• David Cleo
    7
    I have never seen it referenced by either side of the debate. Just looking for a direct answer to a direct question. Thanks
  • Olivier5
    1.2k
    I suppose for a naïve realist it is just a meaningless absence of light.
  • Harry Hindu
    3.6k
    I'm not sure i understand the question. Darkness is blackness, and black is a color.
  • jamalrob
    2.8k
    Maybe like this: the apple is red but I just can't see it.
  • jamalrob
    2.8k
    I have never seen it referenced by either side of the debateDavid Cleo

    Darkness is briefly mentioned in the colour entry on the IEP when discussing dispositionalism. It seems to suggest that unlike naive colour realism (primitivism or non-reductive realism), dispositionalism better deals with darkness.
  • Michael
    9.3k
    Is the "real" colour of the apple the colour it appears to have in the dark, or the colour it appears to have in the light? The usual idea is that its "real" colour is the colour it appears to have in the light, but perhaps that itself is illusory. In the same way that a red light can give the false impression that the object being lit up is red, perhaps white light can give the false impression that the object being lit up is whatever colour it appears to be.
  • Jack Cummins
    493

    I am quite interested to know the angle you are coming from as your discussion point for the thread was brief. Is it in relation to the philosophy of art. I am also finding it interesting that your thread on darkness is currently sitting next to my one on the human shadow. Perhaps a shadowy darkness is hovering over us today.

    But I do art work myself and do battle with issues of shadow and colour. I often choose to draw in black and white, and if anything get carried away and end up making art that is too dark. For this reason, I have even experimented in drawing in white to curb my gothic inclinations.

    I do frequently draw in a pointilist way and I find that the play of light. Luminescence is extremely important and the colour spectrum can achieve certain pictorial representations limited by black and white.

    But getting back to your question, perhaps light and darkness sits outside of the naiive realist colour palette.
  • David Cleo
    7
    If I'm thinking about this correctly then I'm meaning, what is it that gives the darkness it's black colour for the naive realist from an objective stand point, if the blackness doesn't have physical properties to intrinsically accommodate the colour like objective material objects would.
  • David Cleo
    7
    Thanks for all the answers.
  • David Cleo
    7
    No it isn't related to the philosophy of art, thanks for your response though.
  • Jack Cummins
    493

    I would be glad to know what the question was related to if not the philosophy of art. I am not being critical, but just curious to know where you are you coming from, metaphorical or otherwise?
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.4k
    Why wouldn't a "naive realist" (a phrase which strikes me as an oxymoron) simply say it's dark when there's little or no light? What more of an explanation of darkness would be required?
  • David Cleo
    7
    I guess what I'm getting at is, what objective quality would give the lack of light (darkness) it's black colour? I can understand objects holding colour, but what would make this immaterial 'nothing' (darkness), be the colour black objectively in this theory. If this explanation is simply not required for this theory to still be logically coherent then please let me know.
  • petrichor
    270
    Take care to notice that seeing black and not seeing are two very different things. Blind people don't see black. Phenomenologically, blackness is a color quality in itself.

    Another thing to be aware of here is that in terms of the information you have, when you see black, you know that you are definitely NOT detecting photons from that location. If you are blind, you lack this knowledge. This is probably why you don't have a sense of blackness when blind or trying to see via your hand or the back of your head. Where there is no information, there are no qualities at all.
  • David Cleo
    7
    Thank you but I'm not sure you understood my question. This musing is strictly in context with the naive realist theory.
  • petrichor
    270


    It's relevant. Whatever the theory, whether naive realist or whatever, it must take into account and explain the difference between seeing black and not seeing.

    I suppose the naive realist would have to try to say that blackness is truly what a lack of light looks like, in itself. You are truly seeing that there is no light. But I am not sure this really makes sense. If you experience only and directly the things out there themselves, I don't know how you could really experience an absence of something. It seems to me that if what you experience is directly just objects themselves (light in this case), if something is there, you'd see it, but if nothing is there, you wouldn't see anything, not even blackness. You would likely only experience what is present, not any kind of absence. And blackness is an indication of a known negative.

    Personally, I think naive realism is wrong. Perhaps our seeing of black is one of the many challenges it faces.
  • David Cleo
    7
    Ok so you do! Great answer. Perhaps it is, I was just surprised that it was something I've not seen as being a significant argument against it by any of its detractors, so I was naturally intrigued. Then again, maybe it does hold an explanation; I would be incredibly surprised if there wasn't due to the amount of reflection on the topic, and also due to the simple fact that this is something so blatantly obvious to consider as we spend half of our life's in darkness! I have seen some objectivist theories reference shadows, so maybe it's not as significant as I think. Thanks for your input.
  • Harry Hindu
    3.6k
    If I'm thinking about this correctly then I'm meaning, what is it that gives the darkness it's black colour for the naive realist from an objective stand point, if the blackness doesn't have physical properties to intrinsically accommodate the colour like objective material objects would.David Cleo
    Hmm. I'm not sure I understand the difference between naive (direct) realism and indirect realism. Is your mind not part of the world, and you have direct access to the contents of your mind? What do you mean by naive realism? Would another person experience the same thing I experience if they were me? Or maybe I should ask if I have the same experience everytime when there is no light, then does that not say something objective about the relationship between me and some amount of light in the world? If so, does not that mean that my experiences are objective? If we can predict what someone experiences given that they are a human in an environment without any light, does that make what they experience objective?
  • Marchesk
    3.9k
    Maybe like this: the apple is red but I just can't see it.jamalrob

