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History/traditions: Primary and Secondary Qualities

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  1. Deflating the hard problem of consciousness by multiplying explanatory gaps.Işık Sarıhan - 2024 - Ratio 37 (1):1-13.
    Recent philosophy has seen a resurgence of the realist view of sensible qualities such as colour. The view holds that experienced qualities are properties of the objects in the physical environment, not mentally instantiated properties like qualia or merely intentional, illusory ones. Some suggest that this move rids us of the explanatory gap between physical properties and the qualitative features of consciousness. Others say it just relocates the problem of qualities to physical objects in the environment, given that such qualities (...)
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  2. Pain as a Secondary Quality: A Phenomenological Approach.Alejandro Escudero-Morales - 2023 - Problemos 103:103-116.
    This work proposes that pain meets the requirements of being characterized as a secondary quality, as it covers, like a color, a determined extension. The argument seeks to establish a literal pain-color analogy through an inquiry into the intensity and location of the pain. From the classic intensity/location relationship reported by patients with acute appendicitis, three degrees of pain are distinguished: mild, moderate, and severe. The objective is only achieved by examining the Body’s extensional determinations (primary quality) insofar as each (...)
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  3. Intention and Judgment-Dependence: First-Personal vs. Third-Personal Accounts.Ali Hossein Khani - 2023 - Philosophical Explorations 27 (1):41-56.
    ABSTRACT A Third-Person-Based or Third-Personal Judgment-Dependent account of mental content implies that, as an a priori matter, facts about a subject’s mental content are precisely captured by the judgments of a second-person or an interpreter. Alex Byrne, Bill Child, and others have discussed attributing such a view to Donald Davidson. This account significantly departs from a First-Person-Based or First-Personal Judgment-Dependent account, such as Crispin Wright’s, according to which, as an a priori matter, facts about intentional content are constituted by the (...)
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  4. Intention, Judgement-Dependence and Self-Deception.Ali Hossein Khani - 2023 - Res Philosophica 100 (2):203-226.
    Wright’s judgement-dependent account of intention is an attempt to show that truths about a subject’s intentions can be viewed as constituted by the subject’s own best judgements about those intentions. The judgements are considered to be best if they are formed under certain cognitively optimal conditions, which mainly include the subject’s conceptual competence, attentiveness to the questions about what the intentions are, and lack of any material self-deception. Offering a substantive, non-trivial specification of the no-self-deception condition is one of the (...)
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  5. Response-Dependence and Aesthetic Theory.Alex King - 2023 - In Chris Howard & R. A. Rowland (eds.), Fittingness. Oxford: OUP. pp. 309-326.
    Response-dependence theories have historically been very popular in aesthetics, and aesthetic response-dependence has motivated response-dependence in ethics. This chapter closely examines the prospects for such theories. It breaks this category down into dispositional and fittingness strands of response-dependence, corresponding to descriptive and normative ideal observer theories. It argues that the latter have advantages over the former but are not themselves without issue. Special attention is paid to the relationship between hedonism and response-dependence. The chapter also introduces two aesthetic properties that (...)
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  6. Hume's Incredible Demonstrations.Graham Clay - 2022 - Hume Studies 47 (1):55-77.
    Commentators have rightly focused on the reasons why Hume maintains that the conclusions of skeptical arguments cannot be believed, as well as on the role these arguments play in Hume’s justification of his account of the mind. Nevertheless, Hume’s interpreters should take more seriously the question of whether Hume holds that these arguments are demonstrations. Only if the arguments are demonstrations do they have the requisite status to prove Hume’s point—and justify his confidence—about the nature of the mind’s belief-generating faculties. (...)
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  7. Galileusz i rozróżnienie między jakościami pierwotnymi a wtórnymi (II). Problem statusu ontologicznego wrażeń.Bartosz Żukowski - 2022 - Ruch Filozoficzny 78 (2):33-54.
    "Galileo on the Distinction between Primary and Secondary Qualities (II). The Problem of the Ontological Status of Sensations" The article is a continuation of the paper in which a theoretical analysis of Galileo’s principal argument for the distinction between primary and secondary qualities was provided. It focuses on the problem of the ontological status of secondary qualities/sensations. I discuss three main interpretative approaches to the issue, considered in light of the findings obtained in the first paper. In the first part (...)
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  8. Galileusz i rozróżnienie między jakościami pierwotnymi a wtórnymi (I). Argument superesencjalistyczny.Bartosz Żukowski - 2022 - Ruch Filozoficzny 78 (1):25-49.
    "Galileo on the Distinction between Primary and Secondary Qualities (I). A Superessentialist Argument" Galileo’s distinction between primary and secondary qualities has hitherto been examined almost exclusively from a contextual, historical perspective. This paper, the first of two planned, aims to fill this gap by providing a systematic, theoretical analysis of his principal argument for the distinction, as advanced in "The Assayer". I begin with a reconstruction of the key steps in the argument, and then proceed to identify and discuss the (...)
