• Zelebg
    459
    Do colors exist? How do you interpret that question, in what case you would say colors do exist, and what are the possible cases where you would say colors don't really exist? In other words, how do you draw the line and describe what is it exactly we are differentiating between? What is your answer?

    a. we actually see colors (colors exist)
    b. we only think we see colors (colors do not exist)
  • Pfhorrest
    1.2k
    Are there true sentences involving colors as objects of them? If so, then colors exist.
  • Banno
    7.1k
    Are you asking us how to use the word colour, or how to use the word exist?

    One or the other.
  • bongo fury
    229
    in what case you would say colors do exist,Zelebg

    Wherever it makes sense to parse them as objects, e.g. objects of a semantic verb like denotes/describes/points-at/refers-to/applies-to. [edit: or is-true-of, as remarked above.]

    and what are the possible cases where you would say colors don't really exist?Zelebg

    Wherever it makes more sense to parse them as labels, i.e. subjects of the semantic verb.
  • Zelebg
    459
    Ugghhh. Let me try. Imagine a metaphor with a computer, it is running a program that paints the whole screen yellow. We turn off the monitor and ask does color yellow exist in the computer?

    That is how I understand the question, and my answer is no. Colors do not really exist in the brain where light waves are encoded from sensory input into a signal or whatever electrochemical type of abstract information. So color signals to become real or to exist per se as colors, an agent or “self” is necessary to decode, understand or perceive those signals as colors, while in reality colors might as well look like a monochrome waterfall of Matrix symbols.

    One more thing. If you say colors do actually exist, then I think you in fact must be proposing a separate realm of existence for their being, some kind of parallel dimension, otherwise I don’t see how color properties can be justified as ‘actual’ rather than ‘virtual/abstract’.
  • bongo fury
    229
    Colors do not really exist in the brainZelebg

    Yay

    where light waves are encoded from sensory input to form a signal or whatever electrochemical kind of abstract information.Zelebg

    A pre neural-network (pre 80's) computational picture of the brain? Wherein you doubt neural colours but assume correlative neural symbols? Like pixel information in a computer chip, awaiting (arguably)

    an agent or “self” [...] to decode, understand or perceive those signals as colorsZelebg

    ?

    If you say colors do actually exist, then I think you in fact must be proposing a separate realm of existence for their being, some kind of parallel dimensionZelebg

    True, so, if you are desperate to give your psychology a pure physical ontology then why not treat colours as labels/adjectives?
  • Zelebg
    459
    A pre neural-network (pre 80's) computational picture of the brain?

    Is there any other picture of the brain where sensory visual input is not first encored into serial electric signal in the eye before it even reaches the brain?

    You are asking me questions without answering my questions and explaining your position so I can guess what point you are trying to make and what is it really you are talking about.
  • christian2017
    709


    Its a spectrum. As in any classification in order for something to be red it must fall between two lines (or fall within a specific area on a spectrum. Have you heard of the visible spectrum. There is visible and invisible light. Some animals can see light below red (infrared). Some animals can see above purple (ultraviolet). Some animals might be able to see gamma rays or even light coming from a wifi router.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.6k
    That is how I understand the question, and my answer is no. Colors do not really exist in the brain where light waves are encoded from sensory input into a signal or whatever electrochemical type of abstract information. So color signals to become real or to exist per se as colors, an agent or “self” is necessary to decode, understand or perceive those signals as colors, while in reality colors might as well look like a monochrome waterfall of Matrix symbols.Zelebg

    This is physicalist nonsense. Why not just ask if consciousness really exists?
  • Zelebg
    459
    This is physicalist nonsense.

    Are you not able to explain your assertion and describe your position?
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.6k
    Colors exist as objects of cognition. Cognition is a function of conscious agents. To say that colors don’t exist “in the real world” or whatever nonsense you are saying is to abstract away the principal part of existence, viz. consciousness.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    2k


    Everything we experience is equally a self-generation. Our body doesn't produce just the appearance of colours, but anything we encounter with our senses, including the shape, mass, etc. of.objects . If this self generation was a problem for the reality of colours, it is equally a problem for the reality of anything we experience.
  • Judaka
    479

    Something exists that we interpret as colour. If you want to deny intersubjectivity, it's impossible to do in a sensible way really, all you can say is that the evidence is insufficient for you and then make up your own fantastical answer.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.6k
    Everything we experience is equally a self-generation. Our body doesn't produce just the appearance of colours, but anything we encounter with our senses, including the shape, mass, etc. of.objects . If this self generation was a problem for the reality of colours, it is equally a problem for the reality of anything we experience.TheWillowOfDarkness

    Well said.
  • Zelebg
    459

    Let me rephrase. Electromagnetic waves are not colors. These waves are converted to electrical impulses in the eye before going into the brain. But electrical impulses are also not colors, and yet we report to see colors. Therefore, the question is why, and the answer is either:

    a. we actually see colors (colors exist)
    b. we only think we see colors (colors do not exist)
  • Zelebg
    459
    Colors exist as objects of cognition.

    Yes, we are talking about colors as objects of cognition. The question is whether a). we actually see colors (colors exist), or b). we only think we see colors (colors do not exist). Ok?
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.6k
    And as I was getting at, it’s a dumb question.
  • Zelebg
    459
    Everything we experience is equally a self-generation. Our body doesn't produce just the appearance of colours, but anything we encounter with our senses, including the shape, mass, etc. of.objects . If this self generation was a problem for the reality of colours, it is equally a problem for anything we experience.

