Descartes Say About Primary Qualities

Rene Descartes and John Locke both have similar theories about primary characteristics. They both hold the same position on what is that primary features are. Both of these believe that major qualities have the energy to cause ideas inside our minds. The primary variation between their ideas lies in whether primary characteristics are perceived by means of the senses or by the intellect.

Rene Descartes assumed that we now have two types of characteristics, primary and secondary qualities. To Rene Descartes, main qualities are those that are obviously and distinctly identified by us (33). These attributes are those that exist due to their geometric integrity and which can be related to some extension of an body in space. By this reasoning, Descartes thinks these primary features are comprised of whatever is measurable and can have math applied to them such as movement, shape and size. Descartes believes that primary attributes aren't misleading like secondary qualities are. It is because the substance of secondary qualities is not geometric and so these features are recognized obscurely. Nevertheless both of these attributes produce ideas within us. The difference about the ideas made by these qualities lie in whether it is clear and distinctive or obscure and perplexed. The reason that these secondary qualities are often misleading and principal qualities aren't is because we perceive both of these qualities in a different way.

Descartes claims that primary features, unlike secondary qualities, are perceived obviously and distinctly. This he beliefs, is because of the fact our method that we pass perceiving these characteristics is different. Primary qualities are identified through our intellect as opposed to secondary qualities that happen to be perceived through our senses (14). Descartes is convinced that our understanding comes through our intellect rather than our senses, therefore the ideas that people have the ability to grasp from major qualities are not by means of our senses but instead by means of our intellect being that they are clear and distinctive unlike those ideas which come from our senses that are obscure and baffled. Both most important and secondary qualities are recognized by the mind immediately and therefore lead to the ideas we've (32). Unlike secondary qualities, primary qualities are top features of the physical things that are in fact there but we come to comprehend the ideas produced by primary qualities entirely through our intellect.

Descartes uses the exemplory case of a thousand-sided amount showing how primary features produce these clear and unique ideas set alongside the often deceptive ideas of extra qualities (sixth meditation). He states that the thoughts through the senses is able to create an obscured and confused idea in regards to a thousand sided number compared to the intellect which is able to perceive it evidently no matter just how many sides the body has. These ideas, which can be a product of primary features are related to expansion and are therefore identified by our intellect using our understanding (6th meditation). Descartes theory on major qualities has some similarity to John Lockes but differs how it is that these ideas become about within us.

John Lockes viewpoint regarding primary and secondary attributes is comparable to some extent to Descartes theory of primary and secondary characteristics. To Locke, most important attributes are spatiotemporal and quantitative. Therefore like Descartes, primary qualities are comprised of size and shape, something which is measurable (135). Like Descartes, Locke feels that these characteristics have the effect of producing the ideas that people have within us. A concept to Locke is the idea or understanding which is produced by the thing. He calls the energy that an object has to produce such ideas within us, characteristics. Locke expresses that ideas are existent in our minds. To Locke these qualities are properties owned by the objects and are the cause of the ideas that people house in our heads (134). The difference between main qualities and extra features to Locke is the sorts of ideas these have the ability to produce inside our minds. Locke is convinced that the ideas produced by primary features are a resemblance of these qualities. Locke feels that these characteristics are in reality existent in the objects themselves. On the other hand, those of extra qualities keep no resemblance to them (136). Unlike Descartes, John Locke has some other theory where we acquire these ideas.

Unlike Descartes, John Locke is convinced that people acquire our ideas through the perception of the senses. Relating to Locke, reasoning can be an exception to his perspective on innate ideas. He is convinced that all in our ideas are bought through our experience and through our senses. Locke states how our mind is comparable to that of a blank status, and it is merely by experiences that we have the ability to perceive by means of our senses that people acquire the ideas we maintain. Qualities are the powers that things have which is within these capabilities that ideas are produced by them within us. Key features are inseparable from the object, and thus the power of primary qualities produces ideas that resemble the object. That is shown by the example he gives of when something is divided even into its smallest of parts, even though these are too small for us to perceive, the principal qualities remain existent in the object (138).

Although Descartes and Locke explanation of what main qualities are is similar, their idea in how it is that we come to reason or reflect on these qualities is different. Descartes believes that people cant rely totally on our senses, since they often deceive us. He believes that those ideas obtained from primary attributes are distinct and clear. Therefore he is convinced that the ideas made by primary features are grasped by means of the intellect. Locke unlike Descartes is convinced that the ideas we acquire through our life is by experience and it is by the senses that people come to have such encounters. Therefore to Locke, the ideas produced by the power of primary attributes are grasped through the senses. To Locke and Descartes, primary qualities are the causal effect which produces the clear ideas that people have, the main difference between their theories is whether we obtain these through our senses and by reflecting or solely by the intellect.

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