Journals Higher Education



Published: 01 November 2017

192 Pages | 2 b/w illus. 2 b/w tables

6.14 x 9.21 inches

ISBN: 9781474417846

Bookseller Code (06)

Thomas Reid and the Problem of Secondary Qualities

Christopher A. Shrock

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Edinburgh Studies in Scottish Philosophy

With a new reading of Thomas Reid on primary and secondary qualities, Christopher A. Shrock illuminates the Common Sense theory of perception. Shrock follow's Reid's lead in defending common sense philosophy against the problem of secondary qualities, which claims that our perceptions are only experiences in our brains, and don't let us know about the world around us. At the same time, Schrock maintains a healthy optimism about science and reason.

Common sense philosophy, also known as naïve or direct realism, states that we connect with the physical world around us through our perception of it. The opposite view to this is 'the problem of secondary qualities', which relegates our perceptions - from colours, smells, sounds and tastes to how long something looks or how heavy something feels - to the mental realm, because science has no objective place for them. The logical conclusion of this argument is that we can never perceive physical objects or their properties through our senses.


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