A major part of the mind–body problem is to explain why a given set of physical processes should give rise to qualia of one sort rather than another. Colour hues are the usual example considered here, and there is a lively debate between, for example, Hardin, Levine, Jackson, Clark and Chalmers as to whether the results of colour vision science can provide convincing explanations of why colours actually look the way they do. This paper examines carefully the type of explanation (...) that is needed here, and it is concluded that it does not have to be reductive to be effective. What needs to be explained more than anything is why inverted hue scenarios are more intuitive than other sensory inversions: and the issue of physicalism versus dualism is only of marginal relevance here. (shrink)
I have two main goals in this paper. My first goal is to sketch a new view of color perception. The core of the view can be expressed in the following two theses: (i) the overarching function of color vision is to enable and enhance the manifestation of relevant (species-specific) competences and (ii) color experiences are correct when they result from processing that directly and non-accidentally subserves the manifestation of such competences. My second goal is to show that the view (...) can accommodate and account for a wide variety of color perceptual phenomena, including many problem cases. Importantly, the framework allows us to differentiate between two kinds of good cases of color perception: ideal cases where the demands of the relevant competences converge and non-ideal cases where the demands of the relevant competences diverge and clash. (shrink)
What is the function of color vision? In this paper, I focus on perceptual phenomena studied in psychophysics and argue that the best explanation for these phenomena is that the color visual system is a perceptual enhancement system. I first introduce two rival conceptions of the function of color vision: that color vision aims to detect or track the fine-grained colors of distal objects and scenes (Seeing Color) and that it aims to help organisms discriminate, detect, track and/or recognize ecologically (...) important objects, properties, and relations more directly (Seeing with Color). I then discuss two kinds of systematic perceptual phenomena investigated by psychophysicists: approximate color constancy and color induction. I argue from the premise that Seeing with Color better accommodates and explains these phenomena to the conclusion that it is the conception that an empirically-guided philosopher of color ought to adopt. (shrink)
Perceptual experience is often said to be transparent; that is, when we have a perceptual experience we seem to be aware of properties of the objects around us, and never seem to be aware of properties of the experience itself. This is a introspective fact. It is also often said that we can infer a metaphysical fact from this introspective fact, e.g. a fact about the nature of perceptual experience. A transparency theory fills in the details for these two facts, (...) and bridges the gap between them. We have three aims: to scrutinize Michael Tye’s transparency theory :137–151, 2002; Consciousness revisited: materialism without phenomenal concepts, MIT Press, Cambridge, 2009; Philos Stud 170:39–57, 2014a), introduce a new transparency theory, and advance a meta-theoretical hypothesis about the interest, and import, of transparency theories. (shrink)
From David Hume's famous puzzle about 'the missing shade of blue' to current research into the science of colour, the topic of colour is an incredibly fertile region of study and debate, cutting across philosophy of mind, epistemology, metaphysics and aesthetics as well as psychology. Debates about the nature of our experience of colour and the nature of colour itself are central to contemporary discussion and argument in philosophy of mind and psychology, and philosophy of perception. This outstanding Handbook contains (...) twenty-nine specially commissioned contributions by leading philosophers and examines the most important aspects of philosophy of colour. It is organised into six parts: The Importance of Colour to Philosophy The Science and Spaces of Colour Colour Phenomena Colour Ontology Colour Experience and Epistemology Language, Categories and Thought. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Colour is essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy of mind and psychology, epistemology, metaphysics and aesthetics, as well as for those interested in conceptual issues in the psychology of colour. (shrink)
This essay is an introduction to the Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Colour. Why has the examination of many different aspects of colour been a prominent feature in philosophy, to such an extent that the topic is worthy of a handbook? Here are two related answers. First, colours are exceedingly familiar, seemingly simple features that become enigmatic under scrutiny, and they are difficult to capture in any familiar-sounding, unsophisticated theory. Second, through colour one can confront various problems that span the (...) breadth of philosophy, including problems pertaining to perception, the mind-body relation, the nature of science, scepticism, vagueness, meta-ethics, and aesthetics. In this introduction we elaborate and guide the reader to the essays in the rest of this volume. (shrink)
