This chapter begins with the contention that Locke does not define qualities as powers that bodies have to produce ideas in us, indeed does not define ‘quality’ at all. He does define ‘primary quality’, however. Primary qualities are features that belong to our idea of body, features that anything must have to qualify as a body. This chapter pays particular attention to Locke's accounts of the primary qualities of extension and solidity. It shows that he holds that every extended thing has infinitely many spatial parts, but that this does not settle the question of whether he is an atomist (as he understands atomism). Locke treats solidity as an all-or-none feature that confers impenetrability. Solidity is distinguished from hardness.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.