Re: Churchland, science, prediction, etc.

ray scupin (scupin@LINDENWOOD.EDU)
Tue, 19 Sep 1995 16:18:55 -0500

On Tue, 19 Sep 1995, Ania Lian wrote:

> On Mon, 18 Sep 1995, ray scupin wrote:
> > >From the lecture "Neurology and the Soul" printed in the New York Review
> > of Books, Nov 22, 1990, by Oliver Sacks.
> > ...frequency to which the retina differentially responds. Thus *all* of us
> > arrive at the same categorizations---"red" is read for all ofl us, for
> > monkeys too."
> But maybe we arrive at *red* only because to differentiate between colours
> is important to our living. In other words, I am sure that physically we
> are able to do a lot of things across cultures, but what they are may
> depend on whether they matter to our survival/life/adaptation...
> Intrestingly, is the vice versa argumentation possible? We are unable to
> do things physically and yet we do them as they are important to our
> survival??
> a (and do not screem at me, please, I am not an anthropologist with an
> appropriate discourse)

I would agree, as would Bloch and apparently Sacks, that color vision and
our ability to discriminate "red" has adaptive significance for us, and
for some related primates. That is exactly the point made by Bloch
through his assimilation of Kant's notions of "pure intuitions" or some 'a
priori' categories that are innate such as time and space. (Kant did not
include color perception in his a priori categories, but the more recent
research by Berlin and Kay, et al., suggest that "some facts" are not
constructed or made, but are perceived directly. I think that
philosophers would classify this as "direct realism." Of course,
much of our phenomenal reality is socially constructed. But there do
appear to be some universal aspects of perception.


Ray Scupin