more from Brian Ellis

Single Idea 5466

[catalogued under 12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / c. Primary qualities]

Full Idea

For Boyle, Locke and Newton, the qualities inherent in bodies were just the primary qualities, namely number, figure, size, texture, motion and configuration of parts, impenetrability and, perhaps, body (or mass).

Gist of Idea

Primary qualities are number, figure, size, texture, motion, configuration, impenetrability and (?) mass


Brian Ellis (The Philosophy of Nature: new essentialism [2002], Ch.4)

Book Reference

Ellis,Brian: 'The Philosophy of Nature: new essentialism' [Acumen 2002], p.60

A Reaction

It is nice to have a list. Ellis goes on to say these are too passive, and urges dispositions as primary. Even so, the original seventeenth century insight seems to me a brilliant step forward in our understanding of the world.