Philosophers have a bad reputation of the people, questioning accepted facts. You can be more certain than that the color of a cloudless sky in the summer afternoon blue? However, we can wonder and blue whether it's for flying in this bird, the eyes are different from ours? And if you take some blue object, for example, the UN flag – and place part of it in shade and part in the sun, the first part will be darker. You can ask the question: what then is the true color of the flag? How are the colors affected by the lighting and moving environments. Does that change the true colors?
The arguments in favour of a new definition of color
All these questions point to the fact that the colors, at first glance, permanent, are subjective and variable. Color is one of the ancient mysteries of philosophy, he questioned the validity of our sensory perception of the world and provokes concern in the metaphysical compatibility of science, the perceptual and the conventional view of the world. Most philosophers have given arguments on the subject, the colors or not, this phenomenon is physical or psychological. The more difficult task is to build a theory of how color can be a hurdle in the transition from physical understanding to a psychological understanding.
I can say that colors are not properties of objects (such as flag) or atmosphere (i.e., heaven), but are processes of perception – interaction, which involves psychological entities and physical objects. From my point of view, colors are not properties of things, and the way that objects appear to us, and at the same time the way in which we perceive certain types of objects. Is a color definition opens the view on the very nature of consciousness.
Vibrant color. In this picture, the Tree, the Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-salahi, dynamic and wave-like sequence of black and white colors create colored vertical lines. The author chose this painting for the cover of his book "Foreign color" because, as she says, "I like to think that it represents the appearance of colors in the world through constant interactions perceiving subjects and perceived objects".
For philosophers of the ancient world, particularly Greece and India, the variability of the experience of perception of reality, changing from time to time and from person to person, was the cause of unrest about the fact that our eyes are not exactly a reliable witness of the world around us. Such variability suggests that the experience of perception is determined not only by observable things, but also our own mind. Still, until the scientific revolution the color was not a problem. Discuss the philosophy of color usually have their origin from the seventeenth century, when Galileo, Descartes, Locke, or Newton began to tell us what we feel, or "secondary" properties of objects – color, taste, smell, sound – do not belong to the physical world as we find it.
In the treatise "Assay master" 1623, in the first Bible of scientific methods and descriptions use mathematics to understand the world, Galileo writes: "I do not think that to excite in us tastes, odors and sounds from external bodies require anything other than sizes, shapes, quantities, and fast or slow their movement; I think that if ears, tongues and noses would be selected, shape, quantity and motion would remain, and the smells, sounds and tastes would disappear" [Galileo, G. The Assayer in Drake, S. Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, New York, NY (1957)].
Modern science, going from the XVII century, gives us a description of material objects, radically different from our ordinary sense perception. Galileo says that the world contains the body properties like size, shape, and movement, regardless of feels is their someone or not. Measuring and describing things in terms of these "fundamental" properties, science promises to give us knowledge of the objective world, independent of confounding human perception. Science can explain how the molecules emitted into the air sage can stimulate my nose, or as the petals reflect the light and seem my eye is blue-violet. But the smell and color of their conscious sensory perception – in this explanation are not involved.
Today, the color problem is considered to be ontological — that is, dealing with what actually exists in the Universe. From a scientific point of view to say that the only properties of objects, undeniably existing, are properties described by physics. For Galileo it was the size, shape, quantity and motion; for today's physicists have less tangible properties like electric charge. This eliminates from the fundamental ontology of any qualitative properties like color, known to us only through our senses. But if we exclude color, how to deal with their obvious manifestations of as properties of everyday objects? Or we say that our senses deceive us, making us believe that external objects are painted, although in reality colors don't exist, or we try to find an approximation of colors that is compatible with scientific ontology and placing them on a par with material objects.
Opinion described by Galileo, became known as subjectivism or antirealism. The problem is that color perception gives us a false idea about the world, and that people become victims of systematically manifested the illusion of perceiving external objects as colored. In 1988, the philosopher C. L. Hardin turned to look Galileo in his remarkable work "Color for philosophers" [Hardin, C. L. Color for Philosophers: Unweaving the Rainbow, Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. Indianapolis, IN (1988)]. He based his approval on "the theory of the competitive process", launched by psychologists Leo Cervicem and Dorothea Jameson, explaining the appearance of colors through color coding by the brain signals coming from the retina. Hardin argued that the most appropriate description of the colors must be neurological. In other words, colored objects do not exist outside the mind in physical reality, but are the only artificial construct created by the brain.