    Yes qualia, how things appear. The question is where does the brain shop for colors to paint our mental picture. To be clear I consider objects of the mental picture to exist, virtually. That is not my problem.

    But virtual representation can be direct or indirect. A physical square shape in the real world can be represented by drawing, or words, for example. Shape representation can be mapped directly by drawing with only arbitrary size scaling, but representation with symbols or words is completely arbitrary.

    So imagine yellow square with blue borders on black background. I do not question that in your mind’s eye you see the lines and the shape, brain could copy those concepts directly projecting from nature, but where could it get the colors from?

    So I am questioning whether you really see any colors, and if not, then perhaps you do not see any shapes either, and really see just a bunch of arbitrary symbols that only appear to you as colors and shapes. I hope this explains what I’m actually talking about.
  • Zelebg
    459
    And as I was getting at, it’s a dumb question.

    Dumb is wasting everyones time to share your purposeles opinion. Go away, shooo!
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.6k
    Dumb is wasting everyones time to share your purposeles opinion. Go away, shooo!Zelebg

    Maybe if you understood my and others’ responses, then you would see what the the waste of time is.
  • christian2017
    709


    Not true. Our eyes interpret these frequency (our eyes and brains are radios and antennas at the same time) as colors. Your argument is silly, superfluous and you are parsing words.
  • Brett
    1.9k
    @Zelebg is right, colour does not exist, only light.
  • bongo fury
    229
    A pre neural-network (pre 80's) computational picture of the brain?
    - bongo fury

    Is there any other picture of the brain where sensory visual input is not first encoded into serial electric signal in the eye before it even reaches the brain?
    Zelebg

    :up: :up: :up:

    Nearly there.
  • Qwex
    317
    Are mental phenonmena non-existent? Are mental phenomena fabricated?

    Does the physical world project color?

    It's a common notion that our eyes interpret a frequency. Is the frequency, without mind, formless color?
  • Sir Philo Sophia
    189
    a. we actually see colors (colors exist)
    b. we only think we see colors (colors do not exist)
    Zelebg

    Seems to me this boils down to 3 main factors:
    1. The frequencies of light that (most) humans are pre-wired to call red, do indeed exist in the physical world. So, the verbal linguistic 'red' does exist as an analog symbol of that.

    2. The 'red' category of color that (most) humans are pre-wired to have the qualia sense of red color may exist in the person's cognitive world as a visual object. There are color blind people who see no red. There are also synesthesia people who experience other senses as (e.g., red) color. So, I figure if we had research evidence of color blind people who later gained color vision, saying they experience the qualia of 'red' color prior to gaining color vision, then that might evidence that the cognitive 'red' category does exist at birth. Or if a color blind synesthete 'saw' qualia colors that would also be strong evidence. I've never come across of such experiments or lines of investigations, but if anyone knows anything about that, please post it here b/c it should be quite instructive metaphysically as well.

    3. The internal qualia projection of 'red' color is what we intuitively consider 'red' and that almost certainly exists only in our qualia projected internal reality, which is likely commonly shared b/c of common visual/mental systems genetic coding.

    hope this helps further the discussion...
  • Brett
    1.9k
    Zelebg is right, colour does not exist, only light.Brett

    I think I’m going to change my mind on this. It’s true that the frequencies of light that our eyes receive determine the colour, or be more accurate, the receptors in our eyes determine the colours.

    The question really is asking if there is colour independent of us.

    But there could be colours out there that our receptors are incapable of receiving. And, if objects exist then they must have a colour, their surface must be some kind of colour, they can’t be pure light if they’re to exist.
  • 3017amen
    1.2k


    I apologize I didn't read through all of the responses because I'm sure there are some good ones... .

    I don't think the question is whether colors exist or not. I think the question is what kind of existence do colors have or possess.

    In other words, it's the philosophical question of existence over essence. For example if one tries to approach its existence by way of understanding, say, metaphysical abstracts, one could possibly draw similarities to music or math.

    You can listen to music to experience it. Likewise you can see a color to experience it. And in describing both experiences, how do we prove its experience? Are both experiences metaphysical ones? (For example, describe why an individual prefers yellow over red. Or describe why a person likes one song over another song. )
  • Daniel
    32

    Yellow does not exist (as you said, it is EM waves); but the idea that the word "yellow" represents does exist (the nerve impulses that EM waves produce exist). What I think troubles us is not understanding what connects the idea to the cause, "making us see yellow".
  • Sir Philo Sophia
    189
    Likewise you can see a color to experience it. And in describing both experiences, how do we prove its experience?3017amen

    see my #2 above for my proposed experimental ways to get closer to the qualia truth wrt color.
  • 3017amen
    1.2k


    Sure it's kind of like saying do other metaphysical languages exist in all or other possible world's. The emotive phenomenon of color choice, may or may not be logically necessary.
  • Sir Philo Sophia
    189
    The emotive phenomenon of color choice, may or may not be logically necessary.3017amen
    I'm starting to build a coherent hypothesis that qualia and emotive phenomenon are logically needed to optimally create and convey wisdom, but not at all needed to create data, info, or knowledge.

    So, under my above hypothesis, experiencing a qualia and emotive phenomenon for the color 'red' might be needed to create and convey wisdom concerning the data value of red.

    Anyone have arguments/evidence for or against my above hypothesis?
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