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3.7. Color (Color on PhilPapers)

See also:
Akins, Kathleen & Hahn, Martin (2000). The peculiarity of color. In Color Perception: Philosophical, Psychological, Artistic, and Computational Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 8 | Google)
Albahari, Miri (1999). Objective colours and evolutionary value: A reply to Dedrick. Dialogue 38:99-108.   (Google)
Armstrong, David M. (1993). Reply to Campbell. In John Bacon, Keith Campbell & Lloyd Reinhardt (eds.), Ontology, Causality and Mind: Essays in Honour of D M Armstrong. New York: Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Averill, Edward W. (1985). Color and the anthropocentric problem. Journal of Philosophy 82 (June):281-303.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Averill, Edward W. (2005). Toward a projectivist account of color. Journal of Philosophy 102 (5):217-34.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Bigelow, John & Pargetter, Robert (1990). Colouring in the world. Mind 99 (394):279-88.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Broackes, Justin (1997). The Nature of Colour. Routledge.   (Google)
Campbell, K. (1969). Colours. In R. Brown & C. D. Rollins (eds.), Contemporary Philosophy in Australia. Humanities Press.   (Cited by 9 | Google)
Campbell, John (2006). Manipulating colour: Pounding an Almond. In T. S. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Perceptual Experience. Oup.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: It seems a compelling idea that experience of colour plays some role in our having concepts of the various colours, but in trying to explain the role experience plays the first thing we have to describe is what sort of colour experience matters here. I will argue that the kind of experience that matters is conscious attention to the colours of objects as an aspect of them on which direct intervention is selectively possible. As I will explain this idea, it is a matter of being able to use experience to inform linguistic or conceptual thought about what would happen were there to be various interventions on an object. Against this background, I will review Locke’s fundamental argument that since we can change the colour of an almond by pounding it, there must be an error embodied in our ordinary concepts of colour: there is no such thing as intervening directly on the colour of an object. The analysis I present brings out the force of Locke’s argument. But I will propose a vindication of our commonsense conception of colour as an aspect of objects on which direct intervention is selectively possible
Campbell, K. (1982). The implications of land's theory of colour vision. In L. Jonathan Cohen (ed.), Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science. Elsevier.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Carlson, Elof A. (2002). Color perception: An ongoing convergence of reductionism and phenomenology. In Analecta Husserliana: The Yearbook of Phenomenological Research Vol LXXVII. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Pub.   (Google)
Cohen, Jonathan (2005). Colors, functions, realizers, and roles. Philosophical Topics 33 (1):117-140.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: You may speak of a chain, or if you please, a net. An analogy is of little aid. Each cause brings about future events. Without each the future would not be the same. Each is proximate in the sense it is essential. But that is not what we mean by the word. Nor on the other hand do we mean sole cause. There is no such thing
McFarland, Duncan & Miller, Alexander (2000). Disjunctions, programming, and the australian view of colour. Analysis 60 (2):209–212.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Dwyer, Philip (2002). Stroud, colour, and metaphysical satisfaction. Dialogue 41 (3):569-587.   (Google)
Foti, Veronique M. (1990). The dimension of color. International Studies in Philosophy 22:13-28.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Franklin, C. L. (1894). Professor Ebbinghaus' theory of colour vision. Mind 3 (9):98-104.   (Google | More links)
Gellatly, Angus (2002). Color perception: Processing of wavelength information and conscious experience of color. In Barbara Saunders & Jaap Van Brakel (eds.), Theories, Technologies, Instrumentalities of Color: Anthropological and Historiographic Perspectives. University Press of America.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Hardin, C. L. (1984). A new look at color. American Philosophical Quarterly 21 (April):125-33.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Harvey, J. (1992). Challenging the obvious: The logic of color concepts. Philosophia 21 (3-4):277-94.   (Google | More links)
Hardin, C. L. (1989). Idle colors and busy spectra. Analysis 49 (January):47-8.   (Google)
Hardin, C. L. (1988). Phenomenal colors and sorites. Noûs 22 (June):213-34.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Hardin, C. L. (1991). Reply to Teller's Simpler Arguments Might Work Better. Philosophical Psychology 4:61-64.   (Google)
Hardin, C. L. (1993). Van Brakel and the not-so-naked emperor. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1):137-50.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Hatfield, Gary C. (2009). Perception and Cognition: Essays in the Philosophy of Psychology. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Representation and content in some (actual) theories of perception -- Representation in perception and cognition : task analysis, psychological functions, and rule instantiation -- Perception as unconscious inference -- Representation and constraints : the inverse problem and the structure of visual space -- On perceptual constancy -- Getting objects for free (or not) : the philosophy and psychology of object perception -- Color perception and neural encoding : does metameric matching entail a loss of information? -- Objectivity and subjectivity revisited : color as a psychobiological property -- Sense data and the mind body problem -- The reality of qualia -- The sensory core and the medieval foundations of early modern perceptual theory -- Postscript (2008) on Ibn al-Haytham's (Alhacen's) theory of vision -- Attention in early scientific psychology -- Psychology, philosophy, and cognitive science : reflections on the history and philosophy of experimental psychology -- What can the mind tell us about the brain? : psychology, neurophysiology, and constraint -- Introspective evidence in psychology.
