• 3017amen
    1.2k


    The existential mystery of who, what, where, how and why one chooses a particular color over another is yet another example of the existence over essence ethos, axiom or phenomenon. For example we are consciously/subconsciously aware of our likes and dislikes but we don't know the true nature of why this is so... .

    We are left with yet another metaphysical theory over the essence of that existence, in human consciousness. The question becomes what is the essence of that conscious existence (?)

    My one line hypothesis is that we filter information a priori from an external energy source. Much like Schopenhauer's theory of Metaphysical Will in nature... .

    This innate or intrinsic feature of human existence confers no Darwinion survival advantages. And if that is accurate , it must be an external consciousness of sorts... ?

    We can't take this phenomenon lightly. And that's because of how important colors are to us .
  • Sir Philo Sophia
    189
    My one line hypothesis is that we filter information a priori from an external energy source. Much like Schopenhauer's theory of Metaphysical Will in nature... .3017amen

    that is too supernatural for me. I'm finding a path towards qualia that is something that I can model and see a plausible utility/mechanics; that is, we are genetically coded to attribute arbitrary, yet largely consistent, value/experience/emotions to various data value phenomenon as a way to create an experience that enables a personal empathy/emotives to data values to make them real (to us as emotive/social creatures) and to share a common experience. So, for the color red, we might be genetically coded to have energetic, aggressive feelings with the data value of red, which may have come (like that for Bulls) about by evolution selecting for such defensive responses to the sight of red blood. Blue feels like a cool/cold color like ice, and peaceful like the sky. etc. To the extent data values in our perceived sensory/motor have been (genetically, by personality, or by nurture) been associated with certain emotive states then they become part of our qualia experience for it, making it feel much more real to us. I find it particularly interesting that synesthetes not only love the cross sensory invocation of emotives and colors on, say numbers, that it actually helps them greatly to process the value data (e.g., out of a vast field of random numbers, they might see all '7s as red and instantly can spot one # 7 out of 1000s of other #s). So, attaching an arbitrary qualia can even have practical utility, beyond my other point of enabling/enhancing the formation of wisdom.
  • 3017amen
    1.2k


    Sure but keep in mind we're not talkin anything extraordinarily prevalent there. For instance architects an interior designers look to the theoretical color wheel, for the emotive connection associated with colors.

    So sure red will convey excitement on a subconscious level, but unfortunately that tells us nothing about the nature of its existence.
  • Sir Philo Sophia
    189
    So sure red will convey excitement on a subconscious level, but unfortunately that tells us nothing about the nature of it's existence.3017amen
    the color wheel is just a reflection of the existence of a collectively consistent human qualia/emotive experience of the colors. So, please clarify what you mean by "nature of it's existence". We all already know that photo vibration frequency don't exist as colors any more than sound pressure waves do. Obviously, the existence is in the person's personal qualia reconstruction of "reality" which is, of course, a useful illusion as to modeling/abstracting upon the true physics of matter. So, what is your point?
  • 3017amen
    1.2k
    So, please clarify what you mean by "nature of it's existence".Sir Philo Sophia

    When we ask about the nature of a thing, we're not asking about our mental reconstruction of that thing, but the thing in itself.

    Our knowledge/consciousness creates our perception, of physical things outside the mind, and definitions of abstract concepts that only exist in the mind. When we discuss “existence” itself, we are discussing a concept that only exists in the mind of the person who knows its definition. In other words, we can have knowledge of physical things and conditions that only exist outside our mind and abstract concepts that only exist in our mind as definitions about those things.

    Existence is not a condition or a state of being, it is the phenomenon of being, itself. Something must exist in order to have a state of being, and if being is necessary in order for change to occur, then cause and effect is derived from and thus subordinate to the more fundamental phenomenon of existence.

    Consider that before something can change, before something can act or be acted upon, it must exist.
  • Sir Philo Sophia
    189
    Existence is not a condition or a state of being, it is the phenomenon of being, itself. Something must exist in order to have a state of being, and if being is necessary in order for change to occur, then cause and effect is derived from and thus subordinate to the more fundamental phenomenon of existence.3017amen

    well put as to external, physical 'existence'. However, is it not so obvious that colors as we perceive cannot 'exist' in the mater itself? I mean, if nothing else, our eyes only receive all the light wavelengths (color) that was rejected by the object's surface, so by physics and definition that object cannot be said to have a color for which it rejects. Hence, obviously, no objects have the phenomenon of being/having the colors our eyes see. So, in your terms, the OP was asking an easy, obvious, trivial non-question... right?

