Color is mind dependent. Is space and time also mind dependent? Like does space really exist (locally, for GR) like how we see/imagine?

Their existence might be objective, I'm not denying that. I'm talking about their representation. Like we have some intution of space, like this volume. I'm asking if we can say anything about the real space. Are we sure that space is like our intution?

We say colour of an object is in our minds. I mean the sensation of colour. So, similarly the volume (the space it occupies) of the object is also in our mind? Is there any difference between the objectivity of space and colour for an immobile person? I'm asking since all objects are in space and have colours (even white or black) in our perception.

  • Jo’s answer is great. Space(time) is not like our intuition. If it were you’d be right to suspect that we may not have any knowledge of objective space(time). But experiments (Galileo’s ship to gravitational waves) clash with our intuitive picture and force their reality upon us.
    – J Kusin
    May 2, 2022 at 15:06

2 Answers 2


I agree that colour refers to the human experience of electromagnetic radiation from a certain frequency range. Hence colour refers to a subjective experience, a sensation, termed ‚quale‘ in philosophical contexts. The objective concept from physics is frequency. It is independent from any subjective experience.

Space or more general spacetime is an objective concept from the theory of gravitation. The concept does not refer to a sensation. A related quale could be our feeling of gravity and of the passing of time. Both are subjective.

  • If "objective time and space" cannot be sensed (by anything?), does it even exist then?
    – Tvde1
    May 2, 2022 at 14:36
  • @Tvde Yes, oscillations of spacetime have been observed as gravitational waves some years ago, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_wave
    – Jo Wehler
    May 2, 2022 at 14:43

Colour or Color !(joke) is a qualitative perspective of a quantitative magnitude i.e. electromagnetic radiation. Colour is defined after the interpetation of the signal from the brain, but the signal (electromagnetic radiation) is the same for everyone.

As for space, a scientist would say that space exists independantly of how someone perceives it (just like the electromagnetic radiation).

But this may not be the case, and let me explain. Based on new intepretations of the quantum vacuum, you can speculate that matter arrises as distrurbances of the vacuum accompanied by electromagnetic radiation and/or light (as heisenberg said "atoms are not things"). In this sense, matter i.e. space is just like color a qualitative perspective of a quantitative magnitude...

As far as time is concerned things can become more complicated. Hope this helps.

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