StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

The Viability of Primary and Secondary Qualities - Book Report/Review Example

Nobody downloaded yet
First, his work serves as an authoritative statement of the distinction. Second, his work serves as the basis for those whom deny the validity of the distinction. Therefore, the work of Locke is quite suitable as a starting point for an analysis of the validity of the distinction between primary qualities and secondary qualities.
One of Locke's main points is that what we do know about the world is a matter of perception. In this way he sets out to distinguish, by virtue of his primary versus secondary qualities analysis, actuality from our sensory interpretations.
The viability of this distinction has been questioned. George Berkeley and A.J. Ayers have pointed out what they claim to be contradictory assertions by Locke. They deny the logical cohesion and therefore the viability of his distinction. They point out epistemological problems which, they assert, render his distinction nothing more than speculation. Locke, in their view, is hardly an empiricist. Some have argued that Berkeley and his philosophical progeny have either misunderstood or mischaracterized Locke's work. What is the truth of the matter This essay will present Locke's distinction between primary and secondary qualities, criticisms of this distinction, and a personal statement regarding the validity of the distinction between primary qualities and secondary qualities.
As a preliminary, it is necessary to define what Locke means by...
From this initial definition of a quality, Locke proceeds to divide a quality into two specific types. He attempts to draw a distinction between what he terms primary qualities and secondary qualities.
Locke characterizes primary qualities as being inseparable from the object being observed. Everything has fundamental properties. These fundamental properties are constant and cannot be ignored. As an example, Locke presents the following,
Take a grain of wheat, divide it into two parts; each part has still solidity, extension, figure, and mobility: divide it again, and it retains still the same qualities; and so divide it on, till the parts become insensible; they must retain still each of them all those qualities. For division (which is all that a mill, or pestle, or any other body, does upon another, in reducing it to insensible parts) can never take away either solidity, extension, figure, or mobility from any body, but only makes two or more distinct separate masses of matter... These I call original or primary qualities of body, which I think we may observe to produce simple ideas in us, viz. solidity, extension, figure, motion or rest, and number (2:8:9).
Locke therefore views solids, extensions, figures, motion or rest, and number as primary qualities. These qualities produce in us ideas about the object being observed. A justified knowledge of the primary qualities is inherent not in our ideas, which are the effects, but in the object. These primary qualities, being primary, survive arbitrary division. These primary qualities do produce ideas in us and, significantly, these ideas resemble the primary qualities which ...Show more
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“The Viability of Primary and Secondary Qualities Book Report/Review”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(The Viability of Primary and Secondary Qualities Book Report/Review)
“The Viability of Primary and Secondary Qualities Book Report/Review”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times


The distinction between primary and secondary qualities, for John Locke, is an issue of fundamental importance. Our knowledge of the world around us, in his view, is dependent on this distinction. He was not the first philosopher to believe in the validity of the distinction…
The Viability of Primary and Secondary Qualities
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the book report/review on your topic
"The Viability of Primary and Secondary Qualities"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

The Sociology of Deviance: Differences, Tradition, and Stigma by Robert Franzese
Book Review on “The Sociology of Deviance: Differences, Tradition, and Stigma” Introduction Robert j. Franzese jr is a professor of philosophy and holds a PhD in government, he also holds several other qualifications such as A.M., Economics, Harvard University, 1995, A.M., Government, Harvard University, 1992, and B.A.
4 pages (1000 words) Book Report/Review
The 7 habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
It was written with the purpose to provide the review of the given book and to evaluate it in terms of its usefulness. The main idea of the book is “Every man is the architect of his own fortune”. The author emphasizes the role of habits and states that it is never late to change our habits.
10 pages (2500 words) Book Report/Review
Comparing the (Secondary) Sources
The problems of the Great Depression are one of the most widely discussed topics of the 20th century American history. The immense influence exerted by the events of the tumultuous 1930s left an indelible imprint upon the American society, economic system and culture, having a great impact on the formation of modern institutional framework of America.
3 pages (750 words) Book Report/Review
Vladimir Nabokovs Lolita
Reviewers of the novel have both praised and condemned the novel for its treatment of art and ethics, in turning a story of ethical depravity into an alluring narrative that justifies the moral decadence pervading the novel. In his 2000 review of the novel, Lolita's Loose Ends: Nabokov and the Boundless Novel, James Tweedie presents the novel, despite its "salacious content", as a pure literary feat, claiming that the novel "begins with an immoderate conceit that allows its author and reader to explore the extravagant, pleasurable, and disturbing fringes of the language." [Tweedie, 1] Endorsing Nabakov's view of the novel as 'a love affair with English literature', the study reveals how Hum
4 pages (1000 words) Book Report/Review
Curriculum for Secondary Schools
The topic encompass, critical thinking with a futuristic and wide thoughtful perspective, development of curriculum which can prepare the schools right from the beginning and provide a vision to march ahead to meet the goals and set objectives, planning activities that enhance decision making skills with rapid and accurate decision, assessment of education, its history and changes that are required to set the new trends.
2 pages (500 words) Book Report/Review
Primary research Book Report/Review
Sometimes, either due to small numbers of samples or improper methods, the results may be unclear or inaccurate and may warrant further sampling or other corrective methods in order to arrive at more precise conclusions. In such cases, a secondary analysis of the initial research is done to identify the weaker aspects of the initial research, giving pointers to future line of action.
6 pages (1500 words) Book Report/Review
Group report
Located in the heart of Chicago, the pastry enterprise serves as the greatest provider of pastry products in the city. The industry has five sub branches within the
10 pages (2500 words) Book Report/Review
sources, the author, MCElvaine has culled approximately 200 communications that best display the predicaments, considerations, and feelings of common citizens of America during this time period. The depression was not comparable to economic failure. It was the great personal
4 pages (1000 words) Book Report/Review
Developing an Innovative Organization
en credited for their unique and outstanding products and services that are designed in such a way that they appeal to many customers from different walks of life. However, an enabling culture in the organization is essential if it is to achieve successful innovation. As such,
3 pages (750 words) Book Report/Review
Political Economy of Race, Class and Gender
In this theory, Karl Marx discusses capitalism economic system which has two main classes. These are the capitalists who own the means of production and the majority working class who offer their labor power
1 pages (250 words) Book Report/Review
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Let us find you another Book Report/Review on topic The Viability of Primary and Secondary Qualities for FREE!
Contact us:
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • The Newest Essay Topics
  • Index samples by all dates
Join us:
Contact Us