Some truths about color are knowable a priori. For example, it is knowable a priori that redness is not identical to the property of being square. This extremely modest and plausible claim has significant philosophical implications, or so I shall argue. First, I show that this claim entails the falsity of standard forms of color functionalism, the view that our color concepts are functional concepts that pick out their referents by way of functional descriptions that make reference to the subjective (...) responses of perceivers. I then argue that, while some sophisticated forms of color functionalism can accommodate the a priori knowability of a truth like “redness is not identical to squareness,” they can only do so by abandoning color realism, the thesis that colors are instantiated by external material objects. In practice, color functionalists are almost invariably color realists. Thus, given extremely modest assumptions concerning what can be known a priori about color, we should conclude that color functionalism, at least in its typical realist form, is false. (shrink)
Common everyday materials such as textiles, foodstuffs, soil or skin can have complex, mutable and varied appearances. Under typical viewing conditions, most observers can visually recognize materials effortlessly, and determine many of their properties without touching them. Visual material perception raises many fascinating questions for vision researchers, neuroscientists and philosophers, yet has received little attention compared to the perception of color or shape. Here we discuss some of the challenges that material perception raises and argue that further philosophical thought should (...) be directed to how we see materials. (shrink)
I outline five issues in philosophy of colour that deserve greater attention and provide skeletal frameworks for how future work on these topics could be carried out. The issues are: colour and metaphilosophy, colour and artistic practice, colour and virtual/augmented reality, colour and imagination, and colour and the predictive mind. Some of these issues have been a focus of important recent works. Thus, colour conjoined with each of metaphilosophy, artistic practice and imagination have all been examined in at least a (...) few recent publications – see below for references. It is clear, however, that these recent works are signals that there is much still to be done. By contrast, while at present there is a great deal of interest in the predictive mind, the intersection of colour and the predictive mind is vastly underexplored. This is despite the fact that the philosophy and science of colour are rather developed disciplines. Finally, while there have been some very important recent works on virtual and augmented reality, the significance of colour for these studies has yet to be examined. It is my hope that after reading this article readers are convinced not only that the philosophy of colour has a rich, recent history, but also a very bright future. (shrink)
I argue that it is possible to perceptually represent colour relations between two objects, without perceptually representing their colours. Such primitive relational colour representation goes against the orthodox view that we represent colour relations by virtue of representing colours. I first argue that under certain assumptions, PRCR is conceptually and even nomically possible. I then compare two possible models of PRCR: the linguaform model and chromatic edge model, the latter involving iconic rather than discursive representation. I argue that the chromatic (...) edge model gives a better account of putative cases of PRCR in cerebral achromatopsia, a rare disorder of colour consciousness. (shrink)
Objective To review the way consciousness is operationalised in contemporary research, discuss strengths and weaknesses of current approaches and propose new measures. Method We first reviewed the literature pertaining to the phenomenal character of visual and self-consciousness as well as awareness of visual stimuli. We also reviewed more problematic cases of dreams and animal consciousness, specifically that of octopuses. Results Despite controversies, work in visual and self consciousness is highly developed and there are notable successes. Cases where experiences are not (...) induced, such as dreams, and where no verbal report is possible, such as when we study purported experiences of octopuses, are more challenging. It is difficult to be confident about the reliability and validity of operationalisations of dreams. Although this is a general concern about the measuring consciousness, it is not a sufficiently severe concern to completely undermine the work reviewed on vision and self-consciousness. It is more difficult to see how the good work on human psychology can be applied to non-human animals, especially those with radically different nervous systems, such as octopuses. Given the limitations of report-based operationalisations of consciousness, it is desirable to develop non-report-based measures, particularly for phenomenal qualities. We examine a number of possibilities and offer two possible approaches of varying degrees of practicality, the first based on combining quality space descriptions of phenomenal qualities and the notion of a “neural activation space” inherited from connectionist A.I., the second being a novel match to target approach Conclusion Consciousness is a multifacted phenomenon and requires a variety of operationalisations to be studied. (shrink)
Colour vision plays a foundational explanatory role in the philosophy of colour, and serves as perennial quarry in the wider philosophy of perception. I present two contributions to our understanding of this notion. The first is to develop a constitutive approach to characterizing colour vision. This approach seeks to comprehend the nature of colour vision qua psychological kind, as contrasted with traditional experiential approaches, which prioritize descriptions of our ordinary visual experience of colour. The second contribution is to argue that (...) colour vision does not constitutively involve the ability to see colours, in a natural and categorically committed sense. I argue that two subjects exactly alike in respect of their constitutive colour vision abilities could differ in respect of whether or not they have categorical perception of colour. The argument is supported by thought experiment and dissociations observed in cognitive neuropsychology. The argument also bears connections to recent neo-Whorfian accounts of colour categorization. _1._ Introduction _2._ Colour Vision, Experience, and Natures _3._ The Central Argument _3.1._ Colour constancy and discrimination _3.2._ Dissociating colour vision and categorical perception for colour _4._ Whorf and the View from Cognitive Neuropsychology _5._ Conclusion. (shrink)
