No-one ...confuses the scent of the rose with the rose. Nor do you identify the scent of the rose with the molecules that come from it to stimulate olfactory receptors in our nostrils. It is obvious that the scent of the rose is neither the rose nor the molecules, but just the impression these create in your mind.
Jeffrey Gray (2004)
Gray is asking why should we attribute a different and privileged relationship to vision. We know the smell is not the rose, but with vision we cling dearly to the idea that the sight is the rose, that we are seeing an independent object A page with more on the idea of objects. directly; an object which also exists Berkeley suggests that there is nothing beyond perceptions. when humans are absent. We have known To Bertrand Russell's account of appearance versus its cause. since the century before last that much of what we see is not there when we are not there; that there is a web of complex links Wittgenstein’s analogy offers a way of seeing these relationships. at play between matter and sense, between sense and perception, between perception and conception, and between concept and A page on the paair of concepts: thought and language. language. Juliet's plea that a rose 'By any other name would smell as sweet' operates on the last of these links, but every one of the steps in that chain is as profoundly and equally problematic. Smell and sight are equal, both point to a 'rose' across a gulf; a gulf A page about what is at the other side of this 'gulf'. across which perception does not operate.
Gray, J. A. Consciousness: Creeping up on the hard problem Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-852 090-5. (p 58). Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet II ii 44.
The pictured rose has provenance. Grown in the southern Vietnamese city of Đà Lạt, transported a thousand miles to Tĩnh Gia where it was photographed, to be used in this page written in Kirkcudbright for you to see on the internet. A journey of a 'rose', but a journey only made by human thought.
Above hovering on blue introduces a link: click to go, move away to stay.