Secondary qualities: the transition from quality to quantity

October 2, 2014 - October 3, 2014
University of Ghent


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Lisa Downing
Ohio State University
Martin Lenz
University of Groningen

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The Philosophy & Moral Sciences department at Ghent University, with sponsorship of FWO, is proud to host “Secondary qualities: the transition from quality to quantity”
Keynote speakers:
        Professor Lisa Downing (Ohio State University)
        Professor Martin Lenz (Groningen University)

The transition from a qualitative account to a quantitative account of aspects of nature represents a turning point at the start of what we now call the 'scientific revolution' at beginning of 17th century. A particular topic of interest for the proposed conference is how sensible qualities (such as smell, taste, color and sound) came to be measured and defined in quantitative terms *rather than as secondary qualities of matter,* during the 17th century.

The overall objective of this conference is to study the transition to measurable quantities in the ‘new philosophy.’ But we would welcome discussion of this in the context of the (evolving) distinction between primary and secondary qualities, or, say, competing Scholastic approaches.  Other, related topics can include the shifting role of instruments, changes in the nature of explanation and methodology, etc. The conference aims at stimulating fruitful exchanges between established scholars, young researchers, and PhD students.

Scientific committee:
        Willem Lemmen (University of Antwerp)
        SteffenDucheyne (Vrije Universiteit Brussels)
        Arnaud Pelletier (Université libre de Bruxelles)
        Madalina Giurgea (Gent University)

Organising committee:
        Willem Lemmen (University of Antwerp)
        SteffenDucheyne (Vrije Universiteit Brussels)
        Eric Schliesser (Gent University)
        Madalina Giurgea (Gent University)

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