I was thinking about properties of objects. We say "sugar is sweet," but is it sweet in the absence of a mind to perceive that it is sweet? Could some other perception find that it is, say, sour instead? Or is it intrinsically sweet on its own, independent of an intellect to observe that it is sweet?

There are three main options here that philosophers have developed for properties like sweetness: sweetness is a sensation, it is a disposition in some things to produce a sensation, or it is an intrinsic property of sweet things (presumably to do with their molecular structure). On the first view, the same thing may be sweet to one person and sour to another (because it isn't really the thing that is sweet or sour, only the varying sensations). On the third view, what is sweet is sweet is sweet for everyone (because it isn't determined by people's reactions). One difference between the first and the second view is that only on the second view are things sweet when they are not being tasted.

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