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Locke's Primary Qualities

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • In chapter viii of book ii of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 1 John Locke provides various putative lists of primary qualities. Insofar as they have considered the variation across Locke's lists at all, commentators have usually been content simply either to consider a self-consciously abbreviated list (e.g., \"Size, Shape, etc.\") or a composite list as the list of Lockean primary qualities, truncating such a composite list only by omitting supposedly co-referential terms. Doing the latter with minimal judgment about what terms are co-referential gives us the following list of eleven qualities (in the order in which they appear in this chapter of the Essay): solidity, extension, figure, mobility, motion or rest, number, bulk, texture, motion, size, and situation. 2

  • Date created
    2002
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3FB4X16C
  • License
    © 2002 Johns Hopkins University Press. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Wilson, R.A. (2002). Locke's Primary Qualities. Journal of the History of Philosophy, 40(2), 201-228. https://doi.org/10.1353/hph.2002.0041
  • Link to related item
    https://doi.org/10.1353/hph.2002.0041