Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

Observation: detecting characteristics and behavior of objects by whatsoever contact with the object unlike conclusions from past processes or assumeded or imperceptible parts or hidden parameters. See also hidden variable, observation language, theories.
Author Item Excerpt Meta data
Millikan, Ruth
Books on Amazon
Observation I 270
Standard Conditions/Content/Millikan: 1. to give them a content, "standard observers" must mean more than "observer for whom red things look red under standard conditions."
And accordingly for "standard conditions".
Solution: Standard conditions for "red" must be spelled out.
Problem: no human being has any idea how this should work.
Problem: if you had every reason to believe that you are a standard observer, there are circumstances where an object appears to have a different color than it has. But then you would not conclude that the thing was not red.
Problem: if sameness of a thing is defined by its opposite properties, an observer must also be able to identify these opposing properties. And it may be that these never come to light!
Problem: how can my experience testify the opposite of red and green?
Many authors: thinking that you can never assert at all that red and green could be in the same place at the same time.
I 271
MillikanVsTradition: this is not true, in reality, there are many ways, e.g. squinting.
Complementary colors/perception/seeing/certainty/Millikan: our confidence in the fact that red and green are opposites, (perhaps built into nature) is an empirical certainty. And this is certainty for the objective validity of these concepts, for the fact that red and green are properties - and not just hallucinations.

Millk I
R. G. Millikan
Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories: New Foundations for Realism Cambridge 1987

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-04-24