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3.6b. Primary and Secondary Qualities (Primary and Secondary Qualities on PhilPapers)

See also:
Allen, Keith (2008). Mechanism, resemblance and secondary qualities: From Descartes to Locke. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 16 (2):273 – 291.   (Google)
Armstrong, David M. (1987). Smart and the secondary qualities. In Philip Pettit, Richard Sylvan & J. Norman (eds.), Metaphysics And Morality. Blackwell.   (Cited by 26 | Google)
Averill, Edward W. (1982). The primary-secondary quality distinction. Philosophical Review 91 (July):343-362.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Beck, Lewis White (1946). Secondary quality. Journal of Philosophy 43 (October):599-609.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Bennett, Jonathan (1965). Substance, reality, and primary qualities. American Philosophical Quarterly 2 (January):1-17.   (Cited by 19 | Google)
Blackburn, Simon W. (1993). Circles, finks, smells and biconditionals. Philosophical Perspectives 7:259-279.   (Cited by 18 | Google | More links)
Brittan Jr, Gordon G. (1969). Measurability, commonsensibility, and primary qualities. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 47 (1):15 – 24.   (Google | More links)
Brooks, D. H. M. (1992). Secondary qualities and representation. Analysis 52 (3):174-179.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Charlesworth, Maurice (1987). Hacker on secondary qualities. Mind 76 (July):386-391.   (Google | More links)
Cummins, Phillip D. (1963). Perceptual relativity and ideas in the mind. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 24 (December):202-214.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Dicker, Georges (1977). Primary and secondary qualities: A proposed modification of the Lockean account. Southern Journal of Philosophy 15:457-471.   (Google)
Egan, Andy (2006). Secondary qualities and self-location. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (1):97-119.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Colors aren't as real as shapes. Shapes are full?fledged qualities of things in themselves, independent of how they're perceived and by whom. Colors aren't. Colors are merely qualities of things as they are for us, and the colors of things depend on who is perceiving them. When we take the fully objective view of the world, things keep their shapes, but the colors fall away, revealed as the mere artifacts of our own subjective, parochial perspective on the world that they are
Fischer, Eugen (2009). Philosophical pictures and secondary qualities. Synthese 171 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: The paper presents a novel account of nature and genesis of some philosophical problems, which vindicates a new approach to an arguably central and extensive class of such problems: The paper develops the Wittgensteinian notion of ‘philosophical pictures’ with the help of some notions adapted from metaphor research in cognitive linguistics and from work on unintentional analogical reasoning in cognitive psychology. The paper shows that adherence to such pictures systematically leads to the formulation of unwarranted claims, ill-motivated problems, and pointless theories. To do so, the paper proceeds from a case-study on a lastingly influential development in early modern philosophy: the adoption of the doctrine of secondary qualities, and its principal consequences. The findings motivate a new approach to an arguably extensive and important class of philosophical problems: to the problems we raise in the grip of philosophical pictures
Frohlich, Fanchon (1959). Primary qualities in physical explanation. Mind 68 (April):209-217.   (Google | More links)
Gibson, James J. (1969). Are there sensory qualities of objects? Synthese 19 (April):408-409.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Holman, Emmett (2006). Dualism and secondary quality eliminativism. Philosophical Studies 128:229--56.   (Google)
Abstract: Frank Jackson formulated his knowledge argument as an argument for dualism. In this paper I show how the argument can be modified to also establish the irreducibility of the secondary qualities to the properties of physical theory, and ultimately "secondary quality eliminativism"- the view that the secondary qualities are physically uninstantiated.
Kneale, William C. (1951). Sensation and the physical world. Philosophical Quarterly 1 (January):109-126.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Kulvicki, John (2005). Perceptual content, information, and the primary/secondary quality distinction. Philosophical Studies 122 (2):103-131.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Our perceptual systems make information about the world available to our cognitive faculties. We come to think about the colors and shapes of objects because we are built somehow to register the instantiation of these properties around us. Just how we register the presence of properties and come to think about them is one of the central problems with understanding perceptual cognition. Another problem in the philosophy of perception concerns the nature of the properties whose presence we register. Among the perceptible properties are colors and shapes, for example, and there is a long philosophical tradition of drawing and refusing to draw metaphysical distinctions between them. This paper makes a claim about the information-theoretic approach to perceptual cognition in order to argue for a fundamentally epistemological distinction between colors and shapes. What makes shapes and colors seem so different to us is how we carry information about their presence around us. In particular, we can come to know more about the shapes on the basis of perceiving them than we can come to know about the colors. One interesting feature of how this distinction is drawn is that it partially vindicates Locke’s claim that our ideas of primary qualities like shapes resemble them in ways our ideas of colors do not
Levin, Janet (1987). Physicalism and the subjectivity of secondary qualities. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 65 (December):400-411.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Lewis, Douglas (1970). Some problems of perceptions. Philosophy of Science 37 (March):100-113.   (Google | More links)
Lovejoy, Arthur O. (1913). Secondary qualities and subjectivity. Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 10 (8):214-218.   (Google | More links)
Matthen, Mohan (2010). Color Experience: A Semantic Theory. In Jonathan Cohen & Mohan Matthen (eds.), Color Ontology and Color Science. MIT Press.   (Google)
Abstract: What is the relationship between color experience and color? Here, I defend the view that it is semantic: color experience denotes color in a code innately known by the perceiver. This semantic theory contrasts with a variety of theories according to which color is defined as the cause of color experience (in a special set of circumstances). It also contrasts with primary quality theories of color, which treat color as a physical quantity. I argue that the semantic theory better accounts for the kinds of knowledge we have regarding both the color of objects that we see and of the colors themselves.
