By Danielle,

Colours, Sensation and Perception

5/11/2012 DK 0 Comments

The thing which is (to me) most fascinating yet somehow horrifying about perception is that it cannot be determined; it cannot be explained, described or compared. What is 'colour'? Is my 'red' identical to others'? How do I know that when we speak of the colour 'red', we are actually picturing the same colour? Your 'red' could be my 'blue', my 'black', my 'green'; it could literally be anything. But there is no way to know.

Then, aren't colours merely socially constructed words upon which we agree, names which we apply to the unknown? These words of colour, thus, do not have the capability of accurately identifying the visions, but merely reducing the mysterious matter to something that can at least be talked about.

Same goes for emotions. When we say we are 'happy', are we experiencing the same emotion? Unlike the concept of colours, there are some factors which suggest the nature of the emotions: facial expressions, body movements/gestures, and most obviously, the events which consequently lead to the emotion. However, are the links between these factors explanatory for the actual emotions?

What we see isn't what we see: we don't see objects; we see colours within the range of the colour spectrum, shades, and somehow these visions are registered into our brain as some kind of known objects. What we hear isn't what we hear and what we feel isn't what we feel.

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