# Objects And Properties

kennethamy

Tue 11 May, 2010 11:07 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;162995 wrote:
Yes. The pan I just pulled out of a 500 degree oven is not now cool simply because I am using oven mits to move it to the dining room. It is truly hot. But, with the use of oven mits, it appears cooler to me than it really is. How we perceive things, and what truly is, are sometimes different.

And I think that applies here.

If a green light is shining on a carrot, the carrot may appear green. But the true color of the carrot is not green. It's orange.

Yes, objects have true color, but what their true color is , varies with the context.

It is analogous to: every number has a (true) square. But what the (true) square of a number is depends on the number. The square of 2 is 4; the square of 3 is 9, and so on.

trismegisto

Tue 11 May, 2010 11:27 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;162964 wrote:
You really can't help but insult me, can you? That's practically all you've done the entire thread. No, I suppose I "do not possess the faculties required to understand some very basic truths". There, I've voiced it, and you need not reply, since I probably wouldn't be able to understand anything sophisticated you write (since I don't possess the faculties required).

Well, thank you for at least admitting that I was wasting my time trying to explain this to you.

Zetherin

Tue 11 May, 2010 11:27 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;162998 wrote:
Yes, objects have true color, but what their true color is , varies with the context.

It is analogous to: every number has a (true) square. But what the (true) square of a number is depends on the number. The square of 2 is 4; the square of 3 is 9, and so on.

I'm not sure how this analogy fits. How does the square of a number vary with context? The square of a number is always equal to the number multiplied by itself.

---------- Post added 05-11-2010 at 01:30 PM ----------

trismegisto;163002 wrote:
Well, thank you for at least admitting that I was wasting my time trying to explain this to you.

No problem. I truly believe members of this forum shouldn't waste their time with stupidity.

trismegisto

Tue 11 May, 2010 11:56 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;163003 wrote:
No problem. I truly believe members of this forum shouldn't waste their time with stupidity.

But only once the stupidity is truly established. Passing on understanding is always worth trying.

Zetherin

Tue 11 May, 2010 12:03 pm
@trismegisto,
trismegisto;163014 wrote:
But only once the stupidity is truly established. Passing on understanding is always worth trying.

Indeed, I agree, it is often worth trying.

kennethamy

Tue 11 May, 2010 12:14 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;163003 wrote:
I'm not sure how this analogy fits. How does the square of a number vary with context? The square of a number is always equal to the number multiplied by itself.

---------- Post added 05-11-2010 at 01:30 PM ----------

.

Yes. And the true color of an object is always the color is appears to have to the normal observer under normal conditions of perception. But, naturally, what those normal conditions are varies with the object.

Pythagorean

Tue 11 May, 2010 12:15 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;162991 wrote:
The color that something has rather than only seems to have? What that will turn out to be will, of course, depend on context. "The true color of Sandra's hair (before she dyed it) was brown. It is now black". "The true color of my coat is navy blue. But under those store lights, it looks purple". "The true color of objects in the Emerald City varies. But since everyone in the Emerald City has to wear green tinted glasses, everything looks green".

The point is that there already exists a scientific, technical definition of true colour which is universal but that is not the same as what the human eye perceives. Your definition: "The colour that something has rather than only seems to have" is not a universal definition. And the scientific definition, relying as it does on the numerical value of wavelengths of electro-magnetic waves, demonstrates the inadequacy of your non-universal definition. In fact, your definition is an ad hoc definition i.e. a non-generalizable definition).

-

kennethamy

Tue 11 May, 2010 12:20 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;163019 wrote:
The point is that there already exists a scientific, technical definition of true colour which is universal but that is not the same as what the human eye perceives. Your definition: "The colour that something has rather than only seems to have" is not a universal definition. And the scientific definition, relying as it does on the numerical value of wavelengths of electro-magnetic waves, demonstrates the inadequacy of your non-universal definition. In fact, your definition is an ad hoc definition i.e. a non-generalizable definition).

-

And for whatever purposes scientists want to use that definition seems to me fine. But, why should the scientific definition replace what it is that is ordinarily meant by the true color of an object?

In fact, your definition is an ad hoc definition i.e. a non-generalizable definition

Could you explain what that means, and why you say that?

Let me also point out that to talk of "the true color" of an object is already to insinuate that whatever we say is the color of the object is not the "true color" of the object. It is to insinuate that fire engines are not red. But that, of course, begs the question as to what is meant by "the color of the object" in the first place. Remember, this thread began with the rather bizarre contention that apples are not red, even though they look red in normal conditions to a normal observer. But that contention not only is bizarre, but it simply begs the question, since it blythly assumes that the criterion we ordinarily use to determine the color of an object is not the true criterion. It assumes that, mind you, without the suggestion of any argument.

prothero

Tue 11 May, 2010 12:42 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;163018 wrote:
Yes. And the true color of an object is always the color is appears to have to the normal observer under normal conditions of perception. But, naturally, what those normal conditions are varies with the object.
If I wanted to defend the thesis that "objects" (whatever that means) have properties (another term to define) that are not dependent on the method of observation and the observer; I would definitely pick some property other than "color"
for if specifiying that the object must be viewed under normal conditions (which I take to mean natural sunlight) and be viewed by a human with I presume normal color vision, is not specifiying both the observer and the method of observation, I do not know what is.

