Colour

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Re: Colour

#701  Postby GrahamH » Aug 07, 2017 3:45 pm

romansh wrote:
GrahamH wrote:
We could test for correlation of likeness - whether two colours are more or less alike. Those colour blindness test charts with numbers can be used for that. But such tests could not determine if my subjective experience of blue and green are the exact compliment of yours, for example. According to some this is a meaningful question, but to others it is meaningless. I think that asking 'does colour exist' is like asking 'do colour qualia exist, and I have the same qualia as you?'

I agree with you here and I get the question is meaningless camp as well.

But if this camp is right, then when I say the bus is red is a very superficial statement ... ie our each of our perceived qualia have been defined as red when it comes to speaking of London double deckers. I have no problem with this but it does highlight the difference between noumena and phenomena.


Or 'the bus is red' is a reference to spectral characteristics of the bus that correlate with our perceptual discrimination of spectra and we ignore qualia entirely. Then there is no 'qualia defined as red', just we can detect a likeness between blood and sunsets and London buses in certain situations.
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Re: Colour

#702  Postby The_Metatron » Aug 07, 2017 4:16 pm

GrahamH wrote:
The_Metatron wrote:It's likely, probably owing to some bell curve distribution of chromats. We may have different words for the color of a clear sky, but we probably perceive them similarly. But, only probably.


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We could test for correlation of likeness - whether two colours are more or less alike. Those colour blindness test charts with numbers can be used for that. But such tests could not determine if my subjective experience of blue and green are the exact compliment of yours, for example. According to some this is a meaningful question, but to others it is meaningless. I think that asking 'does colour exist' is like asking 'do colour qualia exist, and I have the same qualia as you?'

Close, but it would work better to show a range of shades from which to select the match to the bus, for example. All we need compare is how close our choices were to each other.


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Re: Colour

#703  Postby GrahamH » Aug 07, 2017 4:25 pm

The_Metatron wrote:
GrahamH wrote:
The_Metatron wrote:It's likely, probably owing to some bell curve distribution of chromats. We may have different words for the color of a clear sky, but we probably perceive them similarly. But, only probably.


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We could test for correlation of likeness - whether two colours are more or less alike. Those colour blindness test charts with numbers can be used for that. But such tests could not determine if my subjective experience of blue and green are the exact compliment of yours, for example. According to some this is a meaningful question, but to others it is meaningless. I think that asking 'does colour exist' is like asking 'do colour qualia exist, and I have the same qualia as you?'

Close, but it would work better to show a range of shades from which to select the match to the bus, for example. All we need compare is how close our choices were to each other.Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


I think we would need to test likeness and difference. Someone who is red/green colour blind might agree that reds are alike but it's when they say red and green are also alike, or not different, that you find out they are colour blind. That's what those dot patterns do.

Some people will say any of these colours are alike
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Re: Colour

#704  Postby The_Metatron » Aug 07, 2017 4:27 pm

GrahamH wrote:
romansh wrote:
GrahamH wrote:
We could test for correlation of likeness - whether two colours are more or less alike. Those colour blindness test charts with numbers can be used for that. But such tests could not determine if my subjective experience of blue and green are the exact compliment of yours, for example. According to some this is a meaningful question, but to others it is meaningless. I think that asking 'does colour exist' is like asking 'do colour qualia exist, and I have the same qualia as you?'

I agree with you here and I get the question is meaningless camp as well.

But if this camp is right, then when I say the bus is red is a very superficial statement ... ie our each of our perceived qualia have been defined as red when it comes to speaking of London double deckers. I have no problem with this but it does highlight the difference between noumena and phenomena.


Or 'the bus is red' is a reference to spectral characteristics of the bus that correlate with our perceptual discrimination of spectra and we ignore qualia entirely. Then there is no 'qualia defined as red', just we can detect a likeness between blood and sunsets and London buses in certain situations.

Actually, there are quite a few standards that define colors. They aren't all the same, and none of them is universal. But, they exist.

