Saturday, September 16, 2006

What is the true nature of color?

"Philosophy has long struggled to understand the nature of color. The central role color plays in our lives, in visual experience, in art, as a metaphor for emotions, has made it an obvious candidate for philosophical reflection. Understanding the nature of color, however, has proved a daunting task, despite the numerous fields that contribute to the project. Even knowing how to start can be difficult. Is color to be understood as an objective part of reality, a property of objects with a status similar to shape and size? Or is color more like pain, to be found only in experience and so somehow subjective? Or is color more like what some have said about time--that it seems real until we reflect enough, where we come ultimately to dismiss it as mere illusion? If color is more like shape and size, can we give a scientific account of it? Various strategies exist for this option--taking the color of an object to be just a complicated texture of that object, one that reflects certain wavelengths. Or perhaps color is merely a disposition to cause experiences in us, as salt has a disposition to dissolve. On the other hand, if color is more like pain, and found only in subjective experience, what is the nature of color experience? How, for instance, does an experience of red differ from an experience of blue, or from an experience of pain for that matter? Finally, if color is mere illusion, how do we continue to be so taken in by that illusion and how can something unreal seem so real and important to us?"


Vvyynn said...

Mr. Malone! Rant!!! As for me, I'd have to say that color is somewhat like pain. I'd give an example of how I see a certain color as orange, when other people (who I consider not to understand color) see it as yellow. If you want to have this discussion sometime, we can. At this point, I am rather perturbed about it. So, to answer the question "How do we experience color", I would say it's a subconcious connection to physical experiences. In an Alfred Hitchcock movie, "Marine" or something along those lines, a young girl went insane when she saw the color red. This is because she had a traumatic experience as a youth where her mother killed her father...or something like that (it was a rather confusing movie, and it's merits can be discussed if anyone has any idea what I'm writing about). I'll go on to another example, and no I'm not going to start a new paragraph. The Color "Blue" is something we associate with the sea. Thus, when we simply think about "Blue", or experience 'Blue", we make a connection to the sea. These connections can range from drowning, to running accross the beach with a loved one and then caressing eachother while the waves crash over you (getting sand everywhere, and making things taste like salt).
(NEW PARAPGRAPH!) So, to answer this post: Color is like Pain. Experiencing color is subconcious conections. I'll probably be back to rant as soon as someone answers me.

J.Malone said...

Vinny (how do you spell it now?) wants me to rant... One of my "Belief of the Days" is "I believe color does not exist". But I choose to hear your thoughts on this... I have my strong opinions. What do the dozens of others floating on this blog think? What do you believe?

Vvyynn said...

Any way you want as long a sit doesn't have an "E" in it. And, I, too, Have already posted my views on this...I think...let me check. Yes. Yes I have already answered this question. Man do I like talking.