more from George Berkeley

Single Idea 3937

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

Full Idea

By 'solidity' either you do not mean any sensible quality, and so it is beside our enquiry; or if you do, it must be hardness or resistance, which are plainly relative to our senses.

Gist of Idea

'Solidity' is either not a sensible quality at all, or it is clearly relative to our senses


George Berkeley (Three Dialogues of Hylas and Philonous [1713], I p.173)

Book Reference

Berkeley,George: 'The Principles of Human Knowledge etc.', ed/tr. Warnock,G.J. [Fontana 1962], p.173

A Reaction

Berkeley fails to recognise that a quality can have primary and secondary aspects (hot/high temperature). He is right that primary qualities are not directly perceived. They are judgements.