[hist-analytic] The Two Color Problem, Putnam, and the Synthetic A Priori

Bruce Aune aune at philos.umass.edu
Tue Nov 3 18:12:09 EST 2009


>
> Steve, Because I can't convey symbols in an email text, I include  
> the proof you ask for in an attachment to this post.
>
> You say, "Even if the proof goes through, it misses the point. We  
> all agree that a thing can't be red and green all
> over at the same time. "  THE PROOF HARDLY MISSES THE POINT.  What I  
> show is that the impossibility of a thing having distinct  
> determinate colors at the same time follows from a basic convention  
> we use in distinguishing determinate colors as we do.  We don't all  
> agree that a thing can't be red and green all over at the same  
> time.  I note in my text that this is impossible empirically  
> (because of the way the eye works) but it is not impossible  
> conceptually; I support this by an analogous claim about yellow and  
> green.  (See my reminder at the end of the attached proof.) You  
> should think that there are such things as determinate colors; non- 
> determonate colors are generic colors, and nothing could be  
> generically red without being a specific shade of red, that is,  
> without having some determinate shade of it.
>
> I devote many pages in the chapter to criticizing the notion of self- 
> evidence, but you seem not to be unaware of the details of my  
> argument. Note that I did not credit Stephen Schwartz with any  
> proposal.  He simply brought Putnam's paper to my attention; I had  
> heard of that paper before but did not actually study it. I did not  
> get my argument from Putnam; I thought it up myself.
>

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