more from Robert Boyle

Single Idea 15962

[catalogued under 12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / d. Secondary qualities]

Full Idea

Perhaps Boyle's most important technical terms is 'texture'. ...It must not be confused with the way we feel the texture of a surface like sandpaper or velvet; it is rather a structure of unobservable particles and so it is not directly observable.

Gist of Idea

Boyle's term 'texture' is not something you feel, but is unobservable structures of particles


report of Robert Boyle (The Origin of Forms and Qualities [1666]) by Peter Alexander - Ideas, Qualities and Corpuscles 03.2

Book Reference

Alexander,Peter: 'Ideas, Qualities and Corpuscles' [CUP 1985], p.66

A Reaction

This is the basis for Alexander's reassessment of what Boyle and Locke meant by a 'secondary quality', which, he says, is a physical feature of objects, not a mental experience.