Kant's idealism and the secondary quality analogy

Allais, Lucy (2007) Kant's idealism and the secondary quality analogy. Journal of the History of Philosophy, 45 (3). pp. 459-84. ISSN 1538-4586

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Interpretations of Kants transcendental idealism have been dominated by two extreme views: phenomenalist and merely epistemic readings. There are serious objections to both of these extremes, and the aim of this paper is to develop a middle ground between the two. In the Prolegomena, Kant suggests that his idealism about appearances can be understood in terms of an analogy with secondary qualities like colour. Commentators have rejected this option because they have assumed that the analogy should be read in terms of either a Lockean or a Berkelean account of qualities such as colour, and have argued, rightly, that neither can provide the basis for a coherent interpretation of Kants position. I argue that the account of colour that the analogy requires is one within the context of a direct theory of perception, as opposed to Lockes representative account. Using this account of colour, the secondary quality analogy enables us to explain how appearances can be mind-dependent without existing in the mind.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Philosophy
Depositing User: Lucy Allais
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:06
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2012 15:22
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29543
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