McGinn, Colin (1983). The Subjective View: Secondary Qualities And Indexical Thoughts. Clarendon Press.   (Cited by 100 | Google)
Abstract: This book investigates the subjective and objective representations of the world, developing analogies between secondary qualities and indexical thoughts and arguing that subjective representations are ineliminable. Throughout, McGinn brings together historical and contemporary discussions to illuminate old problems in a novel way
McKitrick, Jennifer (2002). Reid's foundation for the primary/secondary quality distinction. Philosophical Quarterly 52 (209):478-494.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
McNaughton, David (1984). McGinn on experience of primary and secondary qualities. Analysis 44 (2):78-80.   (Google)
Millar, Roderick (1983). Valberg's secondary qualities. Philosophy 58 (January):107-109.   (Google)
Miscevic, Nenad (2001). Painting the manifest picture. Acta Analytica 16 (26):75-96.   (Google)
Miscevic, Nenad (1997). Secondary and tertiary qualities: Semantics and response--dependence. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (4):363-379.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Secondary and tertiary qualities are plausibly explained along dispositionalist lines. Concepts of such qualities are response-dependent, denoting properties that are partly mind/brain-dependent. Unfortunately, dispositionalism is hard to square with extant versions of naturalistic theories of representation. In particular the standard naturalistic (indicational) semantics of representational content cannot handle the question from either the subjectivist or the dispositional viewpoint. The paper proposes a remedy: the problem can be solved in a smooth and natural way, provided that we revise and supplement the standard semantics in a rather obvious fashion, by allowing the mind/brain-involving properties to figure within it
Moked, Gabriel (1988). Particles And Ideas: Bishop Berkeley's Corpuscularian Philosophy. Clarendon Press.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Abstract: Demonstrating that in George Berkeley's last major work, Siris, Berkeley had converted to a belief in the usefulness of the concept and existence of minute particles, Moked here posits that Berkeley developed a highly original brand of corpuscularian physics
Nadler, Steven M. (1990). Berkeley's ideas and the primary/secondary distinction. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 20 (1):47-61.   (Google)
Narski, Igor (1974). The question of the objective content of sensations. Ajatus 36:44-74.   (Google)
Novitz, David (1975). Primary and secondary qualities: A return to fundamentals. Philosophical Papers 4 (October):89-104.   (Google)
Olding, A. (1968). Armstrong, Smart and the ontological status of secondary qualities. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 46 (1):52 – 64.   (Google)
O'Shaughnessy, Brian (1986). Secondary qualities. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 67 (July):153-171.   (Google)
Pettit, P. (1991). Realism and response-dependence. Mind 100 (4):587-626.   (Cited by 56 | Google | More links)
Railton, Peter A. (1998). Red, bitter, good. In European Review of Philosophy, Volume 3: Response-Dependence. Stanford: CSLI Publications.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Rickless, Samuel C. (1997). Locke on primary and secondary qualities. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (3):297-319.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In this paper, I argue that Book II, Chapter viii of Locke' Essay is a unified, self-consistent whole, and that the appearance of inconsistency is due largely to anachronistic misreadings and misunderstandings. The key to the distinction between primary and secondary qualities is that the former are, while the latter are not, real properties, i.e., properties that exist in bodies independently of being perceived. Once the distinction is properly understood, it becomes clear that Locke's arguments for it are simple, valid and (in one case) persuasive as well
Sandoe, Peter (1988). Secondary qualities--subjective and intrinsic. Theoria 54:200-219.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Smith, A. D. (1990). Of primary and secondary qualities. Philosophical Review 99 (2):221-254.   (Cited by 13 | Google | More links)
Tully, R. E. (1976). Reduction and secondary qualities. Mind 85 (July):351-370.   (Google | More links)
Valberg, E. (1980). A theory of secondary qualities. Philosophy 55 (October):437-453.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Vision, Gerald (1982). Primary and secondary qualities: An essay in epistemology. Erkenntnis 17 (March):135-170.   (Google | More links)
Abstract:   It seems almost a truism to say that colour is a sensation; and yet Young, by honestly recognizing this elementary truth, established the first consistent theory of colour. So far as I know, Thomas Young was the first who, starting from the well-known fact that there are three primary colours, sought for the explanation of this fact, not in the nature of light, but in the constitution of man. (James Clerk Maxwell, p. 267.)It is doubtless scientific to disregard certain aspects when we work; but to urge that therefore such aspects are not fact, and that what we use without them is an independent real thing-this is barbarous metaphysics. (F. H. Bradley, p. 15.)
Williams, C. J. F. (1969). Are primary qualities qualities? Philosophical Quarterly 19 (October):310-323.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Wright, C. (1988). Moral values, projection, and secondary qualities. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume 63:1-26.   (Cited by 44 | Google)