I asserted that observed properties were always dependent on the frame of reference, the method of observation and and the presence of an observer, and your defense of color only proves the point. You would be better off trying to defend, mass, volume or even temperature not color.

Of course matter is often defined as that which has mass and takes up space (res extensa, volume) and one could argue even though the value of those properties is in fact observer and frame of reference dependent (not fixed but variable) that those are still primary properties of matter.

kennethamy

Tue 11 May, 2010 12:56 pm
@prothero,
prothero;163031 wrote:
If I wanted to defend the thesis that "objects" (whatever that means) have properties (another term to define) that are not dependent on the method of observation and the observer; I would definitely pick some property other than "color"
for if specifiying that the object must be viewed under normal conditions (which I take to mean natural sunlight) and be viewed by a human with I presume normal color vision, is not specifiying both the observer and the method of observation, I do not know what is.

I asserted that observed properties were always dependent on the frame of reference, the method of observation and and the presence of an observer, and your defense of color only proves the point. You would be better off trying to defend, mass, volume or even temperature not color.

Of course matter is often defined as that which has mass and takes up space (res extensa, volume) and one could argue even though the value of those properties is in fact observer and frame of reference dependent (not fixed but variable) that those are still primary properties of matter.

or if specifiying that the object must be viewed under normal conditions (which I take to mean natural sunlight) and be viewed by a human with I presume normal color vision, is not specifiying both the observer and the method of observation, I do not know what is.

I am sorry to hear that since, in fact, that criterion does not specify both the the observer and the method of observation. But I don't understand your point anyway. Suppose it does. So what? I never held that for an object to have properties, those properties need be independent of the conditions of observation and observer. I think you did.

I think I am missing your objection...by a mile at least.

Pythagorean

Tue 11 May, 2010 12:57 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;163022 wrote:
And for whatever purposes scientists want to use that definition seems to me fine. But, why should the scientific definition replace what it is that is ordinarily meant by the true color of an object?

Because there is no actual definition of what is "ordinarily" meant.

kennethamy;163022 wrote:

In fact, your definition is an ad hoc definition i.e. a non-generalizable definition

Could you explain what that means, and why you say that?

I simply mean that you have failed to provide an objective definition of true colour.

-

prothero

Tue 11 May, 2010 01:03 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;163039 wrote:
or if specifiying that the object must be viewed under normal conditions (which I take to mean natural sunlight) and be viewed by a human with I presume normal color vision, is not specifiying both the observer and the method of observation, I do not know what is.

I am sorry to hear that since, in fact, that criterion does not specify both the the observer and the method of observation. But I don't understand your point anyway. Suppose it does. So what? I never held that for an object to have properties, those properties need be independent of the conditions of observation and observer. I think you did.
I think I am missing your objection...by a mile at least.
Quote:

The observed properties of an object depend on the relationship between the perceiving observer and the percieved object. They can not be separated in any true and meaningful way. The notion that objects are independent of their surrounding reality and that properties are intrinsic to an object independent of the method of observation is questionable. This is especially well demonstrated in quantum observations or events. Things do not have a true color. The color is dependent on the method of observation and the observer. ???

Although I am not quite as into logical analysis of words and analytic philosophy as you, I am not sure where I could be construed as having said that.

kennethamy

Tue 11 May, 2010 01:23 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;163041 wrote:
Because there is no actual definition of what is "ordinarily" meant.

I simply mean that you have failed to provide an objective definition of true colour.

-

But I certainly thought I had given one. Namely, that what is ordinarily meant by the color of an object is the color it appears to have under normal conditions for the normal observer. Did you miss it? I did not think you had.

Isn't the definition I just gave an objective definition of "color". Perhaps you have in mind a different notion of "objective" than I do. Let me tell you what I have in mind: An objective definition of property "X" is one that allows us to settle whether something has property "X" or not independently of whether anyone believes something has that property. Not that, please notice, that beliefs may not be a part of that definition. For example, I might define a food's being tasty as, "Most people who taste X believe it is tasty". Now, that definition involves beliefs, but that not mean it is not an objective definition, since we can apply that definition without worrying about whether we an determine (on the basis of that definition) whether the food is believed to be tasty. That the definition concerns belief does not mean that it depends on what people believe. (I said all of that in order to forestall an objection based on a confusion between the criterion being about beliefs (which does not make it subjective) and the criterion being dependent on belief, which does make it subjective.

The criterion for color I gave of course involves beliefs, but since it need not itself be influenced by beliefs, it is an objective criterion.

Kielicious

Tue 11 May, 2010 09:26 pm
@kennethamy,
I am quite surprised by many of the down-playing posts in here that only show to represent that person/s own ignorance regarding the matter. Sadly, of course, the answer to this question can be found in nearly any 5th grade science textbook (Texas may be exempt) and it's a wonder why armchair philosophers dont actually take the time to do the research. My guess is philosophers hold 'common sense' above verifiable knowledge, but that is only a guess...