Hellie, Benj (ms). Justin Fisher's 'color representations as hash values'.   (Google)
Hochel, M.; Milan, E. G.; Gonzalez, A.; Tornay, F.; McKenney, K.; Diaz Caviedes, R.; Mata Martin, J. L.; Rodriguez Artacho, M. A.; Dominguez Garcia, E. & Vila, J. (2007). Experimental study of phantom colours in a colour blind synaesthete. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (4):75-95.   (Google)
Abstract: Synaesthesia is a condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces photisms, i.e. mental percepts of colours. R is a 20 year old colour blind subject who, in addition to the relatively common grapheme-colour synaesthesia, presents a rarely reported cross modal perception in which a variety of visual stimuli elicit aura-like percepts of colour. In R, photisms seem to be closely related to the affective valence of stimuli and typically bring out a consistent pattern of emotional responses. The present case study suggests that colours might be an intrinsic category of the human brain. We developed an empirical methodology that allowed us to study the subject's otherwise inaccessible phenomenological experience. First, we found that R shows a Stroop effect (delayed response due to interference) elicited by photisms despite the fact that he does not show a regular Stroop with real colours. Secondly, by manipulating the colour context we confirmed that colours can alter R's emotional evaluation of the stimuli. Furthermore, we demonstrated that R's auras may actually lead to a partially inverted emotional spectrum where certain stimuli bring out emotional reactions opposite to the normal ones. These findings can only be accounted for by considering R's subjective colour experience or qualia. Therefore the present paper defends the view that qualia are a useful scientific concept that can be approached and studied by experimental methods
Hoffman, Donald D. (2001). The data problem for color objectivism. Consciousness and Cognition 10 (1):74-77.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Holman, Emmett L. (1979). Is the physical world colourless? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 57 (December):295-304.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Hurley, Susan L. & Noë, Alva (forthcoming). Can hunter-gatherers hear color? In Geoffrey Brennan, Robert E. Goodin & Michael A. Smith (eds.), Common Minds: Essays in Honor of Philip Pettit. Oup.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Philip Pettit (2003) argues that color looks should be explained in terms of manifest powers. He indicates that his view is broadly allied with our own dynamic sensorimotor approach to conscious experience (O’Regan and Noë 2001a, b, c; Hurley 1998, Hurley and Noë 2003a
Jackson, Frank & Pargetter, Robert (1987). An objectivist's guide to subjectivism about color. Revue Internationale de Philosophie 41:127-141.   (Google)
Jacovides, Michael (2000). Cambridge changes of color. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 81 (2):142-164.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Locke’s porphyry argument at 2.8.19 of the Essay has not been properly appreciated. On my reconstruction, Locke argues from the premise that porphyry undergoes a mere Cambridge change of color in different lighting conditions to the conclusion that porphyry’s colors do not belong to it as it is in itself. I argue that his argument is not quite sound, but it would be if Locke chose a different stone, alexandrite. Examining his argument teaches us something about the relation between explanatory qualities and real alterations and something about the ways that colors inhere in bodies
Jackson, Frank (1998). Colour, disjunctions, programming. Analysis 58 (2):86-88.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Jackson, Frank (2007). Colour for representationalists. Erkenntnis 66 (1-2):169--85.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Redness is the property that makes things look red in normal circumstances. That seems obvious enough. But then colour is whatever property does that job: a certain reflectance profile as it might be. Redness is the property something is represented to have when it looks red. That seems obvious enough. But looking red does not represent that which looks red as having a certain reflectance profile. What should we say about this antinomy and how does our answer impact on the contest between realism and subjectivism about colour? I address the issues through the lens of a representationalist position on colour experience
Jackson, Frank (2000). Philosophizing about color. In Color Perception: Philosophical, Psychological, Artistic, and Computational Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 9 | Google)
