Can Light Be Described To A Blind Person?

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 05-27-2010, 11:23 AM         #1
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JerseyLegend 
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Can Light Be Described To A Blind Person?
 

 
Let's say that particular person was blind since birth. Can light be successfully described to him/her?

The person can't use his senses since light can't be tasted, heard, smelt, or felt. I don't think descriptive words are useful since words are usually a.ssociated with images conjured up either by other visuals or from prior learning experiences.

I mean, you could describe it physically i.e. light consist of photons which are sub-atomic particles; can talk about the em spectrum etc.

But I don't think it can be done visually, or at least to the point where the blind person can actually visualise light itself

60 comments for "Can Light Be Described To A Blind Person?"

 8 years ago '10        #2
SwooshWonder 13 heat pts13
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I believe its impossible to describe light since it really isnt physical as much as it is visual. But i remember some special about some guy who was blind from birth drawing trees and ishh
 05-27-2010, 03:26 PM         #3
Kuchiki_Byakuya  OP
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I don't know if something like that can be done, but it would be a pretty good test of one's mastery over the English (or any) language though.

The corollary here is that we can conjecture it would be impossible for someone allegedly proficient in ESP to describe it to the layperson. We can further conjecture that religious experiences probably can't be expressed to those that don't have it firsthand either.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves here of course.
 8 years ago '05        #4
youngvito18 8 heat pts
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i dont know...do blind people see light????

i mean i know they cant see whats in front of them but when i close my eyelids i still can see lights and colors
 05-28-2010, 10:19 AM         #5
J on I  OP
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I've always wondered when a blind person sleeps, what his or her dreams are like. Do they only consist of sounds? Also for deaf people.
 05-28-2010, 02:53 PM         #6
chronicles  OP
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 youngvito18 said:
i dont know...do blind people see light????

i mean i know they cant see whats in front of them but when i close my eyelids i still can see lights and colors
Cause your eyes work and light is penetrating through the thin eyelids
 05-28-2010, 02:57 PM         #7
chronicles  OP
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 J on I said:
I've always wondered when a blind person sleeps, what his or her dreams are like. Do they only consist of sounds? Also for deaf people.
If they have been blind since birth. They would not logically have dreams as they would not have seen anything to dream of
 8 years ago '05        #8
ReppinDaBurghh 55 heat pts55
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No, it would not be possible. Plain and simple.

Side-note: (Somebody make a thread with a poll. I'm to lazy at the moment.)

Would you rather be blind or deaf?
 8 years ago '06        #9
philly337 20 heat pts20
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was just thinkin this s**t the other day.Wasn't thinkin light but anything in general.I mean sure we can explain things and they can feel what a circle is like and try to imagine it but can they really imagine what something looks like at all since they have never seen anything.Regardless how u try to describe it however u do (as far as seeing) i don't feel they could really comprehend and visualize something since al they see is black and feel textures
 8 years ago '10        #10
Hovi Bryant 676 heat pts676
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Light gives off energy which can be felt as heat. So yes light can be described in some circumstances.
 8 years ago '07        #11
Gwange 1 heat pts
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Yeah, absolutely. If a blind person's brain has a working visual cortex, then it can be stimulated (magnetic stimulation is the first method that comes to mind). This will produce phosphenes which is essentially the perception of light. So yes, they will "see"/experience light.
 05-29-2010, 05:52 AM         #12
J on I  OP
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 chronicles said:
If they have been blind since birth. They would not logically have dreams as they would not have seen anything to dream of
What makes you think dreams are completely dependent on sight? Blind people can still hear, so at the very least they would have heard a lot of things to dream about.
 8 years ago '06        #13
philly337 20 heat pts20
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 J on I said:
What makes you think dreams are completely dependent on sight? Blind people can still hear, so at the very least they would have heard a lot of things to dream about.
think he means dreams how we see them..i am curious also.Obvioudly they would have dreams of hearing things but would they be able to visualize anything in their dreams
 8 years ago '05        #14
Sluggernaut 19 heat pts19
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 chronicles said:
If they have been blind since birth. They would not logically have dreams as they would not have seen anything to dream of
That's absurd... Some blind people can "see." Not in the truest sense of the word but they can... They see through their touch. Blind people have some of the most sensitive fingers.
 05-29-2010, 08:40 PM         #15
chronicles  OP
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 OldeEnglish22oz said:
That's absurd... Some blind people can "see." Not in the truest sense of the word but they can... They see through their touch. Blind people have some of the most sensitive fingers.
So your saying blind people can have visual dreams from touching things they have never seen?
GTFO Sir leave science to the intellectuals
 05-29-2010, 08:50 PM         #16
yungb  OP
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 chronicles said:
If they have been blind since birth. They would not logically have dreams as they would not have seen anything to dream of
Blind people have dreams.
 05-29-2010, 10:38 PM         #17
JerseyLegend  OP
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First and foremost with regards to seeing, I mean it in relation with light, which is what gives us the capability to perceive.

Using the finger tips is one way of obtaining data of the world, but it doesn't cut it for having a visual understanding of objects the way non-blind people do

That's like saying that a deaf person can 'hear' because he can feel the vibrations of sound. While sound is simply vibrations, your feeling of the vibrations is not comparable to the ear. And this is easily shown.

As far as blind people not being able to dream, I would say they can but it's tricky.

Because we have the capacity to utilise the imagination like no one other, yet a lot of our imagination is based on objects we already can visually perceive or at least imagine due to being able to visually perceive such and such. But I think this would only apply visually speaking

Obviously the blind still have four senses, and arguably even a heightened sense of one or more of the senses due to lack of one. The sense of taste and smell have no use in the dream world. We can't think of the smell of an apple, only have the thought of the smell of an apple being good. Could even be said about hearing.
 05-29-2010, 11:06 PM         #18
JerseyLegend  OP
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So youre left with touch. But this sense is more of a compliment to seeing rather than a competitor. We understand the object more when we get a hold of it, feel it's attributes, properties i.e. smoothness, dry, hard, cold etc. But touch, obviously, is to obtain a greater sense of detail of an object, not necessarily to visualise the object as a whole.

Just think of the times when someone was blindfolded and ask to name the object they were holding and still managed to get it wrong even though they felt stupid for not guessing it right because they've known of the object

Our perceptions obtained through our senses is mental and subjective, so maybe one can actually do it. But I don't think describing light to the point of visualising it, is possible.

Contrary to what I said last post, I don't think it's possible for the blind to have dreams like the non-blind, or at least to our extent.
 8 years ago '05        #19
Sluggernaut 19 heat pts19
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 chronicles said:
So your saying blind people can have visual dreams from touching things they have never seen?
GTFO Sir leave science to the intellectuals

Can you not close your eyes and feel a banana and imagine how it looks like? You can paint a picture with it in your head whether it's an accurate picture or not is besides the point, saying a blind person cant have visual dreams is like saying they dont have an imagination..

You can come with any scientific study you want that supports your argument, and I bet you I can find one that contradicts it. Although most studies will agree with you.

The fact is, most blind people don't even understand the idea of "sight." So they couldn't even tell you if they saw something in their dreams.


Last edited by Sluggernaut; 05-30-2010 at 06:29 PM..
 05-30-2010, 10:50 PM         #20
KrayLay  OP
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It depends on what stream of vision, Ventral or Dorsal...
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