- Notes on Contributors
- Essences and Kinds
- From Causes to Laws
- Space and Time
- The Mechanical Philosophy
- Machines, Souls, and Vital Principles
- The Soul
- Qualities and Sensory Perception
- The Passions
- Language and Semiotics
- Form, Reason, and Method
- Instruments of Knowledge
- Picturability and Mathematical Ideals of Knowledge
- Virtue and Vice
- Egoism and Morality
- Realism and Relativism in Ethics
- The Free Will Problem
- The Equality of Men and Women
- Natural Law as Political Philosophy
- Sovereignty and Obedience
- Conceptions of God
- The Epistemology of Religious Belief
- Religious Toleration
Abstract and Keywords
This article describes the conception of sensory perception during the early modern period. It discusses David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature where he contrasted the ancient metaphysics of substantial forms and occult qualities with the metaphysics of the Moderns. The article argues that Hume was fundamentally correct and that the doctrine of secondary qualities is indeed a distinctively modern doctrine that captures something of the very essence of the new philosophical age.
Philippe Hamou is maître de conférences in philosophy at the University of Paris, Ouest‐Nanterre. His publications include La mutation du visible, essai sur la portée épistémologique des instruments d'optique au XVIIe siècle, 2 vols. (Presses du Septentrion, 1999–2001); Voir et Connaître à l'âge classique (Paris, 2002). He is also the editor of Locke, Essai sur l'entendement humain, trans. Pierre Coste (Paris, 2009), and, with Marta Spranzi, of Galilée: Ecrits coperniciens (Paris, 2004).
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