If an idea requires the correlation of two persons' thought processes to be fully comprehended, is it still an idea, or has it become something else?

If I was born deaf and understood the idea of blue and my born-blind friend was a great music lover who understood the musical meaning of Rhapsody (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhapsody_(music)) and thus in conversation we could help each other to approximate an idea of a piece by Gershwin (http://youtu.be/1U40xBSz6Dc), what is the status of our shared ideation?

I know this is rather general and perhaps qualifies really as a question about the nature of all discourse, but I am interested to know what the positions on this are - and in a way I can grasp without many years study.

  • 2
    At a glance, it occurs to me that Platonism with regard to ideas is probably near the heart of this question.
    – commando
    Jun 18, 2013 at 23:30

1 Answer 1


Yes, because God can have an idea. If you don't believe there's a God, some animals can see 16 colors. No human can see this, and I doubt any human can comprehend it, by the idea is still there.

  • What do you mean my "some animals can see 16 colors"? Are you referring to such as tetrachromacy or cephalopod's ability to see light polarization? Those that don't have the ability can't know what it is like in a first person sense but that isn't the same as not being able to have an idea of how it might be.
    – Dan D.
    Jun 20, 2013 at 3:38
  • My analogy was to an ant colony: an army ant colony can make a bridge, even though (as far as we can tell) no individual ant is trying to achieve that end.
    – Dave
    Jun 20, 2013 at 17:48

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