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

Baynesr at comcast.net Baynesr at comcast.net
Wed Nov 4 07:20:34 EST 2009



Bruce, 



I will examine the prooof you supply. Just thought I'd mention it just in case you 

thought I would pass it by. I won't. But my first comment, and it may the most 

important, is that it relies on 'determinate color'. There is one other problem I 

think I see but it is shared by Putnam; and I will get to this. 



Regards 



STeve 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bruce Aune" <aune at philos.umass.edu> 
To: "hist-analytic" <hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk> 
Sent: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 6:12:09 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern 
Subject: Re: The Two Color Problem, Putnam, and the Synthetic A Priori 






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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