Primary and Secondary Qualities: The Historical and Ongoing Debate

Hardcover | June 5, 2011

EditorLawrence Nolan

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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 philosophicalreflections on qualities from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. 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 thedistinction, 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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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 ...

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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Format:HardcoverDimensions:416 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.1 inPublished:June 5, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199556156

ISBN - 13:9780199556151

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Mi-Kyoung Lee: The Distinction between Primary and Secondary Qualities in Ancient Atomism2. Robert Pasnau: Scholastic Qualities, Primary and Secondary3. Antonia LoLordo: Gassendi and the 17th-Century Atomists on Primary and Secondary Qualities4. Lawrence Nolan: Descartes on 'What We Call Colour'5. Lisa Downing: Sensible Qualities and Material Bodies in Descartes and Boyle6. Michael Ayers: Primary and Secondary Qualities in Locke's Essay7. Edwin McCann: Locke's Distinction between Primary Primary Qualities and Secondary Primary Qualities8. Martha Bolton: Primary and Secondary Qualities in the Phenomenalist Theory of Leibniz9. Alan Nelson and David Landy: Qualities and Simple Ideas: Hume and his Debt to Berkeley10. Kenneth P. Winkler: Hume and the Sensible Qualities11. James Van Cleve: Reid on the Real Foundation of the Primary-Secondary Quality Distinction12. Gary Hatfield: Kant and Helmholtz on Primary and Secondary Qualities13. Alex Byrne and David Hilbert: Are Colors Secondary Qualities?14. Barry Maund: Color EliminativismBibliography