Back when researchers thought about the various forms that color vision could take, the focus was primarily on the retinal mechanisms. Since that time, research on human color vision has shifted from an interest in retinal mechanisms to cortical color processing. This has allowed color research to provide insight into questions that are not limited to early vision but extend to cognition. Direct cortical connections from higher-level areas to lower-level areas have been found throughout the brain. One of the classic (...) questions in cognitive science is whether perception is influenced, and if so to what extent, by cognition and whether a clear distinction can be drawn between perception and cognition. Since perception is seen as providing justification for our beliefs about properties in the external world, these questions also have metaphysical and epistemological significance. The aim of this paper is to highlight some of the areas where research on color perception can shed new light on questions in the cognitive sciences. A further aim of the paper is to raise some questions about color research that are in dire need of further reflection and investigation. (shrink)
Can we maintain that purple seems composed of red and blue without giving up the impenetrability of the red and blue parts that compose it? Brentano thinks we can. Purple, according to him, is a chessboard of red and blue tiles which, although individually too small to be perceived, are together indistinctly perceived within the purple. After a presentation of Brentano’s solution, we raise two objections to it. First, Brentano’s solution commits him to unperceivable intentional objects (the chessboard’s tiles). Second, (...) his chessboard account fails in the end to explain the phenomenal spatial continuity of compound colours. We then sketch an alternative account, which, while holding fast to the phenomenal compoundedness of the purple and to the impenetrability of component colours, avoids introducing inaccessible intentional objects and compromising on the continuity of the purple. According to our proposal, instead of being indistinctly perceived spatial parts of the purple, red and blue are distinctly perceived non- spatial parts of it. (shrink)
A Naive Realist Theory of Colour defends the view that colours are mind-independent properties of things in the environment, that are distinct from properties identified by the physical sciences. This view stands in contrast to the long-standing and wide-spread view amongst philosophers and scientists that colours don't really exist - or at any rate, that if they do exist, then they are radically different from the way that they appear. It is argued that a naive realist theory of colour best (...) explains how colours appear to perceiving subjects, and that this view is not undermined either by reflecting on variations in colour perception between perceivers and across perceptual conditions, or by our modern scientific understanding of the world. A Naive Realist Theory of Colour also illustrates how our understanding of what colours are has far-reaching implications for wider questions about the nature of perceptual experience, the relationship between mind and world, the problem of consciousness, the apparent tension between common sense and scientific representations of the world, and even the very nature and possibility of philosophical inquiry. (shrink)
Colour constancy is a foundational and yet puzzling phenomenon. Standard appearance invariantism is threatened by the psychophysical matching argument, which is taken to favour variantism. This argument, however, is inconclusive. The data at best support a pluralist view: colour constancy is sometimes variantist, sometimes invariantist. I add another potential explanation of these data, complex invariantism, which adopts an atypical six-dimensional model of colour appearance. Finally I prospect for a unifying conception of constancy among two neglected notions: discriminatory colour constancy and (...) relational colour constancy. The former arguably marks a common core capacity that is present across widely differing viewing contexts. (shrink)
I offer a new objectivist theory of the contents of color language and color experience, intended especially as an account of what normal intersubjective variation in color perception and classification shows about those contents. First I explain an abstract account of the contents of color and other gradable adjectives; on the account, these contents are certain objective properties constituted in part by contextually intended standards of application, which are in turn values in the dimensions of variation associated with the adjectives. (...) Then I propose an explanation of normal variations in linguistic color classification; these are postulated to be effects of differences in intended standards for the color adjectives appearing in the classifying predicates. Next, I consider a potential objection to this explanation, based on the suggestion that contextual content should be more accessible than the explanation predicts. In reply, I point out that contextual content is occasionally opaque to unsophisticated reflection. Finally, I present a companion account of the contents of color experiences on which these represent an object as lying on certain salient intervals in the chromatic dimensions, and I show how the account accommodates intersubjective variation in color perception. (shrink)
