Philosophical Review 128 (3):293-336 (2019)

Colin Chamberlain
Temple University
Consider the distinctive qualitative property grass visually appears to have when it visually appears to be green. This property is an example of what I call sensuous color. Whereas early modern mechanists typically argue that bodies are not sensuously colored, Margaret Cavendish disagrees. In cases of veridical perception, she holds that grass is green in precisely the way it visually appears to be. In defense of her realist approach to sensuous colors, Cavendish argues that it is impossible to conceive of colorless bodies, the very possibility of color experience requires that bodies are sensuously colored, and the attribution of sensuous colors to bodies provides the best explanation of color constancy. Although some passages might suggest that Cavendish endorses a reductive account of sensuous color, according to which sensuous color reduces to a body's microscopic surface texture, I argue that she accepts a nonreductive account, on which sensuous color is not thus reducible.
Keywords Margaret Cavendish  Color  Color realism  resemblance  mechanism  Descartes  Hobbes
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DOI 10.1215/00318108-7537283
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References found in this work BETA

How to Speak of the Colors.Mark Johnston - 1992 - Philosophical Studies 68 (3):221-263.
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Citations of this work BETA

Cartesian Clarity.Elliot Samuel Paul - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (19):1-28.
Margaret Cavendish on Conceivability, Possibility, and the Case of Colours.Peter West - 2021 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 30 (3):456-476.
Cavendish's Aesthetic Realism.Daniel Whiting - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

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