Do blind people see black?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

When considering the question of whether blind people see black, it is important to clarify the different types of blindness. Blindness can be categorized into two main types: congenital blindness and acquired blindness.

Congenital blindness refers to individuals who are born blind or have very limited vision from birth. These individuals have never experienced visual stimuli and therefore cannot compare their perception to anything else. For them, the concept of seeing black or any color is difficult to comprehend. It is like asking someone who has never tasted food to describe the taste of an apple. It simply cannot be done because they have no reference point.

Acquired blindness, on the other hand, refers to individuals who have lost their vision at some point in their lives. These individuals may have experienced some form of vision before losing it, and their perception of blindness may be different. For someone who has recently lost their vision, they may describe their perception as darkness or seeing black. This is because they have a memory of what it was like to see and now that sensation is absent.

However, it is essential to note that blindness is not simply the absence of light or the color black. It is the absence of visual perception. The brain processes visual information, and when that processing is impaired or not functioning, there is no visual perception. It is not like closing your eyes and seeing darkness; it is more like looking through a completely non-functioning camera lens.

To further understand this, we can consider the concept of light perception. Light perception is the ability to detect the presence or absence of light. Some individuals with certain types of blindness may have some degree of light perception. They may be able to differentiate between light and darkness, but not distinguish shapes or colors.

The question of whether blind people see black depends on the type of blindness and the individual’s personal experience. Congenitally blind individuals cannot provide a meaningful answer to this question as they have no reference point for visual perception. For those who have acquired blindness, their perception may be described as darkness or seeing black, but it is important to understand that blindness is the absence of visual perception rather than the presence of a particular color.