Wittgenstein introduced his claim about colour incompatibility originally in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus , where he stated that there could be only one colour in one place and time. It is commonly believed that Wittgenstein abandoned his conception of logical atomism when he realized the consequences of this claim. The aim of this article is to provide an interpretation of the colour incompatibility claim in terms of Wittgenstein’s phenomenology. I will focus on two works of great significance for the claim: Some (...) Remarks on Logical Form and Philosophical Remarks . These two works were written between 1929 and 1930, which is the beginning of the “middle period” in Wittgenstein’s philosophy. I will focus not only on Wittgenstein’s formulation of the colour incompatibility claim, but also on how this claim was justified. The explanation of Wittgenstein’s justification of this claim will help to understand his phenomenology and theory of philosophical grammar. (shrink)
Loosely put, colour constancy for example occurs when you experience a partly shadowed wall to be uniformly coloured, or experience your favourite shirt to be the same colour both with and without sunglasses on. Controversy ensues when one seeks to interpret ‘experience’ in these contexts, for evidence of a constant colour may be indicative a constant colour in the objective world, a judgement that a constant colour would be present were things thus and so, et cetera. My primary aim is (...) to articulate a viable conception of Present Constancy, of what occurs when a constant colour is present in experience, despite the additional presence of some experienced colour variation (e.g., correlating to a change in illumination). My proposed conception involves experienced colour layering – experiencing one opaque colour through another transparent one – and in particular requires one of those experienced layers to remain constant while the other changes. The aim is not to propose this layering conception of colour constancy as the correct interpretation of all constancy cases, but rather to develop the conception enough to demonstrate how it could and plausibly should be applied to various cases, and the virtues it has over rivals. Its virtues include a seamless application to constancy cases involving variations in filters (e.g., sunglasses) and illuminants; its ability to accommodate experiences of partial colours and error-free interpretations of difficult cases; and its broad theoretical-neutrality, allowing it to be incorporated into numerous perceptual epistemologies and ontologies. If layered constancy is prevalent, as I suspect it is, then our experiential access to colours is critically nuanced: we have been plunged into a world of colour without being told that we will rarely, if ever, look to a location and experience just one of them. (shrink)
Fiona Macpherson (2012) argues that various experimental results provide strong evidence in favor of the cognitive penetration of perceptual color experience. Moreover, she proposes a mechanism for how such cognitive penetration occurs. We argue, first, that the results on which Macpherson relies do not provide strong grounds for her claim of cognitive penetrability; and, second, that, if the results do reflect cognitive penetrability, then time-course considerations raise worries for her proposed mechanism. We base our arguments in part on several of (...) our own experiments, reported herein. (shrink)
Some colors are compound colors, in the sense that they look complex: orange, violet, green..., by contrast to elemental colors like yellow or blue. In the chapter 3 of his Unterschungen zur Sinnespsychologie, Brentano purports to reconcile the claim that some colors are indeed intrinsically composed of others, with the claim that colors are impenetrable with respect to each other. His solution: phenomenal green is like a chessboard of blue and yellow squares. Only, such squares are so small that we (...) cannot discriminate between their location in perception. Consequently we get the impression of an homogeneous green extent. After having presented Brentano's solution, we argued that it is hardly compatible with Brentano's own conception of descriptive psychology, to the extent that it introduces in-existent objects (small yellow and blue squares), which cannot be perceived. We propose another solution to Brentano's puzzle, more in tune with his own assumptions, or so we argue. According to it, the yellow and the blue are in the green without being spatially in the green. A green extent has yellow and blue components, but these are not spatial components. This solution reconciles impenetrability (since the component colors are not localized) with the reality of compounds color. Besides, it has the advantage of taking the phenomenology of compounds colors, as Brentano's describes it, to the letter. Compound colors are what they seem: complex but not spatially complex. (shrink)
The dominant view among philosophers of perception is that color experiences, like color judgments, are essentially representational: as part of their very nature color experiences possess representational contents which are either accurate or inaccurate. My starting point in assessing this view is Sydney Shoemaker’s familiar account of color perception. After providing a sympathetic reconstruction of his account, I show how plausible assumptions at the heart of Shoemaker’s theory make trouble for his claim that color experiences represent the colors of things. (...) I consider various ways of trying to avoid the objection, and find all of the responses wanting. My conclusion is that we have reason to be skeptical of the orthodox view that color experiences are constitutively representational. (shrink)
According to anti-atomism, we represent color properties (e.g., red) in virtue of representing color relations (e.g., redder than). I motivate anti-atomism with a puzzle involving a series of pairwise indistinguishable chips. I then develop two versions of anti-atomism.
