How can you describe color to a blind person?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by qfrontier, May 24, 2003.

  1. qfrontier Captain Of Starship Registered Senior Member

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    Lets say for example you needed to tell a blind person what the color blue is. How can this be done?
     
  2. ProCop Valued Senior Member

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    I think one possibility would be to compare colors to musis. Eg. Gerschwins (?) Rapshody in Blue would be a good begining. I would try to translate something nice (colors) to something as nice (tones).
     
  3. sparkle born to be free Registered Senior Member

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    When I was a child this question also bothered me. Later I had the occasion to ask two blind people about how they perceive colors. One of them was born blind - she said that she feels the colors. Whenever the sun shines on her skin, she feels "yellow". But that was what they had told her since she was a child. With other colors it was the same.

    I recommend you read Helen Keller. She was a deaf-blind person, who learned sign-language and was able to speak and write.
     
  4. qfrontier Captain Of Starship Registered Senior Member

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    thx sparkle, but is there any way to just describe the color to a deaf and blind person?
     
  5. AvatarOfWoe Registered Senior Member

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    it would be very dificult to describe color to a blind person because color relies completly on the sense of seight, however as others have stated you could give the illusion of color using the other senses as a guide to show how your own mind precives color.
     
  6. CounslerCoffee Registered Senior Member

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    If you hit a blind person in the head, then a light can be registered in the brain. So just start pouding blind people in their heads. Also, try explaining black as being very dary, and then light as very light. Not that they would know what dark or light actually was.
     
  7. qfrontier Captain Of Starship Registered Senior Member

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    so they see black all day?
     
  8. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

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    I would ask a blind person who wasn't always blind to talk to them.

    I imagine they would have a better understanding.
     
  9. Squashbuckler Registered Senior Member

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    interesting post

    =)
     
  10. Siddhartha Registered Senior Member

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    Colours are to sight as flavours are to taste.
     
  11. qfrontier Captain Of Starship Registered Senior Member

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    what tastes blue?
     
  12. Siddhartha Registered Senior Member

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    I concede the direction you are moving in. You will however understand my illustration.
     
  13. whitewolf asleep under the juniper bush Registered Senior Member

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    I remember hearing somewhere that color may be perceived as warmth/coolness, bc every color (reflects? physics!) light differently. You wear white in summer and not black, bc black clothing will heat up faster and more intensely.
    Music is perceived through vibration by the blind, i remember seeing that in a movie.
     
  14. whitewolf asleep under the juniper bush Registered Senior Member

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    Now that i think of it, i think touch is the better way of learning things. this semester was the first time i took a course of sculpture, where we had to do a relief (implies judging distances). I realized i never really saw objects in relationship to each other until now!
     
  15. suthy2 Registered Member

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    I disagree. How can it be possible at all for someone whose been completley blind for all of their life to imagine colour. Or sight in any sense. They may understand shapes from information derrived from their other senses but being able to imagine a whole new sense should surely be impossible? If we have all our senses working correctly, or rather we believe we do, and someone came along to try and explain a whole new sense none of us had experienced, what could they compare it to, keeping in the restrains or our limited knowlege? Its a whole new world.
     
  16. stray dog Registered Senior Member

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    I know a blind woman who was attacked and lost her eyesight at the age of about twenty three. Her name is Razia.

    One of Razias counselors was born blind. Razia asked what would a person born blind dream of; they dream of sounds.

    Someone born blind would have a hard time understanding the
    concept of color.
     
  17. buffys Registered Loser Registered Senior Member

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    This may not be exactly on topic but i recently heard a bbc lecture serise, "The Reith Lectures" by Vilayanur S. Ramachandran (neuroscientist). A number of things are discussed but a large part is about something called synesthaesia. People with synesthaesia can (and it varies with each individual) taste colors, hear shapes or see sounds. I believe he addresses blindness and synethaesia. How some people with this condition, blind from birth, can process color through other senses. This is only part of a larger discussion on the brain and its functions but VERY interesting nonetheless. I just thought someone may find it as interesting as I did and this thread crossed some issues he discussed.

    if your at all interested i found the serise here http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/reith2003/

    its an audio file so its reasonably easy to digest.
     
  18. sparkle born to be free Registered Senior Member

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    Wow! I was just going to post something on synesthia. I did not follow your link, but here a recommendation for reading:
    Cytowic, R.E., Synesthesia A Union of the Senses, New York, Springer 1989
     
  19. Guyute Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    Here you go

    Go rent the movie "MASK" Cher is in it......it will give you ldeas.
     
  20. buffys Registered Loser Registered Senior Member

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    I loved "mask" but im not quite sure how it relates to the thread, please include some more details on that thought.
     

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