Thursday, October 14, 2010

Is your orange my orange?

I am currently working on a dissertation (an extended essay) on the topic of colour. I love colour and the whole subject fascinates me. All good so far. The problem is that the whole realm of colour is actually incredibly vast and amazingly complex. So, frequently, I'm trying to get thoughts into my mind that are far too big to fit and just make my head hurt.

Just now, for example, I thought of something that is actually quite bizarre. You're going to have to bear with me a little here because I think it's going to be difficult to explain. Ever get those thoughts that make perfect sense in your head but sound like garbled baloney when you try and explain them?

See what you make of these.

Imagine you and I are both looking at an orange, the same orange. How in the world do I know that we are both seeing the same colour? For all I know, your oranges might be my pinks and your pinks might be my oranges. We might be looking at completely different worlds without realising it! As far as I can figure out, the only way to check this out would be if I, by some strange, telepathic process, could get inside your mind and see what you are seeing. But even then, I would be seeing what you are seeing through my own eyes and with my own mind so I would still only be seeing what I am seeing and not what you are seeing.

Phew! I did warn you. So tell me, did that all make sense? If so, what's your verdict? Is it possible/impossible or likely/unlikely that we are all seeing a different-coloured world?


Antonia said...

wow, this is an philosophical question. I've never thought about coulours this way, but it's an interesting question...

Neil said...

I have the same problem with red post boxes

Amber Noella said...

That's makes a lot of sense. That's the sort of thing I think about too.
Maybe it's possible! Maybe the way God designed our eyes, takes on a bigger or smaller view of color than others.

Stepheny Weaver said...

I think it makes sense in a way.... Some people might see it, not as a different color, but maybe a lighter color than that color... say we see dark orange, they might see light orange... But I don't think that it's possible that we are all seeing a different colored world... Interesting question indeed.

p.s. thought you might like to read what my sister said to me after asking her this question.
"She should do and experiment, with several differnt people. Put a solid color on a white table and ask them what color they see. Compare it with what she sees."
Who knows... might work. :)