Single Idea 16726

[catalogued under 12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / b. Primary/secondary]

Full Idea

The entire difficulty in this question is why through a knowledge of the primary tangible qualities we cannot come to a knowledge of flavors or odors, since these are their causes, since we often go from knowledge of causes to knowing their effects.

Gist of Idea

Why can't we deduce secondary qualities from primary ones, if they cause them?


Jean Buridan (Questions on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics [1344], I.28c), quoted by Robert Pasnau - Metaphysical Themes 1274-1671 22.2

Book Reference

Pasnau,Robert: 'Metaphysical Themes 1274-1671' [OUP 2011], p.497

A Reaction

He is commenting on Idea 16725. Still a nice puzzle in the philosophy of mind. Will neuroscientists ever be able to infer to actual character of some quale, just from the structures of the neurons?

Related Ideas

Idea 16725 Some knowledge is lost if you lose a sense, and there is no way the knowledge can be replaced [Aristotle]

Idea 16731 Colours arise from the rarity, density and mixture of matter [Digby]