    What does it mean for the apple to be red when there is no visible light reflecting off it? For that matter. What does it mean for the apple to be red when nobody is looking at it?
  • Marchesk
    3.9k
    1.3k
    Why wouldn't a "naive realist" (a phrase which strikes me as an oxymoron) sim
    Ciceronianus the White

    Naive realist means an unreflective assumption that the world is pretty much as it appears to us humans. A direct realist would be aware of the various critiques of naive realism, armed with counter arguments in favor of the world looking at least somewhat as it appears to us, without there being some sort of mental intermediary.
  • TheMadFool
    7.9k
    Darkness is blackness, and black is a color.Harry Hindu

    Hi Harry Hindu. There's something that I want to run by you. It's got to do with the "color" black. I don't how to put this into the right words but I'll give it my best shot. I know there are more colors in existence than I can name so I'll stick to the so-called primary colors - last I checked these colors in the right combination can produce all other colors. So, for the purpose of this discussion, assume the primary triplet of red, blue, and green are all colors.

    Anyway, Let's put the colors together in a cute little set, like so: colors = {red, green, blue, black}. Prima facie, it all seems fine. We aren't saying anything out of the ordinary here, right?

    A little bit of highschool physics brought to bear on the set and the "color" black sticks out like a sore thumb - unlike the rest of the colors in the set which are reflected light, black isn't, black is the absence of all reflected light. In simpler terms, for all colors except black there are photons emanating from the colors that strike our retina. Isn't this a fundamental difference in property? Doesn't it mean black, in being so unique, isn't a color or if one doesn't take kindly to such a proposal, that black needs its own subcategory under the rubric of colors?

    What say you?
  • Harry Hindu
    3.6k
    A little bit of highschool physics brought to bear on the set and the "color" black sticks out like a sore thumb - unlike the rest of the colors in the set which are reflected light, black isn't, black is the absence of all reflected light. In simpler terms, for all colors except black there are photons emanating from the colors that strike our retina. Isn't this a fundamental difference in property? Doesn't it mean black, in being so unique, isn't a color or if one doesn't take kindly to such a proposal, that black needs its own subcategory under the rubric of colors?

    What say you?
    TheMadFool
    What I say is that if the existence of colors is not dependent upon the existence of light in the environment, rather colors always occur when there is an eye-brain system, then colors are a product of some state of an eye-brain system, and not necessarily a product of light.

    As I have mentioned before in other threads, we cannot sever the part of our experience that is about the world from how the world relates to the body. Every experience is both about the world and about the body. In other words, we cannot experience the world as it is independent of our observations of it. Our observations always include a bit of information about ourselves. This is why the eye doctor is able to get at the state of your eye-brain system by asking you to report the contents of you mind when observing an eye chart. The doctor isn't concerned about the state of the chart. That is constant. The variable is the patient and their visual experiences, and that is what the doctor is getting at. Does this mean that our experiences are objective in that they can be talked about, predicted and tested?
  • TheMadFool
    7.9k
    @David Cleo
    Naive realist means an unreflective assumption that the world is pretty much as it appears to us humans. A direct realist would be aware of the various critiques of naive realism, armed with counter arguments in favor of the world looking at least somewhat as it appears to us, without there being some sort of mental intermediary.Marchesk

    Short and sweet. Just the kinda thing I was looking for. Thanks a million.

    Is it fair to say then that the naive realist would simply conclude that color (black needs special treatment - I'll get to that in a while) is a feature of reality and that it's a property of objects and their interactions with light?

    Coming to the "color" black, my intuition is that this comes close to a category mistake. Perhaps "misnomer" is the more apt word but put that aside for the moment and consider the fact that an important distinction exists between black and all other colors: all colors except black are perceived as photons hitting our retina; black is the absence of photons. This, to me, means that black is either not a color or, if one is not sympathetic to such a point of view, that it needs a category of its own in the color domain. The former option seems the most reasonable one to me.

