[hist-analytic] Response to Danny Frederick

Bruce Aune aune at philos.umass.edu
Sat Aug 29 07:20:20 EDT 2009

Danny, your objections are wide of the mark.  When I say that two  
determinate colors are the same (that is, the determinate color of  
something A is the same as the determinate color of something B) just  
when they are indistinguishable in color, I don't mean that things  
having them will look to have the same color in any circumstances  
whatever.  I mean that no color difference will be detected  when they  
are both observed under conditions where their true color is visually  
apparent to good observers.  How do we decide whether something is  
really green?  By observation, ultimately.  (I say "ultimately" avoid  
the obtuse response that we decide this by using a spectrograph to  
determine the wavelengh of the light reflected from the object under  
optimum conditions.  We know what kind of light green objects emit by  
testing the light reflected from objects we know to be green by direct  
observation.) And to determine, ultimately, whether two objects have  
exactly the same color, we see if a color difference can be discerned  
by the best observers under the best conditions of observation. People  
who are colorblind are generally useless for this purpose, as are  
tests carried out in darkness.

Why do you keep giving me bibliographical references? You are  
ostensibly offering objections to my account of analyticity.  If you  
have objections, give them; if you don't, don't refer me to others  
whose works may or may not apply to my account.  You are the critic,  
not someone else.  And you are not my dissertation diector. I am  
perfectly aware that many people disagree with me.  I am also aware of  
their reasons.  And I wouldn't have written about analyticity if I  
didn't think my account eludes the objections they have.  Objections  
to analyticity that don't apply specifically to what I say--and  
general expressions of what you believe about analyticity or any other  
subject--are not pertinent in the discussion we are having.

Best, Bruce

More information about the hist-analytic mailing list