View Poll Results: Is a rainbow a physical object?

Voters
17. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes

    10 58.82%
  • No

    3 17.65%
  • Yes and No

    4 23.53%
  • I don't know

    0 0%
Page 2 of 12 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 114

Thread: Is a rainbow a physical object?

  1. Top | #11
    Elder Contributor
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    21,766
    Archived
    16,553
    Total Posts
    38,319
    Rep Power
    73
    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    But without color is there a picture of a rainbow?
    I neglected to tell you that I was using black and white film. Sorry.
    Without something that can distinguish shades of grey what is it?

  2. Top | #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    a pretty sidestreet in Happiness
    Posts
    203
    Archived
    624
    Total Posts
    827
    Rep Power
    46
    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post

    I anticipated your response, and that is why I allowed for the contradictory answer. However, that leads me to ask whether you would give the same answer for every object that you would describe as a physical object.
    pretty much yes.
    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    There can be no question that we are made aware of a rainbow's existence through visual perception, but that is also a means by which we can be made aware of a table or a chicken. Those things clearly are physical objects. However, those objects exist whether we look at them or not. If we go away and come back later, they are still there. One could say that they exist independently of the act of perception. However, can we say the same about a rainbow? We can certainly take a photograph of physical objects, and we can also take one of a rainbow.

    So, is a rainbow a physical object or not?
    But without color is there a picture of a rainbow?
    I neglected to tell you that I was using black and white film. Sorry.

  3. Top | #13
    Elder Contributor
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    21,766
    Archived
    16,553
    Total Posts
    38,319
    Rep Power
    73
    What knows it is black and white film?

  4. Top | #14
    Veteran Member skepticalbip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Searching for reality along the long and winding road
    Posts
    4,934
    Archived
    12,976
    Total Posts
    17,910
    Rep Power
    62
    Like most questions in philosophy, there is a very simple answer. The problem is that philosophers disagree on the meaning of the question. If first they would all agree on the definition of the words physical and object then the answer becomes obvious.

  5. Top | #15
    Elder Contributor
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    21,766
    Archived
    16,553
    Total Posts
    38,319
    Rep Power
    73
    If you can't distinguish color and can't distinguish shades of grey and can't distinguish white from black do you have a rainbow?

    What notices it?

  6. Top | #16
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
    Posts
    21,553
    Archived
    10,477
    Total Posts
    32,030
    Rep Power
    82
    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    There can be no question that we are made aware of a rainbow's existence through visual perception, but that is also a means by which we can be made aware of a table or a chicken. Those things clearly are physical objects. However, those objects exist whether we look at them or not. If we go away and come back later, they are still there. One could say that they exist independently of the act of perception. However, can we say the same about a rainbow? We can certainly take a photograph of physical objects, and we can also take one of a rainbow.

    So, is a rainbow a physical object or not?
    Yes, it's a physical object made of photons. Those photons are no less physical than the ones that make up an image of a table; And the rainwater that causes the image is no less physical than the wood that causes tbe image of the table.

    Insofar as there is any real question here, it is 'Do we use the word "physical" in a needlessly and unhelpfully restrictive way a lot of the time?', to which the answer is also 'yes'.

    The OP is one of those questions that sounds deep, and invokes the emotion of awe and a feeling of being part of a great mystery; But those emotions are misplaced - the question is either simple, or based on a mere linguistic failure. Either way, like most metaphysics, it's FAR less interesting or important than those who contemplate it would like to believe.

  7. Top | #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    a pretty sidestreet in Happiness
    Posts
    203
    Archived
    624
    Total Posts
    827
    Rep Power
    46
    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Like most questions in philosophy, there is a very simple answer. The problem is that philosophers disagree on the meaning of the question. If first they would all agree on the definition of the words physical and object then the answer becomes obvious.
    It's not philosophers who need to do this. It's each individual. Once you decide on your definitions, the answer becomes clear. That points out the relativistic issue with definitions. Models are judged by their utility, not by their relationship to objectivity (as much as we might like to reject that idea). The "right" answer has everything to do with our objectives and very little to do with anything else.

  8. Top | #18
    Contributor
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    5,276
    Archived
    14,025
    Total Posts
    19,301
    Rep Power
    60
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    A rainbow is an experience.

    Color is an experience and nothing else.

    The stimulus for a brain to create a color is out in the world, not the color itself.

    Color is an evolved arbitrary response to a stimulus.
    We do experience rainbows, which is to say we have an experience when we detect them in some way.

    Don't forget, however, that the experience is not what the experience is an experience of; hence, just our experience of seeing a table is not the same as the table itself, our experience of a rainbow is not the rainbow itself.

    After all, if you shut your eyes and fail to experience the table, the table persists, just as the rainbow will be for the experiencing for those that don't shut their eyes.

  9. Top | #19
    Elder Contributor
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    21,766
    Archived
    16,553
    Total Posts
    38,319
    Rep Power
    73
    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    A rainbow is an experience.

    Color is an experience and nothing else.

    The stimulus for a brain to create a color is out in the world, not the color itself.

    Color is an evolved arbitrary response to a stimulus.
    We do experience rainbows, which is to say we have an experience when we detect them in some way.

    Don't forget, however, that the experience is not what the experience is an experience of; hence, just our experience of seeing a table is not the same as the table itself, our experience of a rainbow is not the rainbow itself.

    After all, if you shut your eyes and fail to experience the table, the table persists, just as the rainbow will be for the experiencing for those that don't shut their eyes.
    Would somebody describe a rainbow without color?

    Is that a rainbow?

    The table is not dependent on color.

    A table without color is still a table.

  10. Top | #20
    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    5,758
    Rep Power
    14
    How do you know that the table is still there if nobody sees it?

    We're doing philosophy, right?

Similar Threads

  1. Colours in the rainbow, etc
    By excreationist in forum Miscellaneous Discussions
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 04-20-2019, 05:44 AM
  2. A Man Tried To Reclaim The Rainbow & It Did Not Go Well For Him
    By Potoooooooo in forum General Religion
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 08-02-2017, 02:28 PM
  3. Can there be an object without any subject?
    By ontological_realist in forum Logic and Epistemology
    Replies: 199
    Last Post: 06-05-2015, 07:51 PM
  4. Reading Rainbow Kickstarter
    By Joni-san in forum Media & Culture Gallery
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-31-2014, 08:34 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •