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Are concepts of color objective?

Given that people from different cultures conceptualize colors differently, I don't see how concepts of color -- or at least the demarcation of colors -- can be objective. For example, in English, the colours 'green' and 'blue' have different names because they refer to different concepts. In Japanese, however, the word 'aoi' can refer to either light green or blue: they don't draw a distinction between them. Similarly, English speakers refer to both the sky and a sapphire as 'blue.' But in Italian this is not the case: the word 'blu' only refers to dark blue, and the sky is the distinct color of 'azzuro.' Do these cultural differences undermine the claim that concepts of color are objective?

Adam , 18.06.2013, 06:14
Idea status: completed


Michael Hardy, 18.06.2013, 21:16
Although these "demarcations" of color may be language-and-concept-sensitive in some degree, I think they're also hard-wired in substantial degree. However, there is _one_ category of percepts that are extremely highly sensitive to one's experiences before about the age of 13 or 14, and that is the sounds used in human speech. People brought up in different linguistic environments perceive these differently.

I don't think that means they're not objective; it just means one person perceives things that another doesn't and vice-versa.
Lauren, 19.06.2013, 09:23
And how does the variation in individual's actual ability to perceive color affect this?
EX: Husband sees our pale green towels as grey, no other concrete examples of our differences to perceive color... just the towels.
A knitting friend actually sees the colors that make up colors; one of her daughters inherited it... so she frequently asks what color something is, and tells us what colors she sees... trying to look up if that's a well known mutation I found this article.

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