Mattia Mantovani

Affiliation: 

Humboldt University, Berlin

From epistemology to dissections: Descartes' two-step argument for a distinction between primary and secondary qualities

In his seminal Il Saggiatore (1623), Galileo famously claimed that, contrary to triangles and circles, which are the real characters in which the book of Nature is written, flavours and colours do not exist independently of the perceiving subject. The possibility to distinguish between two classes of ideas of the material objects was indeed one of the most debated issues of the Early Modern Age.