The Natural Color System is a clever one.




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Re: Colour

#705  Postby The_Metatron » Aug 07, 2017 4:29 pm

Not only is it trivial to compare how each of us detect color, standards exist which we can use to name those colors. It would be tedious, but we damn sure can test if red means the same to you as it means to me.


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Re: Colour

#706  Postby GrahamH » Aug 07, 2017 5:18 pm

The_Metatron wrote:Not only is it trivial to compare how each of us detect color, standards exist which we can use to name those colors. It would be tedious, but we damn sure can test if red means the same to you as it means to me.


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In terms of 'qualia' we can't. There is this notion of "what it's like-ness"
What we can test is an ability to discriminate. A simple photo-sensor device can discriminate colours and output names of colours. That doesn't mean there is a subjective experience of colour qualia in that device. Function and qualia are not necessarily the same thing.

If you ignore qualia and adopt a narrow meaning for "if red means the same to you as it means to me" you are right. We can test people to see what degree they report stimuli as alike or different.

Still there is the notion that what red feels like to me is something other than just discrimination between stimuli. It doesn't seem absurd to speculate that what it's like to see red could be swapped with what it's like to see blue and our functional colour discrimination would not be affected at all. On the machine we could swap the red sensor with the blue sensor and calibrate it and it would work just as before discriminating colours.

We might just agree that qualia are nothing more than a sort of labelling of the discrimination function. That colour in that qualia sense doesn't really exist. If you think they do exist it should be clear they can't be tested.
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Re: Colour

#707  Postby romansh » Aug 07, 2017 6:53 pm

GrahamH wrote: On the machine we could swap the red sensor with the blue sensor and calibrate it and it would work just as before discriminating colours.

Exactly ... we choose the red sensor because it happens to coincide with whatever qualia we are experiencing. Again I have no problem with the bus seeming red. But the surface of the bus is a whole bunch of phenomena which return photons primarily in the red wavelengths. There's a whole bunch of physics and chemistry going on and we experience a redness.

Semantically I am OK calling this bus red ... but philosophically I am far from sure.

The science is not in dispute here. Some of us might quibble about the details but those [quibbled details] are irrelevant to the question. As is the correlation of colour perceptions to spectral phenomena.
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Re: Colour

#708  Postby SpeedOfSound » Aug 08, 2017 1:58 pm

romansh wrote:
GrahamH wrote: On the machine we could swap the red sensor with the blue sensor and calibrate it and it would work just as before discriminating colours.

Exactly ... we choose the red sensor because it happens to coincide with whatever qualia we are experiencing. Again I have no problem with the bus seeming red. But the surface of the bus is a whole bunch of phenomena which return photons primarily in the red wavelengths. There's a whole bunch of physics and chemistry going on and we experience a redness.

Semantically I am OK calling this bus red ... but philosophically I am far from sure.

The science is not in dispute here. Some of us might quibble about the details but those [quibbled details] are irrelevant to the question. As is the correlation of colour perceptions to spectral phenomena.

As long as we are careful not to add a Spook in the middle of our semantics we are all good. As soon as we say 'qualia of' we have added the spook and all goes badly from there on down. Now we can just declare that this IS the Hard Problem. But we could also then suggest the Easy Solution is to stop believing in the spook.

I have no evidence that I ever have an experience fo seeing red. I can easily convince myself that I have just had or am having this 'experience' but when I look into just how it is that I do that my evidence starts to quiver and shake.
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Re: Colour

#709  Postby GrahamH » Aug 08, 2017 2:14 pm

SpeedOfSound wrote:
romansh wrote:
GrahamH wrote: On the machine we could swap the red sensor with the blue sensor and calibrate it and it would work just as before discriminating colours.

Exactly ... we choose the red sensor because it happens to coincide with whatever qualia we are experiencing. Again I have no problem with the bus seeming red. But the surface of the bus is a whole bunch of phenomena which return photons primarily in the red wavelengths. There's a whole bunch of physics and chemistry going on and we experience a redness.

