Single Idea 3933

[catalogued under 12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / c. Primary qualities]

Full Idea

Sensible qualities are by philosophers divided into primary and secondary; the former are extension, figure, solidity, gravity, motion and rest, which exist really in bodies.

Gist of Idea

Primary qualities (such as shape, solidity, mass) are held to really exist, unlike secondary qualities


George Berkeley (Three Dialogues of Hylas and Philonous [1713], I p.169)

Book Reference

Berkeley,George: 'The Principles of Human Knowledge etc.', ed/tr. Warnock,G.J. [Fontana 1962], p.169

A Reaction

A crucial distinction, which anti-realists such as Berkeley end up denying. I think it is a good distinction, and philosophers should fight to preserve it.