    Anyway, darkness is basically black but this comes from a person who's taken the time to analyze the matter seriously enough. It appears that the darkness = black identity is not an obvious one. Why else are there two words viz. "dark" and "black" and why is it that they aren't interchanageable? "It becomes dark around sevenish" is easier on the tongue and ear than "it becomes black around sevenish" and "the box is black" feels more natural than "the box is dark". This feeling of appropriateness of the words "black" and "dark" suggests that our ancestors, those who first coined these words, failed to make the connection between darkness and blackness and made a distinction where there's no difference. Just a theory, unsubstantiated, take it with a grain of salt.

    And here's where it gets interesting in my humble opinion. I mentioned in the paragraph above that the darkness-blackness distinction is one without a difference. If so, the false distinction is all mental, exclusively mind and has nothing to do with the external world. In other words, the mind is capable of creating certain conceptual frameworks for reality that aren't true per se but also not completely false. But wait, it gets better (I think!?) To understand that the darkness-blackness distinction is a mistake takes logic, something all mental, all mind.

    In essence, I don't believe that reality is, in any way, untruthful or that it possesses mechanisms to distort its impressions on our senses. I believe it's What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG).

    The same can't be said of the mind as the case of the blackness-darkness distinction without a difference proves. The mind seems capable of, for some odd reason, distorting reality, imposing its own agenda as it were on reality. All in all, if you ever get fooled by reality, you know whom to blame.
  • TheMadFool
    7.9k
    What I say is that if the existence of colors is not dependent upon the existence of light in the environment, rather colors always occur when there is an eye-brain system, then colors are a product of some state of an eye-brain system, and not necessarily a product of lightHarry Hindu

    Isn't the eye a just a fancy light-detector?

    Our observations always include a bit of information about ourselves. This is why the eye doctor is able to get at the state of your eye-brain system by asking you to report the contents of you mind when observing an eye chart.Harry Hindu

    I share your sentiments on the issue. The mind seems to have an agenda, probably because of it's driven to comprehend, make sense of, the sense-data (is this correct usage?) and this manifests as "...a bit of information about ourselves." in the picture of reality that the minds constructs from the sense-data. This is all conjecture of course so put on your skeptical hat. It probably sounds ridiculous and downright funny but kindly indulge me.

    An eye-chart, to my reckoning, is sense-data poor in the sense it has very little variation, has minimal complexity, and doesn't/fails to activate parts of the mind dedicated toward detecting certain specific patterns in the visual data. On the other hand, a more natural setting, outdoors or a city perhaps, and also those times when shown an optical illusion, that which I refered to as the mind's agenda, becomes more apparent, more visible. Mind you, I'm not disagreeing with you here. I'm simply contemplating scenarios in which that you referred to as "...a bit of information about ourselves" can be isolated, magnified, or both to make their study feasible.
  • unenlightened
    5.3k
    "What's your argument?", says this naive realist. "Are you claiming that because I cannot see in the dark, things are not various colours?" We have various devices much loved by astronomers and other detectives that can 'translate' infra red and other EMR frequencies undetectable to our eyes (google microwave background for example). Such things are necessarily rendered in 'false colour' to make them visible. They are not really the colour they are presented as. Red apples, though, are not generally rendered in false colour, because there is a little light in the fridge that shows them up in their true colours - more or less.

    I say 'more or less' because Mummy always insisted on taking more important things, like clothes, to a window before she bought them, to check how they looked in daylight, shop lighting being somewhat deceptive.
  • Olivier5
    1.2k
    Mummy always insisted on taking more important things, like clothes, to a window before she bought them, to check how they looked in daylight, shop lighting being somewhat deceptive.unenlightened

    :up:
  • bongo fury
    699
    I say 'more or less' because Mummy always insisted on taking more important things, like clothes, to a window before she bought them, to check how they looked in daylight, shop lighting being somewhat deceptive.unenlightened

    :ok:

    You have to play on a violin to see what sounds it makes. And you have to let the light play on a dress to see what colours it makes.

    A musical pitch is an equivalence class of sound events.

    A visual colour is an equivalence class of illumination events.
  • unenlightened
    5.3k
    You have to play a violin to see what sounds it makes. And you have to let the light play on a dress to see what colours it makes.bongo fury

    Indeed. stuff is coloured in relation to light and eyes. But to say that one sees by means of light and using one's eyes, is not to say one sees indirectly, simply to explain what seeing is.
  • Marchesk
    3.9k
    Because there's no color quale intermediary/representation we're aware of instead?
  • unenlightened
    5.3k
    Because there's no color quale intermediary/representation we're aware of instead?Marchesk

    Yes. If there was an intermediary representation, presumably in my brain, I wouldn't be able to see it, because 1. it's behind my eyes, and 2. it's pitch black in there.
  • bongo fury
    699
    simply to explain what seeing is.unenlightened

    ... Namely, an ordering or classification of illumination events. Which isn't something specially suggestive of either direct nor indirect... which are more germane to internal-picture philosophies.
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