FEELING

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FEELING; one of the five external senses, by which we obtain the ideas of solid, hard, soft, rough, hot, cold, wet, dry, and other tangible qualities. It is the most universal of all the senses. We see fnd hear with small portions of our bodies, but we feel with all. Nature has bestowed that general sensation wherever there are nerves, and they are every where, where there is life. Were it otherwise, the parts divested of it might be destroyed without our knowledge. It seems that, upon this account, nature has provided that this sensation should not require a particular organization. The structure of the nervous papilla is not absolutely necessary to it. The lips of a fresh wound, the periosteum, and the tendons, when uncovered, are extremely sensible without them. These nervous extremities serve only to the perfection of feeling, and to diversify sensation. Like every other sense, feeling is capable of the greatest improvement: thus we see that persons, born without arms, acquire the nicest feeling in their toes; and, in blind people, this sense becomes so m'ich 6* developed, that individuals born blind, and acquiring the faculty of sight in aftei life, for a long time depend rather on their feeling than on their sight, because they receive clearer ideas through the former sense. A person in this condition, who could not remember the difference of things, if he only saw them, as soon as he touched them, distinguished them perfectly well. Feeling is the most common of all the senses, as it exists in all creatures, which have any sense at all; even some plants show a sensibility to touch. Many animals have no sense but that of feeling.