Jakab, Zoltán (2001). Commentary on P. W. Ross: The location problem for color subjectivism. Consciousness and Cognition 10 (1):133-139.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Jakab, Zoltán (2006). Metameric surfaces: The ultimate case against color physicalism and representational theories of phenomenal consciousness. Dialectica 60 (3):283-306.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Jakab, Zoltán (2005). Opponent processing, linear models, and the veridicality of color perception. In Andrew Brook (ed.), Cognition and the Brain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Johnston, Mark (1996). A mind-body problem at the surface of objects. Philosophical Issues 7:219-229.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Johnson, Kent & Wright, Wayne (2006). Colors as properties of the special sciences. Erkenntnis 64 (2):139-168.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: We briefly examine the pros and cons of color realism, exposing some desiderata on a theory of color: the theory should render colors as scientifically legitimate and correctly individuated, and it should explain how we have veridical color experiences. We then show that these desiderata can by met by treating colors as properties of the special sciences. According to our view, some of the major disputes in the literature about color—anti-realism vs. dispositionalism vs. reductionism—are not well-founded at this stage of scientific inquiry
Johnston, Mark (1992). How to speak of the colors. Philosophical Studies 68 (3):221-263.   (Cited by 136 | Google | More links)
Johnston, Mark (2004). Subjectivism and unmasking. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (1):187-201.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Kalderon, Mark Eli (forthcoming). Color Illusion. Nous.   (Google)
Abstract: As standardly conceived,an illusion is an experience of an object o appearing F where o is not in fact F. Paradigm examples of color illusion, however, do not fit this pattern. A diagnosis of this uncovers different sense of appearance talk that is the basis of a dilemma for the standard conception. The dilemma is only a challenge. But if the challenge cannot be met, then any conception of experience, such as representationalism, that is committed to the standard conception is false. Perhaps surprisingly, naïve realism provides a better account of color illusion.
Kalderon, Mark Eli (ms). Color pluralism and the location problem.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Kenner, Lionel (1965). The triviality of the red-green problem. Analysis 25 (March):147-153.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Kliewer, G. (1998). Neutral color concepts. Philosophical Studies 91 (1):21-41.   (Google | More links)
Kraut, R. (1992). The objectivity of color and the color of objectivity. Philosophical Studies 3 (3):265-87.   (Google | More links)
Landesman, Charles (1989). Color and Consciousness: An Essay in Metaphysics. Temple University Press.   (Cited by 13 | Google)
Langsam, Harold (2000). Why colours do look like dispositions. Philosophical Quarterly 50 (198):68-75.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Leon, Mark . (2002). Colour wars: Dividing the spoils. Philosophy 77 (300):175-192.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: It is argued that there is much to be said for a fairly standard interpretation of the thesis that colour, unlike shape, is a subjective or phenomenal property of objects. But if this fairly standard thesis fails to do justice to the ‘objective’ aspect of colour, and justice in this regard is called for, then it is argued we can settle for less; we can settle for the strategy of ‘dividing the spoils’ between subjective and objective accounts. But it is also argued that if we do settle for this, we need to realise that the same ‘egalitarian’ division cannot be made in application to the primary properties. And that it is argued is the insight at the heart of the traditional account
Levine, Joseph (2006). Color and color experience: Colors as ways of appearing. Dialectica 60 (3):269-282.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In this paper I argue that color is a relational feature of the distal objects of perception, a way of appearing. I begin by outlining three constraints any theory of color should satisfy: (i) physicalism about the non-mental world, (ii) consistency with what is known from color science, and (iii) transparency about color experience. Traditional positions on the ontological status of color, such as physicalist reduction of color to spectral re?ectance, subjectivism, dispositional- ism, and primitivism, fail, I claim, to meet all three constraints. By treating color as a relational property, a way of appearing, the three constraints can be met. However, serious problems for this view emerge when considering the relation between illusory color experiences (particularly hallucinations) and veridical color experiences. I do not propose a solution to these problems
