Biography[ edit ] He was born at Grenoble into a legal family, the youngest of three brothers.
His ideas held sway among French intellectuals for fifty years, and had some influence on the English empiricists who followed John Locke.
Supported by his benefice financial support provided by the churchhe retreated into solitude and devoted himself almost entirely to study. During his earlier days in Paris he came into contact with the circle of Diderot.
Rousseau had been domestic tutor in the family of Condillac's uncle, M. Thanks to his natural caution and reserve, Condillac's relations with unorthodox philosophers did not injure his career.
He spent his later years in retirement at Flux, a small property which he had purchased near Beaugency, and died there on August 3, Thought and Works Condillac was important both as a psychologist and as a philosopher of the French Enlightenment.
His interest in mathematics and logic was reflected in his approach to human psychology.
Condillac contended that preoccupation with language had led the philosophers of the seventeenth century to erroneous conclusions about the human knowledge and the nature of the mind. Condillac's collected works were published in 23 vols. Condillac was convinced that it was necessary to study our senses separately, to distinguish precisely what ideas we owe to each sense, to observe how the senses are trained, and how one sense aids another.
The result, he was confident, would show that all human faculties and knowledge are transformed sensation only, to the exclusion of any other principle, such as reflection.
Condillac used the analogy of a statue organized inwardly like a man, animated by a soul which has never received an idea, into which no sense-impression has ever penetrated. He then Condillac essay on the faculties its senses one by one, beginning with smell, as the sense that contributes least to human knowledge.
At its first experience of smell, the consciousness of the statue is entirely occupied by it; and this occupancy of consciousness is attention. The next stage of cognition is memory, which is the lingering impression of the smell experience upon the attention, after the object exuding the smell has been removed: A comparison of the pleasure-giving qualities of past and present experiences gives rise to desire; desire determines the operation of our faculties, stimulates the memory and imagination, and gives rise to the passions.
The passions, also, are nothing but sensation transformed. Will is desire made stronger and more permanent through the hope that it can be satisfied.
The rest of the first section follows a similar line of analysis using the other senses: In a very careful and elaborate analysis, he distinguishes the various elements in our tactile experiences; the touching of one's own body, the touching of objects other than one's own body, the experience of movement, the exploration of surfaces by the hands.
He traces the growth of the statue's perceptions of extension, distance and shape. The third section deals with the combination of touch with the other senses. The fourth section deals with the desires, activities and ideas of an isolated man who enjoys possession of all the senses; and ends with observations on a "wild boy" who was found living among bears in the forests of Lithuania.
The conclusion of the work is that, in the natural order of things, substance is noting more than a collection of sensations.
Sensation is not experienced to an equal degree equal in all men; and the mind of man is nothing but what he has acquired through his experience of sensations, with no innate faculties and ideas. In FranceCondillac's doctrine of sensationism dominated in the schools for over fifty years, challenged only by a few who, like Maine de Biran, declared that it gave no sufficient account of volitional experience in seeking out experiences of sensation.
Early in the nineteenth century, the romantic awakening of Germany had spread to France, and sensationism was displaced by the eclectic spiritualism of Victor Cousin.
Education Condillac based his theory of education on the idea that a developing child must repeat the various stages through which his culture has passed, an idea which, with modifications, is still held by some educators today. He also suggested the principle that the process of education should correspond to the natural development of a child.
History and religion formed the base of his curriculum, and he insisted that it was necessary to establish a connection among the various fields of study. He emphasized training the student to make sound judgments rather than burdening his memory.
His system has been criticized for placing philosophy and psychology ahead of the acquisition of basic skills. In logicon which he wrote extensively, he enlarges, with few concrete examples, upon the supremacy of the analytic method and argues that reasoning consists in the substitution of one proposition for another which is identical with it.
He suggests that science is the same thing as a well-constructed language, a proposition which he tries to prove, using the example of arithmeticin his Langue des calculs published unfinished after his death. References Condillac; Phillip, Franklin ed. Condillac, Etienne Bonnot de, and Hans Aarsleff.
Cambridge University Press, Derrida, Jacques, and John P. The Archeology of the Frivolous: University of Nebraska Press, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, An Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge: Being a Supplement to Mr.
Locke's Essay on the Human Understanding. Translated from the French of the Abbè de Condillac Etienne Bonnot de Condillac. J. Nourse, - Psychology - pages. Animals, in their turn, by the principles of Condillac's own arguments, could conceivably develop language, reason, and moral knowledge as well, should environmental changes and consequential faculty development permit it.
Apr 21, · Etienne Bonnot de Condillac He published in his "Essai sur l' origine des connaissances humaines" which is a summary of Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding", and in his "Traité des systemes" wherein he attacks the innate ideas and abstract systems of Descartes, Malebranche, Leibniz, Spinoza, and .
Étienne Bonnot de Condillac at Encyclopædia Britannica "Etienne Bonnot de Condillac". Catholic Encyclopedia.
Étienne Bonnot de Condillac, An Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge, Being a Supplement to Mr. Locke's Essay on the Human Understanding, Translated by Thomas Nugent (London: J. Nourse, ). Facsimile .
Condillac’s treatise on the sensations, Geraldine Carr (trans.), London: Favil Press, An Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge: being a supplement to Mr. Locke’s essay on the human understanding, Thomas Nugent (trans.), London: J.
Nourse, This is the first English translation of Condillac's most influential works: the Essay on the Origins of Human Knowledge () and Course for Study of Instruction of the Prince of Parma (). The Essays lay the foundation for Condillac's theory of mind.