In Colour for Architecture, published in 1976, the editors, Tom Porter and Byron Mikellides, explain that their book was “produced out of an awareness that colour, as a basic and vital force, is lacking from the built environment and that our knowledge of it is isolated and limited.”1 Lack of urban color was then especially salient in Britain—where the book was published—which had just begun to recoil at the Brutalist legacy of angular stained gray concrete strewn across the postwar landscape. (...) Perhaps because the most urgent need was to inject some hue into this architectural dystopia, one of the main innovations illustrated in the book involves nothing more than cans of paint. Dull unfinished concrete façades, the interior of a subway station, a cement works, and so on, are shown enlivened by fields of bright color. (shrink)
A quarter of a century ago, the first systematic behavioral experiments were performed to clarify the nature of color constancy—the effect whereby the perceived color of a surface remains constant despite changes in the spectrum of the illumination. At about the same time, new models of color constancy appeared, along with physiological data on cortical mechanisms and photographic colorimetric measurements of natural scenes. Since then, as this review shows, there have been many advances. The theoretical requirements for constancy have been (...) better delineated and the range of experimental techniques has been greatly expanded; novel invariant properties of images and a variety of neural mechanisms have been identified; and increasing recognition has been given to the relevance of natural surfaces and scenes as laboratory stimuli. Even so, there remain many theoretical and experimental challenges, not least to develop an account of color constancy that goes beyond deterministic and relatively simple laboratory stimuli and instead deals with the intrinsically variable nature of surfaces and illuminations present in the natural world. (shrink)
An exposition of Kripke's unpublished critique of dispositionalism about color, followed by a review of some recent defenses of dispositionalism and a sketch of some objections that could be made to these defenses from a broadly Kripkean perspective.
In this paper I argue that all transparent objects are colorless. This thesis is important for at least three reasons. First, if transparent objects are colorless, there is no need to distinguish between colors which characterize three-dimensional bodies, like transparent colors, and colors which lie on the surface of objects. Second, traditional objections against color physicalism relying on transparent colors are rendered moot. Finally, an improved understanding of the relations between colors, light and transparency is provided.
In this collection, white women philosophers engage boldly in critical acts of exploring ways of naming and disrupting whiteness in terms of how it has defined the conceptual field of philosophy. Focuses on the whiteness of the epistemic and value-laden norms within philosophy itself, the text dares to identify the proverbial elephant in the room known as white supremacy and how that supremacy functions as the measure of reason, knowledge, and philosophical intelligibility.