Levin, Janet (2000). Dispositional theories of color and the claims of common sense. Philosophical Studies 100 (2):151-174.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Lillie, William (1926). The nature of colour associations. Mind 35 (140):533-536.   (Google | More links)
MacIntyre, Alasdair (1992). Colors, cultures, and practices. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 17:1-23.   (Google)
Macpherson, Fiona (2003). Novel colours and the content of experience. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (1):43-66.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I propose a counterexample to naturalistic representational theories of phenomenal character. The counterexample is generated by experiences of novel colours reported by Crane and Piantanida. I consider various replies that a representationalist might make, including whether novel colours could be possible colours of objects and whether one can account for novel colours as one would account for binary colours or colour mixtures. I argue that none of these strategies is successful and therefore that one cannot fully explain the nature of the phenomenal character of perceptual experiences using a naturalistic conception of representation
Matthen, Mohan P. (online). Our knowledge of color.   (Google)
Abstract: Scientists are often bemused by the efforts of philosophers essaying a theory of colour: colour science sports a huge array of facts and theories, and it is unclear to its practitioners what philosophy can or is trying to contribute. Equally, philosophers tend to be puzzled about how they can fit colour science into their investigations without compromising their own disciplinary identity: philosophy is supposed to be an _a priori_ investigation; philosophers do not work in psychophysics labs – not in their professional capacity, anyway
Matthen, Mohan P. (2001). What colors? Whose colors? Consciousness and Cognition 10 (1):117-124.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Maund, J. Barry (1981). Colour: A case for conceptual fission. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 59 (September):308-22.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Mausfeld, Rainer (2004). Color Perception: Mind and the Physical World. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Mcculloch, Gregory (1987). Subjectivity and colour vision. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 265:265-281.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
McFarland, Duncan & Miller, Alexander (2000). Disjunctions, programming and the australian view of colour. Analysis 60 (2):209-212.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
McGinn, M. (1991). On two recent accounts of color. Philosophical Quarterly 41 (July):316-24.   (Google | More links)
McGilvray, James A. (2001). The location problem reconsidered: A reply to Ross. Consciousness and Cognition 10 (1):63-73.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
McLaughlin, Brian P. (2000). Colors and color spaces. In The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, Volume 5: Epistemology. Charlottesville: Philosophy Documentation Center.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Miller, Harlan B. (1967). Is red and looks red. Mind 76 (July):439-440.   (Google | More links)
Miller, Alexander (2001). The missing-explanation argument revisited. Analysis 61 (1):76-86.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Miscevic, Nenad (2004). Response-intentionalism about color: A sketch. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 4 (11):179-191.   (Google)
Montgomery, Richard (1996). The indeterminacy of color vision. Synthese 106 (2):167-203.   (Google | More links)
Abstract:   A critical survey of recent work on the ontological status of colors supports the conclusion that, while some accounts of color can plausibly be dismissed, no single account can yet be endorsed. Among the remaining options are certain forms of color realism according which familiar colors are instantiated by objects in our extra-cranial visual environment. Also still an option is color anti-realism, the view that familiar colors are, at best, biologically adaptive fictions, instantiated nowhere.I argue that there is simply no fact of the matter as to which of these remaining options is correct. I blame this indeterminacy on the fact that color vision exhibits several of the hallmarks of a modular input system, as described by Jerry Fodor in The Modularity of Mind
