# Objects And Properties

Zetherin

Thu 13 May, 2010 12:28 pm
@Pythagorean,
prothero wrote:
We both agree on what we would observe and the physical explanation for it. Do we "mean the same thing"? Maybe it is just a fight about words again, about primary inherent and secondary perceived properties? I am certainly not in the camp that says the apple disappears when not perceived by human minds. On the other hand objects do not exist independently of the rest of reality (what some call the fallacy of misplaced concreteness).

How would objects exist independent of reality? If an object exists, it is part of reality. Everything that exists is part of reality, isn't it?

But moving on.

If a red apple is in a dark room, why do you think it is no longer a red apple? If you answer, "Because color is a secondary property", this does not answer the question. We know very well that that color is a secondary property. But let's compare color to another secondary property, temperature. Let's suppose there are a few active volcanoes spewing out lava right now, and no one is around to perceive the lava. Does this mean that the lava isn't hot? Not that I can see. The lava still has the property of being hot, no matter when, or if, the lava is ever perceived.

prothero

Thu 13 May, 2010 02:35 pm
@Zetherin,
[QUOTE=Zetherin;163918] How would objects exist independent of reality? If an object exists, it is part of reality. Everything that exists is part of reality, isn't it? But moving on. [/QUOTE] We tend to cut the world into objects with our minds and attribute to them fixed static properties. We tend to study things in a reductionist and isolated manner. This gives at best a partial and incomplete picture of the properties of an object and its relationship to the rest of reality but that is a discussion for another day.

[QUOTE=Zetherin;163918] If a red apple is in a dark room, why do you think it is no longer a red apple? If you answer, "Because color is a secondary property", this does not answer the question. We know very well that that color is a secondary property. But let's compare color to another secondary property, temperature. Let's suppose there are a few active volcanoes spewing out lava right now, and no one is around to perceive the lava. Does this mean that the lava isn't hot? Not that I can see. The lava still has the property of being hot, no matter when, or if, the lava is ever perceived. [/QUOTE]Temperature which is essentially the energy of vibrating molecules in motion is not dependent on illumination or on human perception. Temperature as used in physics is not a secondary property or a qualia. If it was a cold room the temperature would change.

Just like the temperature of an object can change the perceived color of an object can change. The object has no fixed temperature and no fixed color. The object always has a temperature, just like it always has a mass, and always has some volume. It only has color when it is being illuminated and perceived. No, I do not think we all understand the difference between primary properties and secondary properties or the qualia of objects.

kennethamy

Thu 13 May, 2010 02:52 pm
@prothero,
prothero;163966 wrote:
No, I do not think we all understand the difference between primary properties and secondary properties or the qualia of objects.

What is it we do not understand? Primary qualities are those qualities that the object could have anyway. Secondary qualities are those that the object could not have without a perceiver. If there are such things as qualia (which I doubt) objects don't have them except insofar as they are projected on objects.

prothero

Thu 13 May, 2010 03:13 pm
@kennethamy,
[QUOTE=kennethamy;163976]What is it we do not understand? Primary qualities are those qualities that the object could have anyway. Secondary qualities are those that the object could not have without a perceiver. If there are such things as qualia (which I doubt) objects don't have them except insofar as they are projected on objects.[/QUOTE]
Quote:

Primary properties resemble the real properties of the object. Locke, in his book, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, said they are "utterly inseparable from the body" and necessary for conception of it. Primary properties include: solidity, extension, figure, motion and rest, and number.Secondary properties, Locke argues in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, are "nothing in the objects themselves but powers to produce various sensations in us," and conceptually inessential. Secondary properties include: colour, temperature, smell, taste and s
"By convention there are sweet and bitter, hot and cold, by convention there is color; but in truth there are atoms and the void"-Democritus, Fragment 9.[1]
"I think that tastes, odors, colors, and so on are no more than mere names so far as the object in which we locate them are concerned, and that they reside in consciousness. Hence if the living creature were removed, all these qualities would be wiped away and annihilated"-Galileo Galilei, The Assayer (published 1623).[2]
"For the rays, to speak properly, are not colored. In them there is nothing else than a certain power and disposition to stir up a sensation of this or that color."-Isaac Newton, Optics (3rd ed. 1721, original in 1704).[3]

Color is clearly a secondary property one which requires perception not one which is inherent in the object. The apple is not red. The apple is perceived as red under certain conditions. Semantics?

kennethamy

Thu 13 May, 2010 03:26 pm
@prothero,
prothero;163985 wrote:

Color is clearly a secondary property one which requires perception not one which is inherent in the object. The apple is not red. The apple is perceived as red under certain conditions. Semantics?

