more from Peter Geach

Single Idea 8778

[catalogued under 18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 8. Abstractionism Critique]

Full Idea

It is not true that men born blind can form no colour-concepts; a man born blind can use the word 'red' with a considerable measure of intelligence; he can show a practical grasp of the logic of the word.

Gist of Idea

Blind people can use colour words like 'red' perfectly intelligently


Peter Geach (Mental Acts: their content and their objects [1957], 10)

Book Reference

Geach,Peter: 'Mental Acts: Their content and their objects' [RKP 1971], p.35

A Reaction

Weak. It is obvious that they pick up the word 'red' from the usage of sighted people, and the usage of the word doesn't guarantee a grasp of the concept, as when non-mathematicians refer to 'calculus'. Compare Idea 7377 and Idea 7866.

Related Ideas

Idea 7377 Mary learns when she sees colour, so her complete physical information had missed something [Jackson]

Idea 7866 Mary acquires new concepts; she previously thought about the same property using material concepts [Papineau]