A rainbow is a way that the world appears

I like this phrase of Roger Scruton’s from The Aesthetics of Music (Oxford, 1997, p.4): “A rainbow is a way that the world appears”. It is part of a discussion about the ‘realness’ of sounds and rainbows. I like the idea that the world has ways of ‘looking’ – that there are types of phenomenon, or characteristics of phenomena, that are just part of the way that the world ‘looks’. Scruton also makes the sly observation that one can tell a ‘real’ rainbow from an illusory one (e.g. one painted on the side of a camper van), because, if you can approach it, it isn’t real.

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