Morton, Adam (1987). Colour appearances and the colour solid. In Philosophy And The Visual Arts. Dordrecht: Kluwer.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Neale, Stephen (1999). Coloring and composition. In Philosophy and Linguistics. Boulder: Westview Press.   (Cited by 20 | Google)
Abstract: The idea that an utterance of a basic (nondeviant) declarative sentence expresses a single true-or-false proposition has dominated philosophical discussions of meaning in this century. Refinements aside, this idea is less of a substantive theses than it is a background assumption against which particular theories of meaning are evaluated. But there are phenomena (noted by Frege, Strawson, and Grice) that threaten at least the completeness of classical theories of meaning, which associate with an utterance of a simple sentence a truth-condition, a Russellian proposition, or a Fregean thought. And it may well be the case that a framework within which utterances express sequences of propositions provides much of what is needed to account for the relevant phenomena, a better overall picture of the way language works, and an enticingly uniform perspective on a variety of semantic problems. I do not myself take to theories that multiply propositions by appealing to propositions “presupposed” or to pairs of Fregean and Russellian propositions, or theories that show no respect for a distinction between semantics and pragmatics— where the former is the study of propositions whose general form and character is determined by word meaning and syntax—or for theories that blithely abandon general principles of composition and semantic innocence. I would like to sketch a package based on four interconnected ideas: (i) the meaning of an individual word is a sequence of instructions for generating a sequence of propositions (in conjunction with compositional instructions (syntax) and elements of context); (ii) utterances themselves are not bearers of truth or falsity; (iii) judgements of truth, falsity, commitment, and conflict are shaped, in part, by the weights attached to individual 1 propositions that occur in sequences expressed by utterances, weights that may be set (and reset) by contextual considerations; (iv) Fregean senses are superfluous; propositions might as well be Russellian (Mont Blanc and all its snow fields will do as well as any mode of presentation)..
Nida-Ruemelin, Martine (2006). A puzzle about colors. Dialectica 60 (3):321-336.   (Google)
Nida-Rumelin, Martine & Schnetzer, Achill (online). Unique hues, binary hues, and phenomenal composition.   (Google)
Noren, Stephen J. (1975). Cornman on the colour of micro-entities. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 53 (1):65-67.   (Google | More links)
Pasnau, Robert (2006). A theory of secondary qualities. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):568–591.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: No philosophical intuition has a longer history than that which divides sensible qualities into two kinds, primary and secondary. Something like it appears in Democritus, nearly 2500 years ago, and has been continuously maintained in some form or another ever since then. Philosophers today largely continue to think that there is something right about the distinction, even while it remains notoriously difficult to find agreement on just where its ultimate basis lies. As Mark Johnston (1992) puts it, the primary–secondary distinction has “the dubious distinction of being better understood in extension rather than intension. Most of us can generate two lists under the two headings, but the principles by which the lists are generated are controversial, even obscure” (229). I hope to shed some light on this obscure question. My thesis, in brief, is that the secondary qualities are those qualities of objects that bear a certain relation to our sensory powers: roughly, they are those qualities that we can readily detect only through a certain distinctive phenomenal experience. Contrary to what is sometimes supposed, there is nothing about the world itself (independent of our minds) that determines the distinction between primary and secondary qualities. Instead, a theory of the secondary qualities must be grounded in facts about how we conceive of these qualities, and ultimately in facts about human perception
Pautz, Adam (web). Can color structure be explained in terms of color experience? Australasian Journal of Philosophy.   (Google)
Abstract: Hardin argues that Reflectance Physicalism about color fails because it cannot accommodate color structure. David Lewis and others have replied that the Reflectance Physicalist may explain color structure in terms of color experience. I argue that this reply fails
