Have the colour which common sense says they really

Info icon This preview shows pages 2–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
have the colour which common sense says they ‘really’ have, and to learn the habit of seeing things  as they appear. Here we have already the beginning of one of the distinctions that cause most  trouble in philosophy—the distinction between ‘appearance’ and ‘reality’, between what things seem  to be and what they are. The painter wants to know what things seem to be, the practical man and  the philosopher want to know what they are; but the philosopher’s wish to know this is stronger than  the practical man’s, and is more troubled by knowledge as to the difficulties of answering the  question. To return to the table. It is evident from what we have found, that there is no colour which pre- eminently appears to be the colour of the table, or even of any one particular part of the table – it  appears to be of different colours from different points of views, and there is no reason for regarding 
Image of page 2

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
some of these as more really its colour than others. And we know that even from a given point of  view the colour will seem different by artificial light, or to a colour-blind man, or to a man wearing  blue spectacles, while in the dark there will be no colour at all, though to touch and hearing the table  will be unchanged. This colour is not something which is inherent in the table, but something  depending upon the table and the spectator and the way the light falls on the table. When in ordinary life, we speak of the colour of the table, we only mean the sort of colour which it will seem to have to  a normal spectator from an ordinary point of view under usual conditions of light. But the other  colours which appear under other conditions have just as good a right to be considered real; and  therefore, to avoid favouritism, we are compelled to deny that, in itself, the table has any one  particular colour. The same thing applies to the texture. With the naked eye one can see the grain, but otherwise the  table looks smooth and even. If we looked at it through a microscope, we should see roughness and  hills and valleys, and all sorts of differences that are imperceptible to the naked eye. Which of these  is the ‘real’ table? We are naturally tempted to say that what we see through the microscope is more  real, but that in turn would be changed by a still more powerful microscope. If, then, we cannot trust  what we see with the naked eye, why should we trust what we see through a microscope? Thus,  again, the confidence in our senses with which we began deserts us.
Image of page 3
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern