Book I: Metaphysics of Knowledge.

Chapter I: The Spiritual Principle in Knowledge and Nature.

§ 45.

But the question we are here concerned with is not whether any such thing as mere sensation, a matter wholly unformed by intelligence, exists as a stage in the process by which the individual becomes acquainted with the world; it is the question whether there is any such element in the world of knowable facts. Has nature--the system of connected phenomena, or facts related to consciousness, which forms the object of experience--a reality of that kind which Kant describes as natura materialiter spectata; a reality consisting of mere sensations, or sensations of which the qualities, whatever they may be, are independent of such determination as arises from the action of a unifying and self-distinguishing subject? Or has it in any other sense a matter which does not depend on a combining intelligence for being what it is, as much as does the relation between my experience of to-day and that of my previous life? (§ 45 ¶ 1)

Phenomena are facts related to consciousness. Thus, when we enquire whether there is such a thing in the world of phenomena as sensation undetermined by thought, the question may be considered in relation either to the facts, as such, or to the consciousness for which the facts exist. It may be put either thus--Among the facts that form the object of possible experience, are there sensations which do not depend on thought for being what they are? or thus--Is sensation as unqualified by thought, an element in the consciousness which is necessary to there being such a thing as the world of phenomena? (§ 45 ¶ 2)