Semantically I am OK calling this bus red ... but philosophically I am far from sure.

The science is not in dispute here. Some of us might quibble about the details but those [quibbled details] are irrelevant to the question. As is the correlation of colour perceptions to spectral phenomena.

As long as we are careful not to add a Spook in the middle of our semantics we are all good. As soon as we say 'qualia of' we have added the spook and all goes badly from there on down. Now we can just declare that this IS the Hard Problem. But we could also then suggest the Easy Solution is to stop believing in the spook.

I have no evidence that I ever have an experience fo seeing red. I can easily convince myself that I have just had or am having this 'experience' but when I look into just how it is that I do that my evidence starts to quiver and shake.


It's easy to have attribution of spook without any hard problem. You easily convincing yourself is all it takes for there to seem to be qualia with no requirement that actually are qualia, or a spook to 'have them'. If we take subjective experience of colour to be the topic and reject the spook then there is no colour qualia 'out there on the bus' and no spook 'in here feeling it', but we can still discriminate between spectra bouncing off buses.
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Re: Colour

#710  Postby DavidMcC » Aug 08, 2017 2:54 pm

SpeedOfSound wrote:...

I have no evidence that I ever have an experience fo seeing red. I can easily convince myself that I have just had or am having this 'experience' but when I look into just how it is that I do that my evidence starts to quiver and shake.

Quivering and shaking evidence, eh? Well, that can't be good! :shock:
Is there something especially problematic for you about seeing colours, generally, or seeing red in paricular? In other words, do you have the same problem seeing, say blue? Are you perchance red-green colour blind?
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Re: Colour

#711  Postby romansh » Aug 08, 2017 3:23 pm

SpeedOfSound wrote:
As long as we are careful not to add a pook in the middle of our semantics we are all good. As soon as we say 'qualia of' we have added the spook and all goes badly from there on down. Now we can just declare that this IS the Hard Problem. But we could also then suggest the Easy Solution is to stop believing in the spook.

I have no evidence that I ever have an experience fo seeing red. I can easily convince myself that I have just had or am having this 'experience' but when I look into just how it is that I do that my evidence starts to quiver and shake.

The origin of this thread was a claim I made that colour is an illusion [not as it seems] not that it does not exist. Perhaps with the extension that some buses are not red in the sense redness we perceive is a construct of the brain and not some intrinsic property of the bus.

There is no spook. That for me is a complete red herring. If you pardon the colour reference. Redness I perceive is simply correlation of my brain and retinal chemistry/whatever with the wavelength of the photons reaching the cones on my retina. The photos reaching my retina are also dependent on the surface properties of the bus.

The surface properties of the bus we might call red. But is the surface itself red in the same way I perceive it? Personally I don't see how it can be.
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Re: Colour

#712  Postby DavidMcC » Aug 08, 2017 3:38 pm

romansh wrote:
SpeedOfSound wrote:
As long as we are careful not to add a pook in the middle of our semantics we are all good. As soon as we say 'qualia of' we have added the spook and all goes badly from there on down. Now we can just declare that this IS the Hard Problem. But we could also then suggest the Easy Solution is to stop believing in the spook.

I have no evidence that I ever have an experience fo seeing red. I can easily convince myself that I have just had or am having this 'experience' but when I look into just how it is that I do that my evidence starts to quiver and shake.

The origin of this thread was a claim I made that colour is an illusion [not as it seems] not that it does not exist. Perhaps with the extension that some buses are not red in the sense redness we perceive is a construct of the brain and not some intrinsic property of the bus.

There is no spook. That for me is a complete red herring. If you pardon the colour reference. Redness I perceive is simply correlation of my brain and retinal chemistry/whatever with the wavelength of the photons reaching the cones on my retina. The photos reaching my retina are also dependent on the surface properties of the bus.

The surface properties of the bus we might call red. But is the surface itself red in the same way I perceive it? Personally I don't see how it can be.

