Single Idea 6726

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

Full Idea

I desire any one to reflect and try whether he can, by any abstraction of thought, conceive the extension and motion of a body without any sensible qualities.

Gist of Idea

No one can, by abstraction, conceive extension and motion of bodies without sensible qualities


George Berkeley (The Principles of Human Knowledge [1710], 10)

Book Reference

Berkeley,George: 'The Principles of Human Knowledge etc.', ed/tr. Warnock,G.J. [Fontana 1962], p.69

A Reaction

The rather geometrical view of objects found in Descartes and Russell is an attempt to do this. I don't think the fact that we can't really achieve it matters much. We divide primary from secondary qualities in our understanding, not in experience.