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On boundaries between science of color perception and theori
Transcript of On boundaries between science of color perception and theori
to investigate relations and boundaries between philosophy and science in respect to theories of sense perception
The gap between common-sense descriptions of color properties and scientific data:
Color experiences do not correspond to intrinsic properties of colored objects and lights.
EVERYDAY EXPERIENCE OF COLOR
PHILOSOPHY OF COLOR
(THEORIES OF PERCEPTUAL KNOWLEDGE)
The influence of the scientific data on the theories of perceptual knowledge.
Discuss whether certain scientific data concerning common-sense descriptions of properties of objects have an effect on theories of perceptual knowledge. ???
A SPECIFIC INTEREST:
Addresses current debates in philosophy of color
Aims to study dynamics and its impact in the research on color perception
Matthen: "The lack of match between experienced colour space and physical colour space is how colour differs from musical harmony: a chord physically contains its component notes; listeners can be right or wrong about what they hear in this respect. Thus, there is no transfer, as in the case of music, from the structure of colour reality to the structure of colour experience."
“…one neglects problems rather than solving them if, in philosophic discussion of sense-perception, one dismisses as irrelevant what psychologists, biophysicists, chemists, and psychologists can tell us about the nature and functioning of our sense organs and our nervous systems.”
Every ordinary perceptual experience includes some interpretations of scientific truth-claims.
When perceiving the sun and the stars, we usually have two beliefs:
(i) that the stars we perceive are immensely distant objects
(ii) that those very same stars do not possess those characteristics that we see them as having.
Though contrasting, these two beliefs are not inconsistent. Inconsistency does not occur because we do not regard perception as only a process that results from having our eyes open.
Can scientific theories of perception contribute to solving the philosophical problems of perception?
Scientific explanations only fill in the details about some processes or entities.
He doubts the philosophical relevance of scientific accounts of perception since for him philosophy should deal with logical and methodological analyses of concepts instead of struggling with matters of fact in which philosophy is not competent.
“Science, by seeking out new and unusual experiences, changes the context in which our concepts operate. All analytic philosophers must recognize that the conclusions they reach are not necessarily immutable facts of logic, but are crystallizations of the logical form of a language at a particular stage in its historical development.”
Color for Philosophers
COHEN AND MATTHEN -
Color Ontology and Color Science
EPISTEMOLOGICAL QUESTIONS IN RESPECT TO COLOR:
(i) general questions on the connection between color experiences and perceptual knowledge;
(ii) questions about the content of perceptual experience with respect to color concepts and the kind of justificatory roles content can play;
(iii) questions on what is reflected (if anything) in ‘color-talk’.
What are the foundations of our perceptual knowledge of color?
Do we have some knowledge solely in virtue of experiencing colors?
Does color experience justify our beliefs about the colors of objects?
Matthen: “it is unclear how color gives us knowledge about real things and their properties.”
Considering the gap, can perceptual beliefs at all be seen as correctly representing the properties of objects?
COLOR CONSTANCY Vs. PERCEPTUAL VARIATION
“If sensory categories are subjective, how can they be useful for constructing a record of the objective world? If they are objective, how can we possess instinctual knowledge of them?”
How does the evidence of both, color constancy and high variability of color appearance affect our thinking about perceptual knowledge and our beliefs about color properties?
(ii) THE CONTENT
Is the content of perceptual experience conceptual?
Can the content play a justificatory role?
sensory content is non-conceptual in its nature (like some kind of a raw material)
MATTHEN: our sensory states have a compositional structure that is assembled from
(a) sensory referential components, which identify objects,
and (b) descriptive components, which identify sense-features.
In this respect, ‘red’ is a concept with an extension because it is a sense-feature and it corresponds to a sensory class. The compositional structure of sensory states is reflected by the fact that most visual states present a feature (color) as belonging to a thing that is being observed.
(iii) "COLOR TALK"
Do color concepts and color terms reflect reality?
Do they indicate anything about the metaphysical question of what colors are?
Can ‘color-talk’ tell us anything about the beliefs people have about color properties?
Physical theories of color including light transmission and reflection are not part of our color concepts. For instance, if measurements revealed that white surfaces transmit or absorb the most light, people would still continue to call snow ‘white’.
Our color language could, but does not, follow the physical theory of color. If we were conquered by extra-terrestrial beings who observed every wavelength of light as a different color, we might be obliged to learn a new language and a new color vocabulary.
The relation between scientific knowledge and perceptual knowledge in respect to color.
Although it appears as if scientific concepts are pretty much irrelevant to the nature of color and color experience, it does seem relevant to investigate what influence scientific data has on beliefs about perceptual experience and what role it plays in reaching conclusions in philosophy.