Let’s say that a philosophical theory is white just in case it treats the perspective of the white (perhaps Western male) as objective.1 The potential dangers of proposing or defending white theories are two-fold. First, if not all of reality is objective, a fact which I take to be established beyond doubt,2 then white theories could well turn out to be false.3 A white theory is unwarranted (and indeed false) when it treats nonobjective reality as objective. Second, by proposing or (...) defending unwarranted white theories one thereby treats the perspective of the non-white as faulty, and this in turn serves to perpetuate the distorted representation of whites as superior to non-whites. As David Owen puts it, [whiteness] serves to underwrite perceptions, understandings, justifications and explanations of the social order that perpetuate distortions in the social system that are a legacy of our nation’s history …what is associated with whiteness becomes defined as natural, normal or mainstream.4 In this chapter I will focus on a particular class of philosophical theories, viz. philosophical theories of color. I argue that realist theories of the objectivist variety.. (shrink)
Color provides an instance of a general puzzle about how to reconcile the picture of the world given to us by our ordinary experience with the picture of the world given to us by our best theoretical accounts. The Red and the Real offers a new approach to such longstanding philosophical puzzles about what colors are and how they fit into nature. It is responsive to a broad range of constraints --- both the ordinary constraints of color experience and the (...) more theoretical constraints of color science, psychology, semantics, and ontology. (shrink)
When it became uncool to speak of beauty with respect to pieces of art, physicists started claiming that their results are beautiful. They say, for example, that a theory's beauty speaks in favour of its truth, and that they strive to perform beautiful experiments. What does that mean? The notion cannot be defined. (It cannot be defined in the arts either). Therefore, I elucidate it with examples of optical experimentation. Desaguliers' white synthesis, for example, is more beautiful than Newton's, and (...) the many colourful syntheses done by Viennese painter Ingo Nussbaumer exemplify even greater beauty. Here are some criteria (which, of course, do not implement a decision procedure concerning beauty in experiments): cleanliness, simplicity, intellectual clarity, symmetry. Similar criteria are relevant to our aesthetical judgements about some pieces of music. So we can assume that our notion of beauty conserning art is related to the one conserning scientific experiments. (shrink)
We discuss two modal claims about the phenomenal structure of color experiences: (i) violet experiences are necessarily experiences of a color that is for the subject on that occasion phenomenally composed of red and blue (the modal claim about violet) and (ii) no subject can possibly have an experience of a color that is for it then phenomenally composed of red and green (the modal claim about reddish green). The modal claim about reddish green is undermined by empirical results. We (...) discuss whether these empirical results cast doubt on the other modal claims as well. We argue that this not the case. Our argument is based on the thesis that the best argument for the modal claim about violet is quite different from the best argument for the modal claim about reddish green. To argue for this disanalogy we propose a reconstruction of the best available justification for both claims. (shrink)
There is nothing in this World constant but Inconstancy. [Swift 1711: 258] In this paper I argue that two standard characterizations of colour constancy are inadequate to the phenomenon. This inadequacy matters, since, I contend, philosophical appeals to colour constancy as a way of motivating illumination-independent conceptions of colour turn crucially on the shortcomings of these characterizations. After critically reviewing the standard characterizations, I provide a novel counterfactualist understanding of colour constancy, argue that it avoids difficulties of its traditional rivals, (...) and defend it from objections. Finally, I show why, on this improved understanding, colour constancy does not have the philosophical consequences that have been claimed for it in the literature. (shrink)
Remodel[l]ing Reality is an inquiry into Wittgenstein's notion of übersichtliche Darstellung and the phenomenon of installation in visual art. In a sense, both provide a perspicuous overview of a particular part of our complex world, but the nature of the overview differs. Although both generate knowledge, philosophy via the übersichtliche Darstellung gives us a view of how things stand for us, while the installation shows an unexpected, exiting point of view. The obvious we tend to forget and the ambiguity of (...) reality are related to each other in a dynamic way. It is in this reflexive dynamics that we constantly remodel our reality. Tools we use are our creative abilities and our powers of imagination. In our choices and solutions we show which aspects of reality we find important and how we communicate these values. The outcome of this investigation is a new perspective on the art of installation and a new insight in Wittgenstein's notion of übersichtliche Darstellung. Because of this combination, the book is itself an artwork: an InstallationPackage. The book is distributed by Ideabooks Amsterdam, Isbn 978 90 804240 3 6. Remodel[l]ing Reality is included in Special Collections, Allard Pierson Museum Amsterdam. (shrink)
Colours and consciousness both present us with metaphysical problems. But what exactly are the problems? According to standard accounts, they are roughly the following. On the one hand, we have reason to believe, about both colour and consciousness, that they are identical with some familiar natural phenomena. But on the other hand, it is hard to see how these identities could obtain. I argue that this is an adequate characterisation of our metaphysical problem of colour, but a mischaracterisation of the (...) problem of consciousness. It mischaracterises the problem by presenting consciousness as more 'colour-like' than we have reason to take it to be. The real problem of consciousness is, I suggest, that almost nothing theoretically useful is known about this phenomenon at present. I also explore some implications of this perspective on the problem of consciousness. Given the shape of the problem, I argue that we can't rule out all forms of eliminativism about consciousness. Nor can we rule out that future research will close the ' explanatory gap' that consciousness gives rise to. (shrink)
A chip looks true blue to John and greenish blue to Jane. On the face of it, at least one of the two perceivers has an inaccurate colour experience; for the chip cannot be both true blue and greenish blue. But John and Jane are “normal” perceivers, and there is no privileged class of normal perceivers (Block 1999). This is the puzzle of true blue (Tye.
