Locke on Primary and Secondary Qualities
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
For Locke, an idea is ‘the immediate object of perception, thought, or understanding’ (§8).1 Perhaps this is something like a concept: he goes on to give examples of white, cold, and round, which look like they have some representational content. What do these ideas represent? Locke defines a quality: ‘the power to produce any idea in our mind, I call quality of the subject wherein that power is’ (§8). The natural thought is that these ideas represent some quality of the object, which quality just is the power that the object has to produce that idea in us. Though the idea is in us, the power or quality is clearly in the object. Sometimes, it is true, we speak loosely and refer to the quality of the object by the same name that we use to refer to the idea in us, and talk of white being in the object, for example. Locke cautions that when we speak like this, we should ‘be understood to mean those qualities in the objects which produce them [the ideas] in us’ (§8)
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
I. C. Tipton (ed.) (1977). Locke on Human Understanding: Selected Essays. Oxford University Press.
Jennifer McKitrick (2002). Reid's Foundation for the Primary/Secondary Quality Distinction. Philosophical Quarterly 52 (209):478-494.
E. Valberg (1980). A Theory of Secondary Qualities. Philosophy 55 (October):437-453.
Samuel C. Rickless (1997). Locke on Primary and Secondary Qualities. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (3):297-319.
Robert A. Wilson (2016). Primary and Secondary Qualities. In Matthew Stuart (ed.), A Companion to Locke. Blackwell 193-211.
David Palmer (1976). Boyle's Corpuscular Hypothesis and Locke's Primary-Secondary Quality Distinction. Philosophical Studies 29 (3):181 - 189.
Lionel Shapiro (2010). Two Kinds of Intentionality in Locke. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (4):554-586.
Michael Jacovides (1999). Locke's Resemblance Theses. Philosophical Review 108 (4):461-496.
Timothy M. Costelloe (2007). So Forward to Imagine. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 10:117-122.
Jonathan Bennett (1965). Substance, Reality, and Primary Qualities. American Philosophical Quarterly 2 (January):1-17.
Robert A. Wilson (2002). Locke's Primary Qualities. Journal of the History of Philosophy 40 (2):201-228.
Keith Allen (2008). Mechanism, Resemblance and Secondary Qualities: From Descartes to Locke. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 16 (2):273 – 291.
Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (2011). Are Colors Secondary Qualities? In L. Nolan (ed.), Primary and Secondary Qualities. Oxford
Added to index2010-11-27
Total downloads477 ( #2,148 of 1,792,066 )
Recent downloads (6 months)36 ( #22,690 of 1,792,066 )
How can I increase my downloads?