To say that apples are red is just to say they are perceived as red (by a normal observer) under (normal) conditions. I don't know whether that is semantics or not. But it does not seem to matter much, as long as the issue is not a trivial one. Semantics, so far as I understand it, implies triviality.

prothero

Thu 13 May, 2010 09:05 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;163992 wrote:
To say that apples are red is just to say they are perceived as red (by a normal observer) under (normal) conditions. I don't know whether that is semantics or not. But it does not seem to matter much, as long as the issue is not a trivial one. Semantics, so far as I understand it, implies triviality.

"What color is your average apple?"
If you ask an apple conosieur , "apples can be yellow, green, red, many colors"
If you ask a physicist "the apple is whatever wavelenght it reflects"
If you ask a philosopher "it depends on who or what is perceiving".
Philosophy in its attempt to find unifying principle may lose both clarity and common sense.:a-thought:

north

Thu 13 May, 2010 10:41 pm
@prothero,
prothero;164057 wrote:
"What color is your average apple?"
If you ask an apple conosieur , "apples can be yellow, green, red, many colors"
If you ask a physicist "the apple is whatever wavelenght it reflects"
If you ask a philosopher "it depends on who or what is perceiving".
Philosophy in its attempt to find unifying principle may lose both clarity and common sense.:a-thought:

the colour of any object is based on what part of the light spectrum is reflected , while relising the rest of the light spectrum is absorbed by the object

wave length of light that is reflected by any object doesn't change based perception , at all

its the ability to " see " this wave length of light that does or can

MMP2506

Thu 13 May, 2010 11:12 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;163918 wrote:
How would objects exist independent of reality? If an object exists, it is part of reality. Everything that exists is part of reality, isn't it?

But moving on.

If a red apple is in a dark room, why do you think it is no longer a red apple? If you answer, "Because color is a secondary property", this does not answer the question. We know very well that that color is a secondary property. But let's compare color to another secondary property, temperature. Let's suppose there are a few active volcanoes spewing out lava right now, and no one is around to perceive the lava. Does this mean that the lava isn't hot? Not that I can see. The lava still has the property of being hot, no matter when, or if, the lava is ever perceived.

If you were wearing a lava proof suit, I don't think it would be hot at all. That is because temperature is a thing that must be observed, and then it is determined according to its observer. What is hot to one observer might be warm to another.

We would think Antarctica would be cold, but if we were able to speak to a penguin, he might tell us he feels quite comfortable.

north

Thu 13 May, 2010 11:18 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;164110 wrote:
If you were wearing a lava proof suit, I don't think it would be hot at all. That is because temperature is a thing that must be observed, and then it is determined according to its observer. What is hot to one observer might be warm to another.

so 4 billion yrs ago , the was no molten lava because there was no observer ?

Quote:
We would think Antarctica would be cold, but if we were able to speak to a penguin, he might tell us he feels quite comfortable.

really ?

what do you know about penguins ?

prothero

Thu 13 May, 2010 11:20 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;164110 wrote:
If you were wearing a lava proof suit, I don't think it would be hot at all. That is because temperature is a thing that must be observed, and then it is determined according to its observer. What is hot to one observer might be warm to another.

We would think Antarctica would be cold, but if we were able to speak to a penguin, he might tell us he feels quite comfortable.
Well the notions of hot or cold are perceptive but objects have an absolute physical temperature which is not I would say dependent on sensory perception?
I undestand that color, taste, smell are secondary properties (what some call qualia) but I am not sure why physical temperature would fall in that category as opposed to hot or cold.

In any event I think Locke had it right the first time: some properties of objects are perception dependent and others are not. Should we say an "an apple is red" when that property is not inherent but perception dependent? I do not know. Again seems like semantics or world play to me.

MMP2506

Thu 13 May, 2010 11:28 pm
@north,
north;164114 wrote:

[/LIST]
so 4 billion yrs ago , the was no molten lava because there was no observer ?

Did I say anything about whether it would be molten? I don't know how you abstracted that out of what I said. I said it could not be hot unless there was an observer, because the measurement of heat requires an observer to measure it. Heat is not something that is part of the thing, but is a result of things relationship to another thing.

Whether or not it was melted rock, that is another question.

north;164114 wrote:

really ?

what do you know about penguins ?