If you realise that physical colours objectively exist, and that they are perceived by us as perceptual colours, there is no fundamental problem. In the case of red, in particular, I doubt that there are even any colour optical illusions that can change that.
PS, I suspect that you are confusing yourself by referriing to colour perception as just "an illusiion". Actually, it is the eye-brain system's way of using the variable ratios of the cone cell signals, to give us extra, useful information about our environment, beyond the simple b/w sensing by the rod cells. The illusions only come in when there is distortion of the basic colours, due, eg, to proximity effects, especially from large areas of intense colour.
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Re: Colour

#713  Postby GrahamH » Aug 08, 2017 3:40 pm

romansh wrote:
SpeedOfSound wrote:
As long as we are careful not to add a pook in the middle of our semantics we are all good. As soon as we say 'qualia of' we have added the spook and all goes badly from there on down. Now we can just declare that this IS the Hard Problem. But we could also then suggest the Easy Solution is to stop believing in the spook.

I have no evidence that I ever have an experience fo seeing red. I can easily convince myself that I have just had or am having this 'experience' but when I look into just how it is that I do that my evidence starts to quiver and shake.

The origin of this thread was a claim I made that colour is an illusion [not as it seems] not that it does not exist. Perhaps with the extension that some buses are not red in the sense redness we perceive is a construct of the brain and not some intrinsic property of the bus.

There is no spook. That for me is a complete red herring. If you pardon the colour reference. Redness I perceive is simply correlation of my brain and retinal chemistry/whatever with the wavelength of the photons reaching the cones on my retina. The photos reaching my retina are also dependent on the surface properties of the bus.

The surface properties of the bus we might call red. But is the surface itself red in the same way I perceive it? Personally I don't see how it can be.


You might as well ask 'is the word "red" on the bus?' The word is a reference to some aspect of spectra related to the bus and, so I suggest, is your subjective red qualia experience. Both are 'made up labels'.

I don't see how it can be right to say "Redness I perceive is simply correlation of my brain and retinal chemistry/whatever with the wavelength of the photons reaching the cones on my retina." or any photochemical reaction would have to considered as a conscious subjective event. I think that takes a bit more work and a lot of context building.
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Re: Colour

#714  Postby DavidMcC » Aug 08, 2017 4:06 pm

GrahamH wrote:...
You mighta as well ask 'is the word "red" on the bus?' The word is a reference to some aspect of spectra related to the bus and, so I suggest, is your subjective red qualia experience. Both are 'made up labels'.

...

Of course, the actual word, spelt R.E.D. is made up, but only in the sense that any word is made up.

Therefore, it is not clear what your purpose is in defining red as "a made up label"? The wavelength bands relating to the colours of the rainbow, for exampe, are not completely arbitrary, because they mainly relate to the cross-overs of the sensitivity peaks from the different cone cell types in the eye. (Yellow and orange being extra, due to the high overlap of the medium- and long-wave cone sensitivity peaks.)
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Re: Colour

#715  Postby romansh » Aug 08, 2017 6:05 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
If you realise that physical colours objectively exist, and that they are perceived by us as perceptual colours, there is no fundamental problem. In the case of red, in particular, I doubt that there are even any colour optical illusions that can change that.

I realize there are a whole bunch of physical phenomena going someone thinking the bus is red. But the perception I have of the bus being red is primarily a result of the physiology I happen to have.

I can understand the difference between the bus being red and me perceiving it as red.
DavidMcC wrote:PS, I suspect that you are confusing yourself by referriing to colour perception as just "an illusiion". Actually, it is the eye-brain system's way of using the variable ratios of the cone cell signals, to give us extra, useful information about our environment, beyond the simple b/w sensing by the rod cells. The illusions only come in when there is distortion of the basic colours, due, eg, to proximity effects, especially from large areas of intense colour.


Nowhere did I just say "just".

Is the surface of the bus the same red as the one I perceive? Is it red beyond some collective agreement?
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Re: Colour

#716  Postby romansh » Aug 08, 2017 6:18 pm

GrahamH wrote:
You might as well ask 'is the word "red" on the bus?' The word is a reference to some aspect of spectra related to the bus and, so I suggest, is your subjective red qualia experience. Both are 'made up labels'.

