When is a Rose Red?

Published Categorised as Writings

I’ve been a bit lax in my blogging, so here’s this week’s knee-jerk philosophical question from my metaphysics course and my answer. Would you answer the same?

‘Is a red rose red in the dark?’ : Do you think that things retain their colours in the dark, but we can’t see them? Or do things only have colour when light is shining on them?

From science, we know colour is a function of elements, biochemical compounds, chemical interactions, refraction of light, and so on. But the perception of colour depends upon light and the senses to perceive it. Also different wavelengths of light can distort our perception of the colour inherent in a thing. So I would say that things retain that which produces colour, but we can’t see them without light and without the correct makeup of rods and cones in our retinas and a healthy visual cortex.

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