Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Is one flake of snow white?

Less pithily: On a relational (dispositional) account of perception, x is white just in case x disposes an observer to have a certain kind of visual experience y. But say x is too small to see with the naked eye. So we train a magnifying glass on it, and the resulting image disposes me to have an experience of kind y. But what caused this experience? Proximally, the image, not the thing magnified. Of course, the item (plus the characteristics of the magnifying glass) caused the image to have its dispositional properties. So the image is white, but is the original object? The negative answer has counterintuitive consequences. If a thread is too fine for us to perceive its color, we magnify it to see what color it -- the thread -- is, not what color its image is. (Inspired, in a roundabout way, by Davidson's comments on mass nouns in "Truth and Meaning.")

Today -- taught logic (lecture and discussion section), got and deposited paycheck, went to Language Worshkop. Tonight -- Bree's birthday, dinner at Musso & Frank's.

poss song title -- Nuisance Suit.

Oranges Band "OK Apartment" -- a real puncher (song you start again right after it ends)

Relations have to be related to their relata by relations. (Bradley?)

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