Classification of Sensations

The full gamut of human perception is wildly varied, some experiences forever dancing beyond the grasp of language and mathematics. But even an oversimplified account of sensation can be very valuable. So let's start crudely dividing perceptions into a handful of categories. Definitions are fuzzy. There may be gaps and overlaps. But starting from this oversimplification we progressively add more detail and refinement until we can ultimately communicate with precision and accuracy about our perceptions.

Category Examples
Visual Sensations
Any vision, sight or ocular experience that could loosely be described as grayish is called an achromatic visual sensation. Any sight that could be roughly described as reddish or greenish is called an organic chromatic sensation. And any image that could be described as yellowish or bluish is called an inorganic chromatic visual sensation.
 Achromatic Organic Inorganic
Thermal Sensations
Strong feelings that are so hot or cold that they are hazardous are called dangerous thermal sensations. Warm or cool feelings that happen during routine human activity are called safe thermal sensations.
 Dangerous Safe
Somatic Sensations
Any tactile or auditory perception associated with a sense of touch, pressure, hearing or sound is called a somatic sensation.
Taste Sensations
Flavors or gustatory perceptions that are produced when a substance in the mouth reacts with nerves of the tongue and palate are called taste sensations. We specifically consider sweet, sour and salty flavors. But bitter, pungent and metallic tastes are other well-known examples from among hundreds of distinctly recognizable flavors.
 Sour Salty Sweet
 Other Sensations Smells, odors and olfactory perceptions. Balance and related kinesthetic senses. Animalistic perceptions like echo-location or sensitivity to the Earth's magnetic field. Telepathy, clairvoyance and paranormal abilities. A sense of humor. An eye for beauty. Feeling the weight of injustice. Miracles, memories, hallucinations and dreams. The look of love …

The words organic, inorganic and somatic are used above in ways that are specific, but perhaps slightly unusual. So let us be perfectly clear and make formal definitions for these terms as follows.

 Noun Definition Organic Sensation $\sf{\text{Any reddish or greenish visual sensation.}}$ 1-13
 Noun Definition Inorganic Sensation $\sf{\text{Any yellowish or bluish visual sensation.}}$ 1-14
 Noun Definition Somatic Sensation $\sf{\text{Any perception of touch, pressure, sound or hearing.}}$ 1-15

For easy access to a complete list of all the terms that have been carefully defined for WikiMechanics, you can always click on the Glossary link shown in the upper right corner of every page. You can also click on any icon for more detail.

 Next step: some starting assumptions for WikiMechanics.
page revision: 425, last edited: 11 Sep 2019 09:39