Primary Qualities In John Locke's Philosophy

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The main foci of this paper are to delineate the distinction between the primary qualities and secondary qualities of John Locke’s philosophy and its objection. Now some fundamental questions come to my mind such as what is primary quality? What is secondary quality? And why they are different? Before proceeding Locke’s position it is necessary to define two terms which will be used throughout this paper: “idea” and “quality.” “Idea” will refer to the perception the mind has of an object or body through the senses. “Quality” will refer to an attribute which is characteristic of a substance. Furthermore, qualities exist in the external world and ideas exist in the mind. Even though Locke gives different definitions of “idea” and “quality” he often uses the words interchangeably. Keywords: Primary quality, Secondary quality, Perception, Interchangeability, Epistemology,…show more content…
They are constantly found to see in the bodies of matters. The other names of these qualities are called original qualities of matters. Locke suggested that there are six types of primary qualities such as solidarity, extension, figure, motion, rest and number etc. for example; ‘iron is solid’, nobody can reasonably argue that it is gaseous/liquid such as ‘grass is green’ here also no one can reasonably argue that ‘grass is black’, ‘sky is blue’, no one can reasonably argue that ‘sky is pink’, a ball is spherical, no one can reasonably argue that it is triangular. So the solidarity of iron, the greenness of grass, the blueness of sky and the sphericalness of ball are called primary/original qualities. Locke also claims that these are the properties of objects which are independent of any observer. These characteristics convey facts. They exist in the thing itself, can be determined with certainty, and do not rely on subjective
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