I know they can habitat in an area that gets below -50 degrees Fahrenheit and we cannot. I would assume we would feel a bit colder than a penguin if we were to attempt to habitat there, but that my be an over-assumption on my part.

---------- Post added 05-14-2010 at 12:35 AM ----------

prothero;164117 wrote:
Well the notions of hot or cold are perceptive but objects have an absolute physical temperature which is not I would say dependent on sensory perception?
I undestand that color, taste, smell are secondary properties (what some call qualia) but I am not sure why physical temperature would fall in that category as opposed to hot or cold.

In any event I think Locke had it right the first time: some properties of objects are perception dependent and others are not. Should we say an "an apple is red" when that property is not inherent but perception dependent? I do not know. Again seems like semantics or world play to me.

But what important is temperature to a thing if the average temperature of a thing is relative to the average temperature of other things. It is only important to us because only we perceive hot and cold the way we do.

In other words theres no objective way to measure it without an observer.

On our scale, we would consider 200 degrees to be a hot thing, and 30 degrees to be a cold thing. An creature that is acclimate to cold whether might say 30 degrees is rather warm. It doesn't universally matter.

north

Thu 13 May, 2010 11:37 pm
@MMP2506,
Quote:
Quote:

Originally Posted by north
[/LIST]so 4 billion yrs ago , the was no molten lava because there was no observer ?

Did I say anything about whether it would be molten?

no
Quote:
I don't know how you abstracted that out of what I said. I said it could not be hot unless there was an observer, because the measurement of heat requires an observer to measure it.

to the material , it was hot enough to melt it

Quote:
Heat is not something that is part of the thing, but is a result of things relationship to another thing.

it is part of the thing , potential

Quote:
Whether or not it was melted rock, that is another question.

not really

MMP2506

Thu 13 May, 2010 11:41 pm
@north,
north;164128 wrote:
Quote:

to the material , it was hot enough to melt it

O so it is your opinion that rocks can feel sensation? When will you publish your findings?

I feel you are completely missing my point. I'm not talking about the amount of potential a thing has, because it requires more potential for some things to melt than others. What is hot is dependent upon the observers tolerance of this potential.

north

Thu 13 May, 2010 11:42 pm
@north,
Quote:
Originally Posted by north
really ?

what do you know about penguins ?

Quote:

I know they can habitat in an area that gets below -50 degrees Fahrenheit and we cannot. I would assume we would feel a bit colder than a penguin if we were to attempt to habitat there, but that my be an over-assumption on my part.

it is an over sight

they huddle in enormous groups , in somewhat of a circle and take turns in being at the center and on the outside of the circle

MMP2506

Thu 13 May, 2010 11:46 pm
@north,
north;164132 wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by north
really ?

what do you know about penguins ?

it is an over sight

they huddle in enormous groups , in somewhat of a circle and take turns in being at the center and on the outside of the circle

What did I overlook?

I fail to see what that has to do with their ability to maintain a habitat there, and I still would suggest that their ability to do so is better than humans even if we were able to huddle up in a circle.

north

Thu 13 May, 2010 11:57 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;164134 wrote:
What did I overlook?

post #128 ( just a little simplistic )

Quote:
I fail to see what that has to do with their ability to maintain a habitat there, and I still would suggest that their ability to do so is better than humans even if we were able to huddle up in a circle.

sure but now what ?

---------- Post added 05-14-2010 at 02:04 AM ----------

MMP2506;164131 wrote:
O so it is your opinion that rocks can feel sensation? When will you publish your findings?

ehhh...?

Quote:
I feel you are completely missing my point.

I am completely missing your point unfortunately

you are basing what is HOT on observer

I base what is HOT on the enviroment around me

Quote:
I'm not talking about the amount of potential a thing has, because it requires more potential for some things to melt than others. What is hot is dependent upon the observers tolerance of this potential.

observers have nothing to do what is hot

Zetherin

Fri 14 May, 2010 12:17 am
@Pythagorean,
prothero wrote:
Temperature which is essentially the energy of vibrating molecules in motion is not dependent on illumination or on human perception. Temperature as used in physics is not a secondary property or a qualia. If it was a cold room the temperature would change.

Not sure what a scientific explanation has to do with the matter. You all keep citing scientific explanations, but I honestly don't find them relevant. Perhaps there's a misunderstanding in regards to what we're actually talking about. We're talking about what it means to say that an object has a true color. What the scientific explanation is for color, doesn't matter. What matters is how we use the term "true color", and what we mean by it.

