A brood comb

….philosophical and other notes….

Are White Things Red?

Posted by Tanas Gjorgoski on December 9, 2007

I wrote that color is one aspect that we see of the things.
We also know that the color of the objects correlates with the reflectance characteristic of the surface of the objects, and our capacity to see certain colors correlates with the make up of our visual system.
From this correlation we can assume that certain beings are possible which can see just red, and that those beings when see white things will see them as red.
If what we see is an aspect of the thing, that ‘being red’ will be aspect of the white things.
If this is an aspect of the thing, and if we know that we CAN see red, then why don’t we see white things as red?
The explanation would be that our seeing is limited in that way, that in certain cases we can’t see the red aspect of the thing. This is the case when the thing has also the green and blue aspects (which in this case we don’t see also).

An interesting consequence from here would be that beings with less limited perception, will see white things not as colorless as we see them, but will see them as red, green, blue, etc… at same time. (I think it would be similar to how when we see purple things, they are kind of both blue and red).
This would mean that a color which is both red and green is not impossible, and in fact what we see as white is both red and green. It is just that our perception is limited in a way that WE can’t see the color aspect of those things.

I’m not sure about the perceptual systems of other animals, but I guess it would be interesting if there are some animals which doesn’t have this kind of limit.

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