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  9. Unknowable Colour Facts.Brian Cutter - 2021 - Mind 130 (519):909-941.
    It is common for an object to present different colour appearances to different perceivers, even when the perceivers and viewing conditions are normal. For example, a Munsell chip might look unique green to you and yellowish green to me in normal viewing conditions. In such cases, there are three possibilities. Ecumenism: both experiences are veridical. Nihilism: both experiences are non-veridical. Inegalitarianism: one experience is veridical and the other is non-veridical. Perhaps the most important objection to inegalitarianism is the ignorance objection, (...)
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  10. Synesthesia, Hallucination, and Autism.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2021 - Frontiers in Bioscience 26:797-809.
    Synesthesia literally means a “union of the senses” whereby two or more of the five senses that are normally experienced separately are involuntarily and automatically joined together in experience. For example, some synesthetes experience a color when they hear a sound, although many instances of synesthesia also occur entirely within the visual sense. In this paper, I first mainly engage critically with Sollberger’s view that there is reason to think that at least some synesthetic experiences can be viewed as truly (...)
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  11. The Epistemological Power of Taste.Louise Richardson - 2021 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (3):398-416.
    It is generally accepted that sight—the capacity to see or to have visual experiences—has the power to give us knowledge about things in the environment and some of their properties in a distinctive way. Seeing the goose on the lake puts me in a position to know that it is there and that it has certain properties. And it does this by, when all goes well, presenting us with these features of the goose. One might even think that it is (...)
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  12. Our Body Is the Measure: Malebranche and the Body-Relativity of Sensory Perception.Colin Chamberlain - 2020 - Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 9:37-73.
    Malebranche holds that sensory experience represents the world from the body’s point of view. I argue that Malebranche gives a systematic analysis of this bodily perspective in terms of the claim that the five familiar external senses and bodily awareness represent nothing but relations to the body.
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  13. ‘Let us imagine that God has made a miniature earth and sky’: Malebranche on the Body-Relativity of Visual Size.Colin Chamberlain - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (2):206-224.
    Malebranche holds that visual experience represents the size of objects relative to the perceiver's body and does not represent objects as having intrinsic or nonrelational spatial magnitudes. I argue that Malebranche's case for this body-relative thesis is more sophisticated than other commentators—most notably, Atherton and Simmons —have presented it. Malebranche's central argument relies on the possibility of perceptual variation with respect to size. He uses two thought experiments to show that perceivers of different sizes—namely, miniature people, giants, and typical human (...)
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  14. Many Molyneux Questions.Mohan Matthen & Jonathan Cohen - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (1):47-63.
    Molyneux's Question (MQ) concerns whether a newly sighted man would recognize/distinguish a sphere and a cube by vision, assuming he could previously do this by touch. We argue that (MQ) splits into questions about (a) shared representations of space in different perceptual systems, and about (b) shared ways of constructing higher dimensional spatiotemporal features from information about lower dimensional ones, most of the technical difficulty centring on (b). So understood, MQ resists any monolithic answer: everything depends on the constraints faced (...)
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  15. A Critique of Meillassoux’s Reflections on Mathematics From the Perspective of Bunge’s Philosophy.Martín Orensanz - 2020 - Mεtascience: Scientific General Discourse 1:115-133.
    Quentin Meillassoux is one of the leading French philosophers of today. His first book, Après la finitude : Essai sur la nécessité de la contingence, (2006, translated into English in 2008), has already become a cult classic. It features a préface by his former mentor, Alain Badiou. One of Meillassoux’s main goals is to rehabilitate the distinction between primary and secondary qualities, typical of pre-Kantian philosophies. Specifically, he claims that mathematics is capable of disclosing the primary qualities of any object (...)
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  16. Critique bungéenne de la réflexion de Meillassoux sur les mathématiques.Martín Orensanz - 2020 - Mεtascience: Discours Général Scientifique 1:159-175.
    Quentin Meillassoux est l’un des principaux philosophes français d’aujourd’hui. Son premier livre, Après la finitude. Essai sur la nécessité de la contingence (2006, traduit en anglais en 2008), est déjà un classique. Il comporte une préface de son ancien mentor, Alain Badiou. L’un des princi- paux objectifs de Meillassoux est de réhabiliter la distinction entre qualités premières et qualités secondes, typique des philosophies prékantiennes. Plus précisément, il affirme que les mathématiques sont capables de révéler les qualités premières de tout objet (...)
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  17. Subiektywizacja percepcji zmysłowej i dwa modele idealizmu w filozofii wczesnonowożytnej.Bartosz Żukowski - 2020 - Przegląd Filozoficzny 29 (3/115):145-161.