Pautz, Adam (2006). Can the physicalist explain colour structure in terms of colour experience? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (4):535 – 564.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Physicalism about colour is the thesis that colours are identical with response-independent, physical properties of objects. I endorse the Argument from Structure against Physicalism about colour. The argument states that Physicalism cannot accommodate certain obvious facts about colour structure: for instance, that red is a unitary colour while purple is a binary colour, and that blue resembles purple more than green. I provide a detailed formulation of the argument. According to the most popular response to the argument, the Physicalist can accommodate colour structure by explaining it in terms of colour experience. I argue that this response fails. Along the way, I examine other interesting issues in the philosophy of colour and colour perception, for instance the relational structure of colour experience and the description theory of how colour names refer
Peacocke, Christopher (1986). Reply to Michael Smith's Peacocke on Red and Red. Synthese 68 (September):577-580.   (Google)
Persson, Stefan (2003). Colours with a Humean face. Philosophia 4 (1):128-144.   (Google | More links)
Putnam, Hilary (1957). Red and green all over again: A rejoinder to Arthur Pap. Philosophical Review 66 (January):100-103.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Revonsuo, Antti (2001). Putting color back where it belongs. Consciousness and Cognition 10 (1):78-84.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I disagree with Ross about the location of colors: They are in the brain, not in the external world. It is difficult to deny that there are colors in our conscious visual experience, and if we take the causal theory of perception seriously, we cannot identify these colors with the beginning of the causal chain in perception (external objects in the distal stimulus field), but we must search for them at the end of the causal chain (in the brain). Several lines of compelling evidence from cognitive neuroscience (e.g., synesthesia, dreaming, and achromatopsia) demonstrate unambiguously that color is in the brain. Furthermore, it seems that Ross has failed to consider one substantial version of subjectivism in his article. This monistic approach to color and consciousness appears to be the least implausible alternative when we try to understand what colors are and where they reside
Robinson, William S. (2004). Colors, arousal, functionalism, and individual differences. Psyche 10 (2).   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Rosenthal, David M. (2001). Color, mental location, and the visual field. Consciousness And Cognition 10 (1):85-93.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Color subjectivism is the view that color properties are mental properties of our visual sensations, perhaps identical with properties of neural states, and that nothing except visual sensations and other mental states exhibits color properties. Color phys- icalism, by contrast, holds that colors are exclusively properties of visible physical objects and processes
Ross, Peter W. (2001). Locating color: Further thoughts. Consciousness and Cognition 10 (1):146-156.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Ross, Peter W. (1999). The appearance and nature of color. Southern Journal of Philosophy 37 (2):227-252.   (Cited by 8 | Google)
Abstract: The problem of the nature of color is typically put in terms of the following question about the intentional content of visual experiences: what’s the nature of the property we attribute to physical objects in virtue of our visual experiences of color? This problem has proven to be tenacious largely because it’s not clear what the constraints are for an answer. With no clarity about constraints, the proposed solutions range widely, the most common dividing into subjectivist views which hold that attributed colors are mental properties or mental events} and a variety of realist views, which hold that colors are properties of physical objects. These realist views, in turn, divide into views that hold that attributed colors are dispositions of physical objects to produce color experiences (dispositionalism),° nondispositional relations between objects and perceivers (the relational view)," physical properties of physical objects (physicalism),‘ or sui generis properties of physical objects (primitivism and impressionism).‘ I’ll examine a proposed constraint which Mark Johnston (1992) calls Revelation. According to Revelation, the appearance of color in our ordinary visual experience provides us with unqualified access to the nature of color. While every proposal about the nature of color must take a stand on how the..
