sense-datum, n. Etymology: < sense n. + datum n.
Whatever is the immediate object of any of the senses, usually, but not
always, with the implication that it is not a material object.
Royce in Mind VII. 44 What relation does the external reality bear to the
1890 W. James Princ. Psychol. II. xx. 146 It is no wonder if
some authors have gone so far as to think that the sense-data have no spatial
worth at all.
1912 B. Russell Probl. Philos. i. 12 Let us give the name
of ‘sense-data’ to the things that are immediately known in sensation: such
things as colours, sounds, smells, hardnesses, roughnesses, and so on.
W. S. Maugham Summing Up 260 The sense-datum, on which I thought all knowledge
was based, seemed to me something given, which had to be accepted whether it
suited the convenience or not.
1956 A. J. Ayer Probl. Knowl. 85 What..is
immediately given in perception is an evanescent object called an idea, or an
impression, or a presentation, or a sense-datum, which is not only private to a
single observer but private to a single sense.
1980 Dædalus Spring 11
From the point of view of strict empiricism, the attempt to go beyond sense
data..seems to fail.