According to our everyday experience, the objects that surround us are coloured. Lemons are yellow, cucumbers are green, and our car is black. But according to physical science, lemons, cucumbers, and our car are composed of particles that are not attributed with colour whatsoever. These two pictures of the world seem not entirely compatible, but how come? Is philosophy able to provide us with an answer to this question?
Have you ever seen robots that communicate with nonhuman animals and plants, or heard of machines that are programmed to learn from their natural environments? Have you ever encountered technologies that collaborate with nonhuman species? It is not very likely that you have, considering how dominant modes of thinking in the West have a history of putting the human species at center stage – and in sharp contrast to some entity called ‘nature’ – when it comes to framing, designing, programming and using technologies.
Everything around us is part of an ecosystem: the earth, the forests, but also plants are part of the system that sustains life on earth. Plants make oxygen and are food for humans and animals. They are also one of the few living organisms that can make their own food from air and light. Leafy green granules are a crucial part of this and also cause the green color of leaves. With the help of microscopy and do-it-yourself coloring methods, we can expose the cell structures of plants.