Some words have a peculiar history. The term “sensibility” is among them. If we can trust Wikipedia (and we do, don’t we?) then the term was coined around the end of the 17th century to describe a scientific-philosophical concept were sensory input and ideas are connected. Then, the word and attitude became fashionable in the 18th century and young people detected their feelings. Finally, the term fell into disregard. In 1811 Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” was published in which sensibility was rebuked and ridiculed. Since then the term has never really recovered.Now it is used mostly in the plural form and not in an entirely positive way.
Still in the jungle of English terms regarding the senses, it remains one of the few terms describing the connection between our senses and our inner life.(more…)