Well I am not sure I quite understand. I perceive redness, I presume you do too. Our perceptions might not be the same or even similar. I can see no way of determining whether they are the same or not. We might be able to agree on the intensity or whether there are other hues mixed in. But at end of the day you and I must have a perception of redness otherwise we would not be having this discussion.

GrahamH wrote:I don't see how it can be right to say "Redness I perceive is simply correlation of my brain and retinal chemistry/whatever with the wavelength of the photons reaching the cones on my retina." or any photochemical reaction would have to considered as a conscious subjective event. I think that takes a bit more work and a lot of context building.

I must don't agree the photochemical reaction has to be considered conscious.

I can have electrodes attached to me skin and be aware my muscles are twitching. The twitching might be correlated with electrical pulses in the electrodes. I don't think that one has to consider the electron flow conscious to make a correlation.
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Re: Colour

#717  Postby DavidMcC » Aug 08, 2017 7:31 pm

romansh wrote:...
Nowhere did I just say "just".

I know that. I deliberately added it, for emphasis.
Is the surface of the bus the same red as the one I perceive? ...

It is, by definition, assuming that you are looking at it in normal daylight. In the absence of colour illusions, there is a correspondence between physical and perceived colour, although the two are, of course, completelely different phenomena.
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Re: Colour

#718  Postby SpeedOfSound » Aug 08, 2017 8:02 pm

romansh wrote:
SpeedOfSound wrote:
As long as we are careful not to add a pook in the middle of our semantics we are all good. As soon as we say 'qualia of' we have added the spook and all goes badly from there on down. Now we can just declare that this IS the Hard Problem. But we could also then suggest the Easy Solution is to stop believing in the spook.

I have no evidence that I ever have an experience fo seeing red. I can easily convince myself that I have just had or am having this 'experience' but when I look into just how it is that I do that my evidence starts to quiver and shake.

The origin of this thread was a claim I made that colour is an illusion [not as it seems] not that it does not exist. Perhaps with the extension that some buses are not red in the sense redness we perceive is a construct of the brain and not some intrinsic property of the bus.

There is no spook. That for me is a complete red herring. If you pardon the colour reference. Redness I perceive is simply correlation of my brain and retinal chemistry/whatever with the wavelength of the photons reaching the cones on my retina. The photos reaching my retina are also dependent on the surface properties of the bus.

The surface properties of the bus we might call red. But is the surface itself red in the same way I perceive it? Personally I don't see how it can be.


Someday I am going to have time to work on this seriously and map all this out. It's a problem in semantics. But until then let's try this:

But is the surface itself red in the same way I perceive it?

There are no separable things in the above sentence. There is no way for the bus to be red without you perceiving it. :o What did I just say? :? Sounds a little idealistic don't it?

Well. The bus has many things about it that we can suss out and map in a mathematical sense. So do we. So does everything between us and the bus and everything around us for some significant locality. It's a system and it's dynamical. If we try and capture a snapshot of the system and then map out all the physics in that moment, we lose a great number of features of the system. If we stand and say the bus IS or IS NOT red we are trying to take a snapshot and then suss out points on that dynamic storm and make claims for them.

So what I am saying that by trying to drill down and introducing the other spooks, noumena and phenomena, we are at once losing touch with the reality of the true systemic nature.

However. If we step back into our world of tribes and languages and individuals we can very safely make the claim that 'the bus is red' because at that level of discourse it sure as fuck is red.

There is a tension between naive idealism and naive realism and the truth is in the middle. One idea cannot exist without the other and both are faulty. Putting a point in a snapshot and arguing for it's superior realness is quite flawed. If you imagine a computer animation of the dynamical system and then put red and green dots on it for each of our idiosyncratic philosophical biases you will see the dots flicker around even within our own purview.