Other philosophers took up the challenge of finding a vacant space of these mysterious color properties in the material world. Color realism is of different types. One suggestion is to define color as a physical property of an object of type "surface spectral reflectance" (predisposition surfaces, it is preferable to absorb and reflect light of different wavelengths). This is the most serious attempt to maintain a common notion that colors belong to everyday things existing in the world – for example, the sky is just blue. The main difficulty with this assumption is to compare them with our knowledge on the subjective perception of color, for example, variability of perceived color upon changing the observer or context.
In this photo the Blue mountains near Sydney, Australia, as the hills recede into the distance, they look more blue and the color is becoming less saturated. Psychologists refer to this color as to signal the distance that tell of a visible change in the size of the hills. From the point of view of the author the photo illustrates how perception affects the color: "We perceive the distance to the hills over the blue".
The problem with these proposals of realism and antirealism in that they both focus on objective or subjective aspects of color. Alternative position can be described as "relationism". Colors are analyzed as real properties of objects, however, independent of the observer. This approach is evident in the science of the XVII century (in particular, in an essay John Locke "an essay concerning human understanding"), and is reflected in the idea that colors are the essence of the susceptibility of objects to appear a certain way. Interestingly, this relyativistskoi assumption coincides with some recurring ideas that exist in science, about the perception of color. Scientists fisiologi Rainer Mausfeld, Reynard Naderi and K. Dieter Heyer wrote that "the concept of color vision of the person includes both a subjective component associated with the phenomenon of perception, and objective. It seems to us that this subtle conflict is a necessary ingredient of research, color perception" [Mausfeld, R. J., Niederée, R. M., & Heyer, D. K. On possible perceptual worlds and how they shape their environments. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 15, 47-48 (1992)].
And a little further in the same paper they call this property "duplicity" color: color, points us to the world of objects, and simultaneously pulls us into the study of perception. This is a common trend in scientific work on color vision, and I always thought it was terribly attractive but this duplicity of color.
In the influential textbook psychologist pernatology Stephen Palmer says that the color cannot be reduced to neither visual perception nor properties of objects or light. Palmer writes that instead "the color can best be understood as the result of a complex interaction between physical light in the environment, and our visual nervous system" [Palmer, S. E. Vision Science: Photons to Phenomenology MIT Press (1999)].
In fact, I believe that color is not a property of the mind (visual perception), object or light, but the perceptual process – interaction, which involves all three of these concepts. According to this theory, which I call "color aricescu", color is not a property of things, as it seems at first. No, color is how external stimuli affect certain individuals, and at the same time, how individuals perceive certain stimuli. "Arachnet" occurs as colors are considered to be a property of processes, not things. So instead refer to the color names as adjectives (describing objects), we should treat them as adverbs (describing action). I eat quickly, go gracefully and on a good day you can see the sky is blue!
Physicists often describe the blue color of the sky via Rayleigh scattering, the fact that the short wavelengths of the visible colors, dispersed by Earth's atmosphere more than long, so the scattered blue light coming to us from all areas of the sky when the Sun is high in the sky and no clouds. But we should resist the temptation to say that the blue of the sky is just a property of light scattering. It's not gay does not exist until the light is provisionally from perceiving its subjects with the photoreceptors in different ways responsive to short and long wavelengths.
Therefore, it is more accurate to say that the sky is blue and we see it blue.
Outside of our heads
"Saracinesca" there is not a color object or color in mind. Color are properties of the process of perception. Because the color cannot be reduced neither to physics nor to psychology, we are left with blue sky, which is neither internal nor external, but something between these concepts.
This idea affects the understanding of conscious perception. We tend to think of conscious perception as something like a sequence of sounds and images passing in front of us on our internal movie screen. It is from this concept wants to depart the philosopher Alva Noe. In his 2009 book, "Outside our heads" [Out of Our Heads] Noe argues that consciousness is not limited to the brain, and is somewhere "between" the mind and physical environment, and that consciousness should be studied in terms of action [Noë, A. Out of Our Heads, Hill and Wang, New Haven, CT (2009)]. By themselves, these ideas puzzling. But if we take the example of visual perception, "color arachnet" is a way to understand consciousness, located "outside the head". According to Nareznoi, the perception of color occurs because of our interaction with the world, and it wouldn't exist without contact with the environment. Our inner mental life depends on external context.
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