"New" colours possible?

Walter Wanjoon Kim walter_kim at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 30 17:08:15 EST 2001

I'm not inclined to believe that there are any other colors.  Red, blue, and
green correspond to the two ends and the middle of the visible spectrum.
Considering that our cones are configured to detect "blue", "red" and "green",
it seems to me that this is synonymous with cones detecting "end 1", "middle"
and "end 2."  By definition, any other color has to be somewhere within that
framework, because you cannot have something beyond the end.  The colors in and
of themselves are irrelevant, so long as we detect differences.  For instance, a
non-sentient animal cannot be aware of any such thing as "color", but obviously
has the capacity to differenciate.  When we speak of color, we are merely
speaking of differences.

Why these differences appear to us in the way they do is the subject of
consciousness.  Colors are irreducible in terms of a phenomena we are conscious
of, like pain.  It will be impossible to say what they truly are until we
understand consciousness.

"Urs Enke" <urs.enke at web.de> wrote in message
news:9rn4t1$2nr$1 at nets3.rz.RWTH-Aachen.DE...
> For some years now I've wondered
> -- whether the (red-green-blue-mixable) colours we know are all there are in
> this universe, and if not,
> -- whether it might be possible to neurologically change the visual cortex
> (or whatever necessary) to create the sensation of other colours, and
> -- whether there has been any research suggesting that other animals are
> actually seeing different colours than we do.
> I am neither talking of broadening the EM-spectrum we can see by changing
> the eyes' perception (as this would supposedly simply distribute our known
> "rainbow colors" over that new spectrum), nor of mixing pseudo-new colours
> from the base colours that we already know. Also, I wouldn't consider any
> eye-related limitations essential, as I really mean directly tapping into
> one's brain.
> I'd be glad to get any feedback, be it on physical possibility, neurological
> practicability or philosophical thoughts. Thanks in advance for brightening
> or dimming my hopes to see "Color X" before I die... ;-)
> Urs
> PS: Maybe someone even has information on people reporting previously
> unknown ("unmixable") colours after having been under the influence of
> drugs...?

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