Single Idea 7051

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

Full Idea

Secondary qualities are not distinct from primary qualities: an object's possession of a given secondary quality is a matter of its possession of certain complex primary qualities.

Gist of Idea

Objects only have secondary qualities because they have primary qualities


John Heil (From an Ontological Point of View [2003], 17.3)

Book Reference

Heil,John: 'From an Ontological Point of View' [OUP 2005], p.200

A Reaction

The bottom line here is that, if essentialism is right, colours are not properties at all (see Idea 5456). Heil wants to subsume secondary properties within primary properties. I think we should sharply distinguish them.

Related Idea

Idea 5456 Redness is not a property as it is not mind-independent [Ellis]