    "Subjectivisation of Sense Perception and Two Models of Early Modern Idealism" The distinction between primary and secondary qualities, most famously outlined by Galileo, and subsequently supported, inter alia, by Descartes and by Locke has widely been considered one of the crucial factors in the development of modern idealism. In its contemporary form, the distinction identifies some of the perceived properties as mental phenomena due to their content and structural dependence on the mind. However, this account of the primary/secondary distinction is (...)
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  18. Turning up the volume on the property view of sound.Pendaran Roberts - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (4):337-357.
    In the present article, I show that sounds are properties that are not physical in a narrow sense. First, I argue that sounds are properties using Moorean style arguments and defend this property view from various arguments against it that make use of salient disanalogies between sounds and colors. The first disanalogy is that we talk of objects making sounds but not of objects making colors. The second is that we count and quantify over sounds but not colors. The third (...)
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  19. Low-Level Properties in Perceptual Experience.Philip J. Walsh - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 25 (5):682-703.
    Whether perceptual experience represents high-level properties like causation and natural-kind in virtue of its phenomenology is an open question in philosophy of mind. While the question of high-level properties has sparked disagreement, there is widespread agreement that the sensory phenomenology of perceptual experience presents us with low-level properties like shape and color. This paper argues that the relationship between the sensory character of experience and the low-level properties represented therein is more complex than most assume. Careful consideration of mundane examples, (...)
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  20. Loving People for Who They Are (Even When They Don't Love You Back).Sara Protasi - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (1):214-234.
    The debate on love's reasons ignores unrequited love, which—I argue—can be as genuine and as valuable as reciprocated love. I start by showing that the relationship view of love cannot account for either the reasons or the value of unrequited love. I then present the simple property view, an alternative to the relationship view that is beset with its own problems. In order to solve these problems, I present a more sophisticated version of the property view that integrates ideas from (...)
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  21. Primary and secondary qualties.Peter W. Ross - 2016 - In Mohan Matthen (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Perception. Oxford University Press. pp. 405-421.
    The understanding of the primary-secondary quality distinction has shifted focus from the mechanical philosophers’ proposal of primary qualities as explanatorily fundamental to current theorists’ proposal of secondary qualities as metaphysically perceiver dependent. The chapter critically examines this shift and current arguments to uphold the primary-secondary quality distinction on the basis of the perceiver dependence of color; one focus of the discussion is the role of qualia in these arguments. It then describes and criticizes reasons for characterizing color, smell, taste, sound, (...)
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  22. Perceiving Bodies Immediately: Thomas Reid's Insight.Marina Folescu - 2015 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 32 (1):19-36.
    In An Inquiry into the Human Mind and in Essays on Intellectual Powers, Thomas Reid discusses what kinds of things perceivers are related to in perception. Are these things qualities of bodies, the bodies themselves, or both? This question places him in a long tradition of philosophers concerned with understanding how human perception works in connecting us with the external world. It is still an open question in the philosophy of perception whether the human perceptual system is providing us with (...)
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  23. Sensazioni o proprietà sensibili? Lo statuto ontologico dei qualia in fenomenologia.Andrea Pace Giannotta - 2015 - In Roberta Lanfredini (ed.), Architettura della conoscenza e ontologia. Mimesis. pp. 157-187.
    In this paper, I address the issue of the ontological status of qualitative properties. I discuss the prevalent approaches to the problem of qualia in philosophy of mind, in relation to the various attempts at naturalizing the mind and the various theories of perception. I compare these views with Husserl's phenomenology, highlighting the phenomenological distinction between phenomenal contents of mental states and sensory properties of the perceived objects. I present some open issues of this view, in order to show how (...)
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  24. Seeing White and Wrong: Reid on the Role of Sensations in Perception, with a Focus on Color Perception.Lucas Thorpe - 2015 - In Rebecca Copenhaver & Todd Buras (eds.), Thomas Reid on Mind, Knowledge, and Value (Mind Association Occasional Series). Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 100-123.
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  25. Two types of qualia theory.Pär Sundström - 2014 - The Harvard Review of Philosophy 20:107-131.
    This paper distinguishes two types of qualia theory, which I call Galilean and non-Galilean qualia theories. It also offers considerations against each type of theory. To my mind the considerations are powerful. In any case, they bring out the importance of distinguishing the two types of theory. For they show that different considerations come into play—or considerations come into play in quite different ways—in assessing the two types of theory.
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  26. Are colours visually complex?Pär Sundström - 2013 - In Christer Svennerlind, Jan Almäng & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Johanssonian Investigations. Essays in Honour of Ingvar Johansson on His Seventieth Birthday. Ontos Verlag.
    This paper articulates a case for supposing that all shades of colour are visually complex.