Rosenthal, David M. (1999). The colors and shapes of visual experiences. In Denis Fisette (ed.), Consciousness and Intentionality: Models and Modalities of Attribution. Kluwer.   (Cited by 14 | Google)
Abstract: red and round. According to common sense, the red, round thing we see is the tomato itself. When we have a hallucinatory vision of a tomato, however, there may be present to us no red and round phys- ical object. Still, we use the words 'red' and 'round' to describe that situation as well, this time applying them to the visual experience itself. We say that we have a red, round visual image, or a visual experience of a red disk, or some such. Because we see physical objects far more often than we hallucinate, we apply terms for color and shape to physical objects far more often than to visual experiences. Moreover, different theories of perception explain in different ways the applications such terms have to physical objects and to visual experiences. But whatever their frequency and explanation, it seems clear that both sorts of application occur
Ross, Peter W. (2001). The location problem for color subjectivism. Consciousness and Cognition 10 (1):42-58.   (Cited by 20 | Google | More links)
Abstract: According to color subjectivism, colors are mental properties, processes, or events of visual experiences of color. I first lay out an argument for subjectivism founded on claims from visual science and show that it also relies on a philosophical assumption. I then argue that subjectivism is untenable because this view cannot provide a plausible account of color perception. I describe three versions of subjectivism, each of which combines subjectivism with a theory of perception, namely sense datum theory, adverbialism, and the virtual color proposal, and argue that each version faces serious objections. Considering these three theories of perception to be exhaustive of those available to the subjectivist, I conclude that subjectivism is untenable and that the scientifically motivated argument for this view is unsound. I then offer the diagnosis that the philosophical assumption on which this argument relies is mistaken
Rosenberg, Jay F. (1983). The place of color in the scheme of things: A roadmap to sellar's Carus lectures. The Monist 65 (July):315-335.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Ross, P. (2000). The relativity of color. Synthese 123 (1):105-130.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   C. L. Hardin led a recent development in the philosophical literature on color in which research from visual science is used to argue that colors are not properties of physical objects, but rather are mental processes. I defend J. J. C. Smart''s physicalism, which claims that colors are physical properties of objects, against this attack. Assuming that every object has a single veridical (that is, nonillusory) color, it seems that physicalism must give a specification of veridical color in terms natural to physics, independently of our interests. Hardin argues that since physicalism doesn''t give us any such specification of veridical color, this view is false. However, this argument assumes a mistaken account of veridical color. I show physicalism can appeal to an alternative account, according to which veridical color is characterized in terms of favored conditions of perceptual access, independently of any specification of the physical nature of color
Rozeboom, William W. (1958). The logic of color words. Philosophical Review 67 (July):353-366.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Rubenstein, Eric M. (online). Color. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.   (Google)
Abstract: Philosophy has long struggled to understand the nature of color. The central role color plays in our lives, in visual experience, in art, as a metaphor for emotions, has made it an obvious candidate for philosophical reflection. Understanding the nature of color, however, has proved a daunting task, despite the numerous fields that contribute to the project. Even knowing how to start can be difficult. Is color to be understood as an objective part of reality, a property of objects with a status similar to shape and size? Or is color more like pain, to be found only in experience and so somehow subjective? Or is color more like what some have said about time--that it seems real until we reflect enough, where we come ultimately to dismiss it as mere illusion? If color is more like shape and size, can we give a scientific account of it? Various strategies exist for this option--taking the color of an object to be just a complicated texture of that object, one that reflects certain wavelengths. Or perhaps color is merely a disposition to cause experiences in us, as salt has a disposition to dissolve. On the other hand, if color is more like pain, and found only in subjective experience, what is the nature of color experience? How, for instance, does an experience of red differ from an experience of blue, or from an experience of pain for that matter? Finally, if color is mere illusion, how do we continue to be so taken in by that illusion and how can something unreal seem so real and important to us?
