have different meanings and be used in different senses.

If you see what I mean.

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### Re: How many senses do we have?

duszek wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:34 pm
Langsam, langsam. (* Saringer is a German last name, true enough, but it's actually a Hungarian word when pronounced. In the proper Hun spelling you must put a z between S and a. *)

Could it be that we use the word "sense" also in the sense of "understanding something" ?

The word "sense" can have different meanings and be used in different senses.

If you see what I mean.
I don't see what you mean, Duszek. (Literally writing.) But I have a sense of what you mean.

In philosophy there is a name for an invalid argument based on switching the meaning of a word or expression which word or expression clearly means more than one thing, even unaltered in its form, and then arguing that the meaning that hasn't been meant to be used, is faulty logically. It is called "equivocation" and it was Arstotal who coined this fallacy's name.

Erm... there exists also a literary device, that can be used in many ways (humorously, gravely, in gravy, etc.) that is similar in the set-up. I don't know its name. Hacsek es Sajo used it extensively. So did Abbot and Costello, f'rinstance in their famous kit, "Who's on First". This literary device depends on puns, but it is more than just a pun. It relates to puns as an allegory relates to similes.

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