Quote:
Should we say an "an apple is red" when that property is not inherent but perception dependent?

Yes, I believe we should. And not only do I believe we should, you and I already do. All of you who have offered a rebuttal thus far, do. That's the funny part. You all know that traffic lights have green, yellow, and red lights, you all know that when you turn the lights off in your house, the objects in your house retain their color. You know that when you wake up that shiny new red alarm clock will still be red, and you even refer to that alarm clock as the red alarm clock, just as you refer to many other objects by their color. You know that your wife's natural hair color is blonde, despite her dying it brown, and more than that, you know that when you get home from work she's going to make you paint the children's room baby blue, and you even manage to understand what she's referring to.

Quote:
"What color is your average apple?"
If you ask an apple conosieur , "apples can be yellow, green, red, many colors"
If you ask a physicist "the apple is whatever wavelenght it reflects"
If you ask a philosopher "it depends on who or what is perceiving".
Philosophy in its attempt to find unifying principle may lose both clarity and common sense.

But if the question was, "What is meant by the term true color?" all those people would be wrong. What isn't being understood is the question at hand. Do not confuse matters. Different disciplines would not be answering the same question differently; different disciplines would be answering different questions differently.

MMP2506 wrote:
If you were wearing a lava proof suit, I don't think it would be hot at all. That is because temperature is a thing that must be observed, and then it is determined according to its observer. What is hot to one observer might be warm to another.

The temperature of the lava wouldn't change simply because you had a lava proof suit on. Whatever the temperature of the lava is, is a property of the lava. That we could perceive that temperature differently is irrelevant. Let me ask you this, though - If the lava wasn't hot, why are you bothering on wearing a suit in the first place? Could it be because you know it's hot so you're taking precaution?

The point that is to be made is that secondary properties are still properties of things. Objects can have true colors, true temperatures, and make true sounds. And though we can perceive all those properties differently, depending on the circumstances, that doesn't mean that they are no longer properties of the objects.

kennethamy

Fri 14 May, 2010 01:53 am
@prothero,
prothero;164057 wrote:
"What color is your average apple?"
If you ask an apple conosieur , "apples can be yellow, green, red, many colors"
If you ask a physicist "the apple is whatever wavelenght it reflects"
If you ask a philosopher "it depends on who or what is perceiving".
Philosophy in its attempt to find unifying principle may lose both clarity and common sense.:a-thought:

I don't have an average apple. In fact, average apples are not colored. Indeed, there is no average apple anymore than there is the average man. Both are (as people nowadays like to say) "constructs", and constructs do not have colors.

What unifying principle are you talking about in this case? But I would say that anyone who talks about a construct as if it were a real object would be the one who loses both clarity and common sense.

MMP2506

Fri 14 May, 2010 05:47 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;164163 wrote:
I don't have an average apple. In fact, average apples are not colored. Indeed, there is no average apple anymore than there is the average man. Both are (as people nowadays like to say) "constructs", and constructs do not have colors.

What unifying principle are you talking about in this case? But I would say that anyone who talks about a construct as if it were a real object would be the one who loses both clarity and common sense.

If the construct is not the real object, then where is the real object? If all that we can perceive is a manifestation of constructed images, and not reality, at what time does what we experience become real?

Our perceptions create our experience, to what extent these perceptions correlate to some mind independent reality seems arbitrary. Our reality is what we have constructed, and if this isn't our reality, then I fear we have none.

kennethamy

Fri 14 May, 2010 06:30 am
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;164194 wrote:
If the construct is not the real object, then where is the real object? If all that we can perceive is a manifestation of constructed images, and not reality, at what time does what we experience become real?

Our perceptions create our experience, to what extent these perceptions correlate to some mind independent reality seems arbitrary. Our reality is what we have constructed, and if this isn't our reality, then I fear we have none.

I did not say that the construct is not the real object. I said that the construct is not a real object. The real apple? It is wherever you put it last (or did you eat it, and forget?). Didn't your mother tell you to keep track of those things? And who, onl earth said that all that we can perceive is a manifestation of constructed images, and not reality? What a bizarre thing to say!

No one has a reality. What one has are beliefs about reality. Reality is what our beliefs are about. Wherever did you get the idea that people have realities? They have beliefs about reality.

Don't be afraid of not owning all of reality. You should fear believing that you do, since that would be insanity. You "own" your beliefs about reality though.

The thing (as I have been trying to point out) is do not confuse your beliefs about the world with the world, and, for pity's sake, don't identity them with one another!