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Friday, March 24, 2023


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> This [continuousness] is not quite right either.

How then do we capture our sense that every (phenomenal) point on the surface of the object is coloured?

>But surely there is phenomenal heat in contradistinction to heat-scientifically-understood.

Agree. My hasty slip. There is heat as the movement of molecules, and there is “phenomenal” heat.

And yes, I think more work is needed on (4).

'Green' can be used to refer to the phenomenal color, seen green which, as I said, is a lowest determinate (infima species) or to the property of a thing in the external world which, whether it is seen or not by someone, makes it reflect light (physical light, not phenomenal light) of so many angstroms in wavelength. Physical light is a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is called the visible portion, but it is invisible in itself and called visible only in relation to subjects like us. (Compare the use of 'infrared' and 'ultraviolet.')

You are dubiously assuming that the phenomenal green is a physical part of the physical surface of the physical thing in the external world. You can think of this physical surface as consisting of an actual infinity of points. Not so with the phenomenally green surface. No visible color without extension!

>You are dubiously assuming that the phenomenal green is a physical part of the physical surface of the physical thing in the external world.

There is something that I take to be a green cushion on the chair to my left. The ‘green’ is phenomenal green. Perhaps I am mistaken in so taking it, but there is a something there nonetheless.

>You can think of this physical surface as consisting of an actual infinity of points.

I can, but it is the phenomenal surface that I know is continuous.

>No visible color without extension!

I wholly disagree. The phenomenally green surface is extended, having part outside part, as the scholastics say. Indeed, how on earth could it be a surface, if not extended. “Non-extended surface” is a contradictio in adiecto. Then there are two possibilities. (1) Phenomenal qualities are spread out in physical space. Or (2) there is a “phenomenal space” containing phenomenal objects. I favour the latter. Long live nouvel idéalisme.

Color is a grey area. (pun). Happy Friday.

That a racist pun, Joe! You said that to avoid saying it's neither BLACK nor white (supremacist). Actually what you really wanted to say, but were afraid to, is that the present topic is a POC, a problem 'of color.'

Seriously, Happy Friday. I recommend you cook for the family this evening in Lent, pasta puttanesca, not to celebrate whores, but to avoid meat. Make it with sardines, 'meatier' than anchovies.

Actually I am going to make some fresh pasta with the little hand-cranked pasta machine (it has rollers) & Annette is going to make some carrot sauce to go with it. I'll take a photo.

Oh, and on color: Color-blind people usually see red and green as the same color. This might complicate the discussion above.

Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him." Matthew 21:28-32, KJV.
• • • • • When I see the elite of this country strutting around in their self-importance, I think of the passage above. And heaven will be full of great stories. Happy Friday Brother Bill ! • • • • •


Either you are contradicting yourself or I have no idea what you are saying.

>> Or (2) there is a “phenomenal space” containing phenomenal objects. I favour the latter.<<

The following cannot both be true:

a) Visible green is seen as having a two-dimensional spread or extension in a phenomenal space.

b) A patch of seen green has parts outside of parts unto infinity each part visibly green.

(a) is true. (b) is false. The only way you could think that (b) is true is by confusing or identifying phenomenal space with physical space.

It is true, or it is at least reasonable to hold, that

c) Every portion of physical space is composed of an actual infinity of dimensionless points.

Can you see a dimensionless point? No you can't. Therefore you cannot see a visibly green, a phenomenally green, dimensionless point.

I take it you agree that “Non-extended surface” is a contradictio in adiecto. Whatever is a surface must be extended, by definition.

Now we run into the problem of defining continuity, and philosophers and mathematicians have been pondering that one for millenia. First, the notion of potential infinity applies here, not actual. I am not conscious of dimensionless points in my visual space. (Hume argues that I am, see Treatise I.2.4, but I do not find his argument convincing).

I think the phenomenal green surface has no gaps, so is smooth or continuous in that sense. Does that work?

In any case, let’s not get sidetracked. Generations of philosophers (including Kant) have distinguished between intensive and extensive magnitude. Phenomenal space has the latter.

On “physical space” I see no distinction between it and phenomenal space. That which I take to the visible surface of my desk is a patchwork of phenomenal colour. That, for me, is physical space also. For example I can run my finger along the black surface. The surface that I feel is one with the surface that I see.

On the other subject, I like pasta dishes very much, but don't like sardines. We just cook pasta with some butter and sprinkle on parmesan, which is still cheap and all we can afford these days.

The electro-magnetic field is continuous. Photons are discreet. Both "are" light.

Let me read the Hume passage and then I'll get back to you.


I wouldn't associate with or reveal too much to any indiscreet photon.

Seriously, though, is there not still a question whether light is a wave phenomenon or consists of particles?

All EM radiation is light from the standpoint of physics, but not all such radiation is visible by critters of our constitution.

>>Examples of light include radio and infrared waves, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, and X-rays. << https://phys.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/University_Physics/Book%3A_University_Physics_(OpenStax)/University_Physics_III_-_Optics_and_Modern_Physics_(OpenStax)/01%3A_The_Nature_of_Light


Is there not something dubious in the view that our direct sensory perception (in optimal conditions of lighting, etc.) of things like trees is illusory?
Suppose our sensations are are merely correlates of physical properties rather than the properties themselves. That would not mean they were illusory. They become illusory only when the correlation breaks down. Green leaves in autumnal New England, the scent of blossom in the absence of blossom, straight sticks looking bent when partly submerged in water, toothbrushes appearing through solid walls, and so on.

Important qualification re (5): phenomenal qualities are given to us as mind-independent, even if in fact they aren't. Heat for example. I touch the radiator and I feel the warmth of it. The warmth belongs to the radiator, not to me, even though I can feel it.

David says
>Suppose our sensations ...

What are these sensations? You mean neural processes? Or are you not a physicalist?

Physics currently views light as both a wave AND a particle.

The wave-particle duality is explored in this book, which I have read, but not the second edition. I recommend it. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/100027.Quantum_Enigma#CommunityReviews

And in fact, according to the current understanding of physics, all particles have a wave existence as well. That would include all the particles that make up yours truly, and also my pet cat.

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