Anywho, Light is a wavelength of electromagnetic radiation. Color is derived from electromagnetic radiation that interacts with our eyes and cones. So does color exist when there is no light? Obviously, no it doesnt because color is derived from light. If you think you can produce color without light then by all means go perform the experiment and good luck. A Nobel would be the least of your accomplishments for that.

And what is this talk about '...color is what appears to us under normal conditions...'? What does that mean and what does that have to do with the 'true' color of an object? Under 'normal conditions' (whatever that means) we can percieve the exact same color in completely different ways. Here take a look. Both A and B are the exact same color, and yet, it 'appears' differently. If we were to take the above definition of what colors are as what they appear to us then the visual illusion just shown would yield different results (i.e. A and B would be different colors). Or if 'normal' involved tritanopia color vision then a banana would be almost white? No.

Not to mention that a red ball is not really red per se. It's just the reflected wavelength that the particular object doesnt absorb. So if you want to get picky we can say that the 'actual' color of an object is anything but the percieved color because that's the only color it doesnt absorb. Or if you want to say that the 'actual' color of an object is just its reflected wavelength then you would have a hard time explaining mirrors. Either way, stop using 'common sense' and start picking up science textbooks -- it actually works.

MMP2506

Tue 11 May, 2010 10:02 pm
@Kielicious,
Kielicious;163210 wrote:

Anywho, Light is a wavelength of electromagnetic radiation. Color is derived from electromagnetic radiation that interacts with our eyes and cones. So does color exist when there is no light? Obviously, no it doesnt because color is derived from light. If you think you can produce color without light then by all means go perform the experiment and good luck. A Nobel would be the least of your accomplishments for that.

Color can exist whenever I choose, whether there is light or not, as I use my imagination to picture a red ball or a blue car.

The conversation going on in this thread consists of arguments of two types. Some people, as you do, consider color to be something merely reduced to electro particles. Some here consider colors to be agreed upon phenomena which we often encounter associated with objects. And others make it difficult for me to have any clue what exactly they believe. Anyway, In order to have any meaningful discussion, we need to be able to distinguish between the differences, and understand exactly which argument is being used by whom we are arguing with.

Whatever the phenomena of color is, it is not completely reducible only to the electro waves with which it appears, because as I mentioned above, color can appear within my mind regardless of those waves being present. It must be something more than that.

Reconstructo

Tue 11 May, 2010 10:22 pm
@Kielicious,
Kielicious;163210 wrote:
reflected wavelength then you would have a hard time explaining mirrors. Either way, stop using 'common sense' and start picking up science textbooks -- it actually works.

I agree that the wave understanding of light is old news. But color is more complex than that, for color is experienced as...well, color. And mathematical models concerning wavelengths are indeed just mental models, which deserve our respect for they way they can serve us but do not explain our human experience of color. Qualia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kielicious

Tue 11 May, 2010 10:44 pm
@Reconstructo,
If that is true then I had no idea the topic was qualia because no one explicitly mentioned it. But if that is the case then shouldnt this be moved to philosophy of mind? Some of the responses on here are definitely not geared towards qualia and it is those that I am responding to.

"Color can exist whenever I choose, whether there is light or not, as I use my imagination to picture a red ball or a blue car."

Only because you have already experienced the colors blue and red. People that are blind from birth have no imagination of blue and red.

Reconstructo

Tue 11 May, 2010 10:46 pm
@Kielicious,
Kielicious;163230 wrote:
If that is true then I had no idea the topic was qualia because no one explicitly mentioned it. But if that is the case then shouldnt this be moved to philosophy of mind? Some of the responses on here are definitely not geared towards qualia and it is those that I am responding to.

I agree that it wasn't explicitly mentioned. For me, it's an automatic concern. Other perhaps immediately think of the more "objective" notion of light. Opinions differ, but I think objects are cut from sensation into separate entities by the mind.

MMP2506

Tue 11 May, 2010 10:53 pm
@Kielicious,
Kielicious;163230 wrote:
If that is true then I had no idea the topic was qualia because no one explicitly mentioned it. But if that is the case then shouldnt this be moved to philosophy of mind? Some of the responses on here are definitely not geared towards qualia and it is those that I am responding to.

"Color can exist whenever I choose, whether there is light or not, as I use my imagination to picture a red ball or a blue car."

Only because you have already experienced the colors blue and red. People that are blind from birth have no imagination of blue and red.

You are quite correct, many people in this thread were not making that distinction, and that is why there is so much confusion and convolution.

I would argue that people who can see, however, have no linguistic capabilities would also be blind towards what we consider color.

The experience of it is the foundation which we can build, but without the ability to distinguish between the colors linguistically, they would not be different to the one perceiving them.

That is why the phenomena of experiencing color requires much more than the ability to see certain light-waves.

kennethamy

Tue 11 May, 2010 10:57 pm
@Kielicious,
Kielicious;163210 wrote:

Not to mention that a red ball is not really red per se.

Interesting sentence. It makes me wonder what it would be for a red ball to be red per se if a red ball is not actually red per se.