Now I fucking get all rattled when someone says the bus ain't red. What I really mean by that I think is that there are no spooks and we are all in this physical system and it's physical, ALL THE WAY DOWN. God damn it! ;)
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Re: Colour

#719  Postby GrahamH » Aug 08, 2017 8:32 pm

romansh wrote:
GrahamH wrote:
You might as well ask 'is the word "red" on the bus?' The word is a reference to some aspect of spectra related to the bus and, so I suggest, is your subjective red qualia experience. Both are 'made up labels'.

Well I am not sure I quite understand. I perceive redness, I presume you do too. Our perceptions might not be the same or even similar. I can see no way of determining whether they are the same or not. We might be able to agree on the intensity or whether there are other hues mixed in. But at end of the day you and I must have a perception of redness otherwise we would not be having this discussion.


We wouldn't be having this discussion, but we could be having a discussion about the colour of buses. That's functional discrimination of spectra. All quantitative elements of perception don't require 'qualia' at all. An android with cameras for eyes could tell about the red bus and how the hue is similar to a particular variety of tomato.

I take this topic to be about the subjective experience of colour, where you get into my red being the same, or different to, your red. Qualia. We know we are having experiences about buses. I think that is information handled by brains that are not subjective minds actually having qualia experience. Our respective experiences of red are references to the colour of a bus, much as "red" is, some sort of token, but one linguistic, objective and public and the other relative to self, not linguistic and not public. It's a topic for another day. I just suggest you could be sceptical about the ontology of qualia. You may think they are certain and very real. Idealists think they are more real than the world around us. I think they aren't real at all. Which brings us back to 'colour is an illusion' but it's a very useful illusion that correlates with a real world.

romansh wrote:
GrahamH wrote:I don't see how it can be right to say "Redness I perceive is simply correlation of my brain and retinal chemistry/whatever with the wavelength of the photons reaching the cones on my retina." or any photochemical reaction would have to considered as a conscious subjective event. I think that takes a bit more work and a lot of context building.

I must don't agree the photochemical reaction has to be considered conscious.

I can have electrodes attached to me skin and be aware my muscles are twitching. The twitching might be correlated with electrical pulses in the electrodes. I don't think that one has to consider the electron flow conscious to make a correlation.


No, but you have added a layer that is separated from the biology. In this case twitching muscles and awareness of it. SO you don't equate the two. The twitching is not identical with the awareness of twitching. It's a brain's reference to a self being aware of twitching. Maybe it is also a real self literally having an experience of twitches, but there's a lot of redundancy in that.

If you did equate the awareness with the biological function it would imply no separation, that sensation resided in the twitching muscles and was not abstract. I would then ask how and why some muscle fibre contractions would be conscious experiences and others not.

The analogy works for me. Experience of colour is not the photochemistry of the retina. It is abstracted away from the eye.
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Re: Colour

#720  Postby romansh » Aug 08, 2017 8:38 pm

SpeedOfSound wrote:
But is the surface itself red in the same way I perceive it?

There are no separable things in the above sentence. There is no way for the bus to be red without you perceiving it. :o What did I just say? :? Sounds a little idealistic don't it?

James would be proud of this SoS. But to be clear I am advocating any form of idealism. In fact it is my materialist/physicalist world view that throws doubt on my perception of red and the bus physically being red. It might be but if it is, it is a coincidence that my physiology allows me to perceive redness accurately.

Simplifying ... the bus has light adsorption properties and it will reflect certain wavelengths etc its not the physics that is at issue here.
SpeedOfSound wrote: If we stand and say the bus IS or IS NOT red we are trying to take a snapshot and then suss out points on that dynamic storm and make claims for them.

Again I am simply asking is the bus's surface the same red as I perceive and if so why?
SpeedOfSound wrote: So what I am saying that by trying to drill down and introducing the other spooks, noumena and phenomena, we are at once losing touch with the reality of the true systemic nature.

No spooks here.

We can swap reality and noumena and physics for phenomena. Its physics all the way down.
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