chapter  II
3 Pages

II.4 The senses

ByHERMAN ROODENBURG

As we know from the many painted allegories, early modern people used to distinguish the five senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. But the paintings only tell half of the story. They also knew such sensory perceptions that we now like to label as proprioception, mechanoreception, nociception and thermoreception. These were all ranged under the sense of touch. In addition, until roughly 1700 most sensory theory still comprised the four or five ‘inner senses’: the common sense, the fantasy and/or imagination, the estimative forces and the memory. Since Avicenna they were all situated in the brain, in the three ventricles already described by the Roman physician Galen in his De Usu Partium.