    The more interesting, and non-trivial, question to me was how does our qualia of color (mentally) exist.
  • Zelebg
    459
    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.

    Projection of what onto what (perceived by what)?

    Eyes convert light into signals. That’s the only fact here. So the question is whether that signal is ever converted into something else, something like a symbol or something like a color.

    Now, if that signal is not converted into anything else, or if it is converted into some set of symbols, or say, some molecular structure, then the conclusion is colors do not actually exist, but we only perceive something else as if it is a color. Ok?

    But, if you want to claim colors do exist, then you have to explain that convertesion of signals into colors, where and how do those colors exist in space, and what are they made of. Yes? So what claim do you want to make?
  • Zelebg
    459
    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.

    The whole meaning of your statement hinges on the word “wisdom”, which is terribly undefined, if not undefinable, but surely it has something to do with data and knowledge. No? What exactly do you mean by “wisdom”?
  • Marchesk
    3.1k
    Are you asking us how to use the word colour, or how to use the word exist?

    One or the other.
    Banno

    Ontological questions aren't about how to use language, they're asking what is and what isn't.

    Is the moon made of cheese?

    That's not a question of how to use the words cheese or made. It's a question of what makes up the moon. Of course that's a silly question, but it illustrates the point.

    Is the world made up of the four elements?

    Again, it's not a question of whether someone knows how to use the words in the sentence. It's an ontological one. And as it turns out, the answer was more than four once we had a periodical table, as far as chemistry is concerned.

    So do colors exist?

    This is asking whether colors are mind-independent, objective properties of objects, like shape, extension or mass are. And the answer is probably not, unless one wants to go the idealistic or skeptical route. It's similar to our experience of solidity or temperature. Objects aren't solid or cold/hot in the way we experience them. That's just how our perceptual systems work.
  • Marchesk
    3.1k
    a. we actually see colors (colors exist)
    b. we only think we see colors (colors do not exist)
    Zelebg

    c. We actually see colors, but they are properties of our visual system, not the objects or environment itself, although they are related to the reflectivity of electromagnetic radiation in the visible range.

    I don't think that the experience of seeing color being an illusion makes sense. We are conscious of colors just like pains and smells. But those aren't real, meaning independent of an animal's perception.
  • Sir Philo Sophia
    189
    c. We actually see colors, but they are properties of our visual system, not the objects or environment itself, although they are related to the reflectivity of electromagnetic radiation in the visible range.Marchesk

    how would you say the colors we 'see' are ontologically "related to the reflectivity of electromagnetic radiation in the visible range"?
  • Zelebg
    459
    c. We actually see colors, but they are properties of our visual system, not the objects or environment itself, although they are related to the reflectivity of electromagnetic radiation in the visible range.

    Properties of our visual system. What kind of property, measured in what units, described in terms of what: charge, magnetism, force, attraction, distance, geometry, chemistry, computation, quantum mechanics...?


    I don't think that the experience of seeing color being an illusion makes sense. We are conscious of colors just like pains and smells. But those aren't real, meaning independent of an animal's perception.

    Does it make sense near the end of the first Matrix movie that Neo sees reality as a waterfall of symbols instead of colors and textures?

    Do you not think if you want to claim that we see actual colors as colors, instead of something else that we only interpret as colors, requires this thing “color” to actually physically exist in space as some new unknown substance rather than property or side effect of something else?
  • 3017amen
    1.2k
    So, in your terms, the OP was asking an easy, obvious, trivial non-question... right?

    The more interesting, and non-trivial, question to me was how does our qualia of color (mentally) exist.
    Sir Philo Sophia

    I agree, I think both are intriguing questions no doubt. One question is, in a sense, logically necessary, while the other seems to be an ancillary feature of conscious existence, which confers no real biological survival advantages. The latter is the one that is most intriguing to me.

    Thus, one question of why should colors matter to us emerges. In the study of say, Aesthetics, we have aesthetic objects, aesthetic experience, and aesthetic judgments. To find (yet another) emotive thing associated with consciousness that is universally subjective, which also has little to no survival value, should be no less intriguing than the phenomenon of the existing thing itself. So I suppose both are mystery's.

