If I am thinking of an apple, and I think of it as red, is that a different kind of red to the property of red a real object has? I would think that the property of red a real apple has is a real red, but the property of red a conceptual apple has is not real, its just imagination red. What kind of philosophy is this? Does anyone know where I can find information about it, in a book? Or website? Thanking you very much in advance.

  • "The Problems of Philosophy" by Bertrand Russell. Once we get the weeds whacked down in this area, the same weeds grow back, but under a different name I think. What people like Russell ask is ... can science be done? It is done. Our toasters work. I suspect it's all evolutionary. We humans grow up with the world, we are a part of it. It's not surprising we can manipulate it.
    – Gordon
    Sep 23, 2017 at 13:49
  • Plants and animals evolve too so if we take care of our world we will have more friends to ponder with over this subject. Hegel suggested that the very finite condition of the rocks could be negated. The rocks will obtain self-consciousnesses. I'm not optimistic about that. Some suggestions were made to you in answer to your other recent post. It's up to you how much time you may want to devote to this subject.
    – Gordon
    Sep 23, 2017 at 14:30
  • PS. I guess the rocks could be "lifted-up" through Hegel's aufhebung process, and be carried up and incorporated in what the science fiction writers called "thinking machines", and in this sense the rocks may have some kind of truncated self-consciousness. The more humans become like robots, naturally the robots become more human. So Hegel may be vindicated in some way, and we would have the identical subject-object.
    – Gordon
    Sep 23, 2017 at 17:28
  • 1
    You've got the wrong post Gordon
    – Rob Hv
    Sep 23, 2017 at 22:09
  • Well you are talking about conceptual apples, maybe you can look into John Locke and his "ideas".
    – Gordon
    Sep 24, 2017 at 0:11

2 Answers 2


Not certain I really grasp the true gist of what you are asking, at least without asking you to further define [your use of]the terms "conceptual", "property" and "real", but along similar lines, you may wish to explore Immanuel Kant’s transcendental musings. According to Kant, it is vital always to distinguish between the distinct realms of phenomena and noumena. Phenomena are the appearances, which constitute the our experience; whereas noumena are the (presumed to exist) things themselves, which constitute reality, what we call "the world". All of our [synthetic a priori] judgments apply only to the phenomenal realm, not to the noumenal. Because the thing in itself would by definition be entirely independent of our experience of it, we are utterly ignorant of the noumenal realm


As Ayn Rand put it:

“A concept is a mental integration of two or more units possessing the same distinguishing characteristic(s), with their particular measurements omitted.” (Ayn Rand, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology)

Consider also this definition from wikipedia (the Aristotle definition I think):

A genus–differentia definition is a type of intensional definition, and it is composed of two parts: a genus (or family): An existing definition that serves as a portion of the new definition; all definitions with the same genus are considered members of that genus. the differentia: The portion of the definition that is not provided by the genus.

You are implying that the distinguishing feature of apples is that they are all red. Which is, well...not true. But let's assume that all apples would be distiguished from other fruits on the basis that they are red.

Then: the genus would be "fruit" and the differentia: "is of the color red (red is the dominant color)". However, since the particular measurement is ommitted, the particular value of "red color" is not included in the concept. It just has to has redness (and let's assume redness would be the domination of the red to other RGB colors, or whatever other way you want to measure/look at it)

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