A Supposedly Fun Thing We Should Never Do Again: The Utter Hopelessness of Secondary Quality Theories

Speaker: Prof. Zed Adams  (New School for Social Research, New York)

Since Locke, a distinction has been established between two types of qualities: namely, ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ qualities. While the former (e.g., size, extension, motion) are supposed to represent ‘real,’ ‘objective’ properties that are inherent to the ‘objects themselves,’ the latter (e.g., color, smell, roughness) possess a metaphysical or epistemological status, which, in a more specified sense, is considered secondary, derived, or ‘subjective.’ It is often assumed that such qualities can only be identified and defined through their effects on perceiving and thinking subjects. Variations of this distinction influence philosophical debates to this day, and their exact meaning and interpretation are controversially discussed. In his lecture, Professor Zed Adams will critically examine the legitimacy of this discourse, which is located at the intersection of metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophy of mind.

The event is open to the public.

Date: 25/01/2024 16:00-18:00

Location:

Conference Room of the International Center for Philosophy NRW (IZPH)
Poppelsdorfer Allee 28
53115 Bonn
3rd floor (elevator available)
Entrance area not barrier-free

Leave a comment