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  27. Redness, Reality, and Relationalism.Jonathan Cohen - 2012 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 12 (3):351-378.
    In this paper I reply to two sets of criticisms—a first from Joshua Gert, and a second from Keith Allen—of the relationalist view of color developed and defended in my book, The Red and the Real: An Essay on Color Ontology.
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  28. Thomas Aquinas, Perceptual Resemblance, Categories, and the Reality of Secondary Qualities.Paul Symington - 2011 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 85:237-252.
    Arguably one of the most fundamental phase shifts that occurred in the intellectual history of Western culture involved the ontological reduction of secondary qualities to primary qualities. To say the least, this reduction worked to undermine the foundations undergirding Aristotelian thought in support of a scientific view of the world based strictly on an examination of the real—primary— qualities of things. In this essay, I identify the so-called “Causal Argument” for a reductive view of secondary qualities and seek to deflect (...)
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  29. Color Experience: A Semantic Theory.Mohan Matthen - 2010 - In Jonathan Cohen & Mohan Matthen (eds.), Color Ontology and Color Science. MIT Press. pp. 67--90.
    What is the relationship between color experience and color? Here, I defend the view that it is semantic: color experience denotes color in a code innately known by the perceiver. This semantic theory contrasts with a variety of theories according to which color is defined as the cause of color experience (in a special set of circumstances). It also contrasts with primary quality theories of color, which treat color as a physical quantity. I argue that the semantic theory better accounts (...)
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  30. Sensory qualities, sensible qualities, sensational qualities.Alex Byrne - 2009 - In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Philosophers of mind have distinguished (and sometimes conflated) various qualities. This article tries to sort things out.
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  31. The Situation-Dependency of Perception.Susanna Schellenberg - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (2):55-84.
    I argue that perception is necessarily situation-dependent. The way an object is must not just be distinguished from the way it appears and the way it is represented, but also from the way it is presented given the situational features. First, I argue that the way an object is presented is best understood in terms of external, mind-independent, but situation-dependent properties of objects. Situation-dependent properties are exclusively sensitive to and ontologically dependent on the intrinsic properties of objects, such as their (...)
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  32. The mind-body problem and explanatory dualism.Nicholas Maxwell - 2000 - Philosophy 75 (291):49-71.
    An important part of the mind-brain problem arises because sentience and consciousness seem inherently resistant to scientific explanation and understanding. The solution to this dilemma is to recognize, first, that scientific explanation can only render comprehensible a selected aspect of what there is, and second, that there is a mode of explanation and understanding, the personalistic, quite different from, but just as viable as, scientific explanation. In order to understand the mental aspect of brain processes - that aspect we know (...)
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  33. The structures of the common-sense world.Barry Smith - 1995 - Acta Philosophica Fennica 58:290–317.
    While contemporary philosophers have devoted vast amounts of attention to the language we use in describing and finding our way about the world of everyday experience, they have, with few exceptions, refused to see this world itself as a fitting object of theoretical concern. In what follows I shall seek to show how the commonsensical world might be treated ontologically as an object of investigation in its own right. At the same time I shall seek to establish how such a (...)
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  34. Sensory Representation and Cognitive Architecture: An alternative to phenomenal concepts.Peter Fazekas & Zoltán Jakab - manuscript
    We present a cognitive-physicalist account of phenomenal consciousness. We argue that phenomenal concepts do not differ from other types of concepts. When explaining the peculiarities of conscious experience, the right place to look at is sensory/ perceptual representations and their interaction with general conceptual structures. We utilize Jerry Fodor’s psycho- semantic theory to formulate our view. We compare and contrast our view with that of Murat Aydede and Güven Güzeldere, who, using Dretskean psychosemantic theory, arrived at a solution different from (...)
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  35. A Reply to "Sensory Qualities...": A letter to Alex Byrne from a perplexed reader.Gerald D. Lame - manuscript
    This is a letter from an amateur philosopher to Alex Byrne expressing perplexity on reading Byrne's chapter in The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Mind, "Sensory Qualities, Sensible Qualities, Sensational Qualities" (2009). A version of the theory of indirect perception is described using several analogies and one autobiographical episode. It is described as a realization that occurred historically and may occur to individuals, supplanting default naive realism. Byrne's readings of various philosophers' accounts of sensory qualities are then contrasted with (...)
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  36. Sensualism (the Universal Correlates of Qualia).Lorenzo Sleakes - manuscript
    It is hard to believe that colors, sounds, tastes and feelings, the essential ingredients of the world as we know it, never existed in the universe until complex nervous systems appeared. This paper explores the idea that phenomenal experiences made of sensible qualities such as colors and sounds exist physically as the “clothing” of matter and are real public appearances that may be experienced by any locally situated subject, shared by multiple such subjects, or may even exist unperceived. In this (...)
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