Primary and Secondary Qualities

Primary and Secondary Qualities : The Historical and Ongoing Debate

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Description

Fourteen newly commissioned essays trace the historical development of the distinction between primary and secondary qualities, which lies at the intersection of issues in metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of perception. Primary and Secondary Qualities focuses on the age of the Scientific Revolution, the locus classicus of the distinction, but begins with chapters on ancient Greek and Scholastic accounts of qualities in an effort to identify
its origins. The remainder of the volume is devoted to philosophical reflections on qualities from the seventeenth century to the present day. Virtually every major figure is represented from Gassendi to Kant, and special attention is paid to Locke, Descartes, and Hume. The essays collected here cover a wide range of
topics, including the foundation for the distinction, the question of whether or not it is metaphysical or merely epistemic, the status of secondary qualities, the nature of sensory representation, the relation between philosophy and science, the status of dispositions, and the semantics of sensible-quality terms.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 162 x 240 x 30mm | 780g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199556156
  • 9780199556151
  • 1,905,842

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. The Distinction between Primary and Secondary Qualities in Ancient Atomism ; 2. Scholastic Qualities, Primary and Secondary ; 3. Gassendi and the 17th-Century Atomists on Primary and Secondary Qualities ; 4. Descartes on 'What We Call Colour' ; 5. Sensible Qualities and Material Bodies in Descartes and Boyle ; 6. Primary and Secondary Qualities in Locke's Essay ; 7. Locke's Distinction between Primary Primary Qualities and Secondary Primary Qualities ; 8. Primary and Secondary Qualities in the Phenomenalist Theory of Leibniz ; 9. Qualities and Simple Ideas: Hume and his Debt to Berkeley ; 10. Hume and the Sensible Qualities ; 11. Reid on the Real Foundation of the Primary-Secondary Quality Distinction ; 12. Kant and Helmholtz on Primary and Secondary Qualities ; 13. Are Colors Secondary Qualities? ; 14. Color Eliminativism ; Bibliography
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Review Text

Primary and Secondary Qualities is essential reading both for those focused on early modern philosophy and for philosophers concerned more generally with the metaphysics and epistemology of qualities. John Bricke, Mind
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Review quote

Primary and Secondary Qualities is essential reading both for those focused on early modern philosophy and for philosophers concerned more generally with the metaphysics and epistemology of qualities. * John Bricke, Mind * an excellent collection ... represents a significant contribution to our understanding of the development of ideas about primary and secondary qualitues since antiquity, and demonstrates the abiding importance of the subject to historians of philosophy and contemporary philosophers alike. * University of York, Locke Studies, An Annual Journal of Locke Research * a first-rate collection of papers. The editor, Lawrence Nolan, did a terrific job selecting authors, and he has impressive persuasive powers... Everybody working on primary and secondary qualities ought to read this book. I also recommend it for anyone working on early modern metaphysics and epistemology. The best papers are excellent, and even the lesser papers are interesting, provocative and pretty good. Nolan and Oxford should be congratulated on a job well done. * Michael Jacovides, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
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About Lawrence Nolan

Lawrence Nolan is Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Long Beach. He is the author of numerous essays in early modern philosophy and is currently editing the Cambridge Descartes Lexicon.
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