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Catholic Dictionary




Consciousness of a single, specific object by means of one of the sense powers or organs in a material way. In human beings sensation therefore differs from thought in two ways: it is only of material things, whereas thought is also about spiritual things, e.g., God, love, and liberty; sensation is always a material way of knowing, whereas thought may be about material reality, e.g., the sun, a stone, or a tree, but it is a spiritual kind of knowledge. (Etym. Latin sensatio, knowledge through the senses, sentire, to feel, perceive.)