clearlypossibletoassertthat weare directlyawareofsense-datawithoutimplyingthattheexpression"directawarenessis a namefor anysortof intro-spectibleact. Andindeedit seemstomeverydoubtfulwhetherthere aresuchacts.Itis true,asProfessorG. E.Moorepointsout in his"RefutationofIdealism"rtthatthe expressions "blue"and"consciousnessofblue"arenot synonymous,andthatmy consciousnessfblueand myconsciousnessofgreenhave somethingmoreincommonthanwhatis commontoblueandgreen.But itdoes notfollowthatthiscommonelementofconsciousnessis adistinct,individualfactoritt *y sensation.Itmay wellbethatthe characteristicn virtueof whichit maybe saidthat theblueandgreen sense-datarebothexperiencedby meis arelationalcharacteristic,whichdoesnot involveeithermyself,conceivedas asubstance,orany suchthingas thatfor whichtheexpression "actofsensingis supposedto beaname,butonlycertainothersensible,orintro-spectfole,objects.Andwhethersuchananalysisscorrectornot,thereis nothinginMoore'sargumenttorefuteit.Thereare,however,somephilosopherswhobasetheirbeliefinthe existenceof theseacts of sensing,notonanyaprioriargument,butonthe evidenceoftheirownintrospectidn;and I donot wishtoassertdogmaticallythattheyare wrong.I cannotmyselfdiscovertheseactsbyintrospection;butthisdoesnotprove thatnoone else can.Atthe sametime,I
rrTHE CHARACTERIZATION OF SENSE-DATA 63
thinkthat thosewhodoclaim to beable to discoverthem inthiswaymay,perhaps,bemaking an un-warranted inference from a different empirical fact.It is characteristicofsome sense-datathat theyappear to be sensibly outside ourselves bywhich Imeanonly that they occur in sense-fieldshathavetheproperty of sensible depth.Thisis true ofvisualand tactual data, and also of auditory and olfactorydata whenthey are ascribed to an objective source.Now, becauseof our knowledge oftheirimmediatecausal conditions, wetend to think of oursensationsas occurring somehow inside ourselves and there-fore it is assumed hatsense-datahatareat adistancefrom the somatic centresoftheir sense-fields, andthus maybe saidtobe sensiblyoutsideourselves,cannot makeup tJrewhole content of the corre-sponding sensations; and so acts of sensing arebroughtin to fill thegap.If this explanationwerecorrect, we should expect to find that thosewho madethis distinction between act andobject in theiranalysis of sensation weremore confidentofitsvalidity inrespectof sight and touchthaninrespectof organic andkinastheticsensations;and this is,in fact, the case.r But it is clear thatif those whobelievein the existence of actsof sensing aretacitlyrelying onthisargument, theirconclusion isnotestablished. The most thatthey can proveis thatsome sensations are not identicalwiththerelevantsense-data, orinother words thatthe expression" sensationof. x"isnot synonymouswith"cc".
ICf.C.D. Broad,Scimtific Thought,pp.zS4-7.