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Interesting, it seems that the main problem seem to be what is so neatly formulated in the principles of first and second properties by John Locke. What is real in his thinking does not stem from directly perception, but it is largely unknowable by the senses. It is that we can only know indirectly by measuring, and in Lockes view this is what is the most real. And these properties are either something we have to measure in some way as is the case with what is real in the first properties. And then what we as humans add on, as when it comes to the second properties.These are colour, smell, and feeling, and they are subjective. A sort of an add-on from our human nature.
There are many problems with these principles. For instance the defining line between first and second property is arbitrarily drawn by Locke, and there seem to more of that hierarchy that you mentioned in your post. For example what would we say about a red triangle, where the redness defines something that is supposed to be of the first property, i. e. of being a triangle (a rebuttal from Leibniz)
But there is an even greater problem, in the end everything is down to perception. If you measure something as you would with the first properties, you stillhave to sense something(for instance see the measurement) . There is not really any way to get around that, and by that the first properties fall. Tthen we cannot longer claim that the second properties hold any longer, since the superiour reality of the first properties is what deem the second to be of derived kind.
He claims that they are add-ons or of a purely subjective origin.
Instead it rather makes much more sense to say that perception is the start of everything and that there would be no reasonable way of talking oneself out of that. But how could it be that we could be so utterly fooled ourselves as to forget the priority of the senses?
When one really think about it is rather astonishing. Somewhere in the development of thinking something got completely missed, and that miss is lead the whole thinking that came afterwards to go astray. Or put differently, that we all started to believe in a sort of a illusion
What would be the way to clear this confusion?