The question of the constituting nature of colour is largely open. The old dispute between colour objectivism and colour subjectivism is still relevant. The former has defended itself against accusations of not being able to explain colour structures, while the latter view has received criticism for not being able to provide a plausible theory of the location of colours. By weakening the notion of physical categories, making some of them perceiver-depended, colour objectivists have managed to overcome at least some of (...) the previous accusations. However, the arguments based on Crane’s and Piantanida’s findings of the existence of binary colours like greenish-red and yellowish-blue, indicate the inadequacy of colour objectivism. Consequently, we have colours but our theories of them are false. (shrink)
Anything is similar to anything, provided the respects of similarity are allowed to be gerrymandered or gruesome, as Goodman observed.2 But similarity in non-gruesome or—as I shall say—genuine respects is much less ecumenical. Colors, it seems, provide a compelling illustration of the distinction as applied to similarities among properties.3 For instance, in innumerable gruesome respects, blue is more similar to yellow than to purple. But in a genuine respect, blue is more similar to purple than to yellow (genuinely more similar, (...) as I shall sometimes put it). (shrink)
For a stable visual world, the colours of objects should appear the same under different lights. This property of colour constancy has been assumed to be fundamental to vision, and many experimental attempts have been made to quantify it. I contend here, however, that the usual methods of measurement are either too coarse or concentrate not on colour constancy itself, but on other, complementary aspects of scene perception. Whether colour constancy exists other than in nominal terms remains unclear.
Rationalizing the perceptual effects of spectral stimuli has been a major challenge in vision science for at least the last 200 years. Here we review evidence that this otherwise puzzling body of phenomenology is generated by an empirical strategy of perception in which the color an observer sees is entirely determined by the probability distribution of the possible sources of the stimulus. The rationale for this strategy in color vision, as in other visual perceptual domains, is the inherent ambiguity of (...) the real-world origins of any spectral stimulus. (shrink)
Although philosophers have puzzled about color for millennia, the recent explosion in philosophical interest in the topic can largely be traced to C. L. Hardin’s widely-read and deservedly-praised Color for Philosophers: Unweaving the Rainbow [Hardin, 1988]. While Hardin has had no more than the usual, limited success in convincing other philosophers to adopt the substance of his views, he has been quite inﬂuential about a point of philosophical methodology: he has convinced many that responsible philosophical work on color simply must (...) make contact with the vast body of empirical color science, and thereby has eﬀected an enormous (and to my mind, extremely salutary) change in the terms of recent philosophical discussion of color.1 Indeed, writers have been so eager to take Hardin’s lesson on board that one is hard-pressed to ﬁnd a recent philosophical book on color that does not acknowledge it, crediting Hardin by name. (shrink)
Susan Hurley has attacked the ''Duplication Assumption'', the assumption thatcreatures with exactly the same internal states could function exactly alike inenvironments that are systematically distorted. She argues that the dynamicalinterdependence of action and perception is highly problematic for the DuplicationAssumption when it involves spatial states and capacities, whereas no such problemsarise when it involves color states and capacities. I will try to establish that theDuplication Assumption makes even less sense for lightness than for some ofthe spatial cases. This is due (...) not only to motor factors, but to the basic physicalasymmetry between black and white. I then argue that the case can be extendedfrom lightness perception to hue perception. Overall, the aims of this paper are:(1) to extend Susan Hurley''s critique of the Duplication Assumption; (2) to argueagainst highly constrained versions of Inverted Spectrum arguments; (3) to proposea broader conception of the vehicle for color perception. (shrink)