    Another question that is mysterious, would be why can we see in color, where apparently other species only see in black/white/grey(?).
  • Sir Philo Sophia
    189
    has little to no survival value3017amen

    color, where apparently other species only see in black/white/grey(?3017amen

    Darwin would answer that Humans do not need to perceive color for the Aesthetics, but do for the optimal survival. It is well known that primates effectively use color to ID a wide variety of foods (incl. fruits and other edibles). Color is used by many hyper poisonous creatures to warn others (who can see color) don't mess w/ me, or you die. That said, Aesthetics may well be a secondary driver in things like sexual attraction.
  • Sir Philo Sophia
    189
    So what claim do you want to make?Zelebg
    I made it in a reply to @3017...

    which is along the lines of:
    it is converted into some set of symbols, or say, some molecular structure, then the conclusion is colors do not actually exist, but we only perceive something else as if it is a color.Zelebg

    I might add that, of course, all our mental representations of 'reality' operate this way, so as I mentioned to @3017..., your question seems to be stating the obvious. Or am I missing something deeper that you are getting at in your original question?

    The sound of a bass woofer could just same have been assigned and experienced as the color 'red' and the mind would (or at least could learn to) be just as happy with that 'hearing' of the bass sound.
  • Sir Philo Sophia
    189
    What exactly do you mean by “wisdom”?Zelebg

    that is for another thread. I have been debating that with @Possibility on another thread, but we are currently stuck at "information". Once we clear that hurdle, we'll debate knowledge then get to le piece de resistance, 'wisdom'.

    Here is a pertinent (redacted) copy from that thread, towards answering you good enough for the purposes of this colors related discussion:

    However, many in this thread seem to throwing around various definitions of info/data/knowledge/wisdom, apparently thinking that just 'relating' data/info is enough to do the transforms. Yet, that seems way too vague for a concrete discussion of ...

    For me, the below definitions are a good starting place.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data
    Knowledge is the understanding based on extensive experience dealing with information on a subject. For example, the height of Mount Everest is generally considered data. The height can be measured precisely with an altimeter and entered into a database. This data may be included in a book along with other data on Mount Everest to describe the mountain in a manner useful for those who wish to make a decision about the best method to climb it. An understanding based on experience climbing mountains that could advise persons on the way to reach Mount Everest's peak may be seen as "knowledge". The practical climbing of Mount Everest's peak based on this knowledge may be seen as "wisdom". In other words, wisdom refers to the practical application of a person's knowledge in those circumstances where good may result. Thus wisdom complements and completes the series "data", "information" and "knowledge" of increasingly abstract concepts.

    Data is often assumed to be the least abstract concept, information the next least, and knowledge the most abstract.[9] In this view, data becomes information by interpretation; e.g., the height of Mount Everest is generally considered "data", a book on Mount Everest geological characteristics may be considered "information", and a climber's guidebook containing practical information on the best way to reach Mount Everest's peak may be considered "knowledge". "Information" bears a diversity of meanings that ranges from everyday usage to technical use. This view, however, has also been argued to reverse the way in which data emerges from information, and information from knowledge.[10] Generally speaking, the concept of information is closely related to notions of constraint, communication, control, data, form, instruction, knowledge, meaning, mental stimulus, pattern, perception, and representation. Beynon-Davies uses the concept of a sign to differentiate between data and information; data is a series of symbols, while information occurs when the symbols are used to refer to something.[11][12]
  • Zelebg
    459


    It looks like we understand each other, and even agree, but then I do not get why would you describe my question as "stating the obvious" when I think I am asking exactly the same thing what you earlier stated is "more interesting and non-trivial". I actually do not see there are two distinct interpretations on the question of the existence of colors.
  • Zelebg
    459
    I have been debating that with @Possibility on another thread, but we are currently stuck at "information". Once we clear that hurdle, we'll debate knowledge then get to le piece de resistance, 'wisdom'.

    People do not understand information is anything and everything because information has no inherent meaning. Meaning is always given to information by some agent interpreting that information / signal / pattern, against some background context or grounding, so the same word can have different meanings in different languages or in different sentences, for example.

    Understanding information means to put it in some context, to ground it, decode it, or to unzip it, if you will, so the same information can be understood differently by different people. Knowledge then should simply be ‘stored understanding’.

