[hist-analytic] Question for Bruce on
Baynesr at comcast.net
Baynesr at comcast.net
Sat Nov 7 17:08:20 EST 2009
In all fairness to Bruce, he has said this much at least in
reply to Roger:
'"my definition is, as Roger says, a substantive principle.
But I contend that it is analytically true just the same.
Like the principle DD it amounts to a meaning postulate,
something true by virtue of the meaning of "A is a determinate
color." As we (all normal speakers of English) conceive of colors,
if a thing has a color in a certain region at a certain time (if
it is not invisible there and then, for example), it has just one
color there and then."
I'm afraid making it a postulate does not suffice to refute the
rationalist. A postulate is just that: something we postulate, and
even if we all "conceive" of color this way, this does not
address the relevant question of its analyticity. I may may only be able
to conceive of a cause that precedes its effect; I may go on
to construct a "meaning postulate" which within some constructional
system renders the judgment analytic. But this is an unsatisfactory
answer to the question whether it is a synthetic a priori judgment
that one thing can't have two colors all over. There is no need for
such a postulate, unless it is license describing the judgment as analytic.
The approach is not altogether unKantian.
Kant introduced a set of Categories of the Understanding. These
essentially guarantee syntheticity of a priori judgments relating
concepts we do not acquire by experience. Some have thought it
ad hoc; but it is no more ad hoc, I don't believe, than introducing
a meaning postulate and declaring "victory." No, the issue is much
richer, I think.
We'll see. I'm finishing up some of the logical details of Putnam.
At least Bruce has one postulate; Putnam has a flack jacket
made up of "postulates" (with a couple more in his back pocket).
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ron Barnette" <rbarnett at valdosta.edu>
To: Baynesr at comcast.net, "hist-analytic" <hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk>
Sent: Saturday, November 7, 2009 1:18:15 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: RE: Question for Bruce on
I’ve been following this discussion, and wondered the same things that you asked! Thanks for posting the questions. While not a fan of qualia (as you might have guessed from earlier communication a la Dennett), the question of what is color seems quite apt in the context of clarification on your current discussion.
From: hist-analytic-manager at simplelists.com [mailto:hist-analytic-manager at simplelists.com] On Behalf Of Baynesr at comcast.net
Sent: Saturday, November 07, 2009 11:11 AM
Subject: Question for Bruce on
In responding to your position on the "two color problem" I need to know
what you mean by a "determinate color," which is at the heart of your
Also, what do you take a color to be. If you mean a qualia or some such
that is one thing; if you mean something like "that property which causes
an object to be seen as (e.g.) yellow under standard circumstances" that
is VERY different. We are talking about one thing being two colors
all over. So what is a color on your view. That is essential to where
I go from here. Also, the business about determinate colors. I don't think
there are any, but you appear to. What are they?
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