    Wisdom I'd say has to do with intuition and prediction, but in any case, taking your definition, I still do not see how it could apply to qualia. Where is the contact point?
  • 3017amen
    1.2k
    Darwin would answer that Humans do not need to perceive color for the Aesthetics, but do for the optimal survival.Sir Philo Sophia

    I need to study a little more of Darwin I think. Not to sound too rhetorical, any thoughts on what Darwin might say about the following:

    1. How do emergent properties result in self-awareness ( of colors)?
    2. What kind of survival value is essential in choosing colors for cars; guitars, houses, clothing hair color, makeup, et al.?
    3. Do human's exclusively rely on colors in the successful search for their food ?
    4. Was prehistoric man concerned about the color of their prey before they chose to kill it?
    5. What do you think Darwin would say about the metaphysical features of red evoking or conveying excitement from the color wheel?

    Bonus question: I prefer dark haired women over blondes, why is that? (I can have sex with either hair color but prefer dark-haired women.)

    When you say Darwin thinks that colors are optimal for survival, those are just a few intriguing questions that I thought of, off the top of my head. I'm trying to understand the full spectrum of survival value viz the reason we like and/or choose this color over that color.
  • Zelebg
    459

    Colors do covey temperature and mostly increase contrast between four general categories: ground, water, plants and animals, so they are useful.
  • Marchesk
    3.1k
    how would you say the colors we 'see' are ontologically "related to the reflectivity of electromagnetic radiation in the visible range"?Sir Philo Sophia

    I would say we see color for the evolutionary reason that reflectivity of that small band of the electromagnetic radiation is really useful for navigating the environment. But in a Matrix scenario, it would be possible to generate color experiences by exciting the visual cortex.
  • Marchesk
    3.1k
    Properties of our visual system. What kind of property, measured in what units, described in terms of what: charge, magnetism, force, attraction, distance, geometry, chemistry, computation, quantum mechanics...?Zelebg

    Welcome to the hard problem.

    Does it make sense near the end of the first Matrix movie that Neo sees reality as a waterfall of symbols instead of colors and textures?Zelebg

    For the plot of the movie, yes. And the symbols are green.

    Do you not think if you want to claim that we see actual colors as colors, instead of something else that we only interpret as colors, requires this thing “color” to actually physically exist in space as some new unknown substance rather than property or side effect of something else?Zelebg

    I don't think our experience of color exists as anything other than the experience and whatever underlying physical mechanism is responsible, or however consciousness works.
  • TheMadFool
    4.9k
    a. we actually see colors (colors exist)
    b. we only think we see colors (colors do not exist)
    Zelebg

    I may be totally off the mark here but I couldn't write this post if I didn't see colors. I wish we could post in color. Hey moderators, feature request: color option for posts!
  • Marchesk
    3.1k
    From a scientific point of view, the world isn't colored, it doesn't sound like anything, it doesn't feel like anything. That's Nagel's view from nowhere. It's an objective mathematical abstraction. The subjective is how we experience that world.
  • 3017amen
    1.2k


    Hi Zelebg!

    Could you give me the pragmatic's of that? (Or if you care to, maybe succinctly try to answer one of my questions if it all possible... .)
  • Zelebg
    459

    If pragmatics of better visual discrimination is not self-evident, then I think you need to explain where is the disagreement first.
  • 3017amen
    1.2k


    Can you answer any of those questions?
  • Possibility
    1k
    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’.
    Zelebg

    Colours are five-dimensional conceptual structures of chemical and energy relations. They exist potentially as values - any reference to the ‘actuality’ of a colour is a reduction of information using particular value structures: light wave frequencies, chemical ‘signatures’, computer ‘code’, etc.

    So in the above metaphor, I would say that the colour yellow exists potentially in the program, not actually in the computer.
  • Zelebg
    459
    Can you answer any of those questions?

    I already answered your question 4. What in the world is not clear about better vision being better than worse vision?
  • 3017amen
    1.2k
    What in the world is not clear about better vision being better than worse vision?Zelebg

    Oh, okay. I'm not sure exactly what you mean. Are you saying that prehistoric man only decides to kill a buffalo to eat because of its brown color? What if it's black, green, blue, yellow? Would he still want to kill a red one in order to satisfy his survival needs, or would he overlook a brown one in favor of a red one?
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