Rubenstein, Eric M. (1996). Colour as simple: A reply to Westphal. Philosophy 71 (278):595-602.   (Google)
Sanford, David H. (1966). Red, green and absolute determinacy: A reply to C. Radford's incompatibilities of colours. Philosophical Quarterly 16 (October):356-358.   (Google | More links)
Sanford, David H. (1986). The possibility of transparent white. Analysis 46 (October):212-215.   (Google)
Saunders, B. A. C. & Van Brakel, Jaap (2002). The trajectory of color. Perspectives on Science 10 (3):302-355.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: : According to a consensus of psycho-physiological and philosophical theories, color sensations (or qualia) are generated in a cerebral "space" fed from photon-photoreceptor interaction (producing "metamers") in the retina of the eye. The resulting "space" has three dimensions: hue (or chroma), saturation (or "purity"), and brightness (lightness, value or intensity) and (in some versions) is further structured by primitive or landmark "colors"—usually four, or six (when white and black are added to red, yellow, green and blue). It has also been proposed that there are eleven semantic universals—labeling the previous six plus the "intermediaries" of orange, pink, brown, purple, and gray. There are many versions of this consensus, but they all aim to provide ontological, epistemological and semantic blueprints for the brute fact of the reality of color ordained by Nature (evolution). In contrast to this consensus, we have argued that "seeing color" is not a matter of light waves impacting on our eyes, producing sensations to be categorized and labeled in the "color space" in the brain. While electrochemical events may unproblematically be regarded as the causal precondition for seeing color, the reception of sensations in "the color space" as semantically labeled natural categories, kinds, or information, is a "just so" story: it is Wittgenstein's beetle in a box. In contrast we consider that the authority of this consensus might better be regarded not as the result of the truth-tracking of nature, but as the sociohistorical outcome of philosophical presuppositions, scientific theories, experimental practices, technological apparatus, and their feed forward into the lifeworld. The question we shall therefore explore is whether, or to what extent, we ourselves are changed, as the conditions of production of color science change. Thus we are doing a kind of anthropology at two levels: of color science itself (and its effect on our own lifeworld), and of those studied by the "anthropology of color". As befits this stance we are agnostic about the theoretical entities of color science (cf. van Fraassen 2001), and within this new context, we propose to cross-cut object-and-subject, organism-and-environment (the bedrock of color science) in socio-historical ways. Our approach is in part inspired by, but not the same as, that of Gibson, in that we wish to pursue the notion of "social affordances" (Burmudez 1995). We suggest that color has become a naturalization through science-based technologies, which, through praxes and materializations, have become the perceptual and cultural entities that structure experience and understanding in the lifeworld. It is this naturalization that we shall refer to and characterize as "the historically inflected exosomatic organ". Consequently we shall explore the historical ontology of "color" without assuming an underlying biological constant (Dupré 2001). In part 1 we show the flimsiness of the evidence for the three dimensions of color, borrowed from physics, and fine-tuned to a "standard observer" (a "spectral creature" with a phenomenal "color space"). In part 2 we address the structuring of hue through the development of color circles and color spaces. This is followed by a review of the evidence for unique hues. Again the evidence is shown to be flimsy. We then show that an isolated domain of color is a particular kind of model, not a "natural given". In part 3, after reviewing what is referred to as "the isomorphy thesis," we discuss the exemplary case study of Berlin and Kay (1969). This illustrates the pull of stadial models presupposed by their evolutionary theory of color language. The Berlin and Kay paradigm proposes that American English color terms are incorrigible and can provide the universal metalanguage. We conclude by presenting an alternative account, namely that we ourselves are changed as the conditions of production of color science change. We argue that it is better to regard "seeing-color" as a historically inflected exosomatic organ that provides social affordances for those trained to grasp them
Savage, C. Wade (2001). In defense of color psychophysicalism. Consciousness and Cognition 10 (1):125-132.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Schumacher, Ralph (2007). Do we have to be realists about colour in order to be able to attribute colour perceptions to other persons? Erkenntnis 66 (1-2).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: One of the main targets of Barry Stroud’s criticism in his recent book ‚The Quest for Reality. Subjectivism and the Metaphysics of Colour’ are eliminativist theories of colour which he regards as a version of the metaphysical project of the unmasking of colours (Stroud, 2000). According to this view, no physical objects have any of the colours we see them or believe them to have. However, although this error theory describes all our colour perceptions as illusory, and all our colour beliefs as false, it cannot deny that we actually perceive colours and that we do believe that physical objects are coloured. Therefore, it has to account for these psychological facts without relying on any assumptions about the colours of things. Thus, the central question for the unmasking project is whether it is possible to acknowledge someone’s perceiving a certain colour or having beliefs about the colours of things without holding that anything anywhere has any colour at all. Contrary to Stroud, this paper defends the view that we can acknowledge that people believe in colours without having ourselves to accept their existence
Schnetzer, Achill (ms). The greenness of green: Brentano on the status of phenomenal green.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Schroer, Robert (forthcoming). Where's the Beef? Phenomenal Concepts as both Demonstrative and Substantial. The Australasian Journal of Philosophy.   (Google)
Abstract: One popular materialist response to the explanatory gap identifies phenomenal concepts with type-demonstrative concepts. This kind of response, however, faces a serious challenge: Our phenomenal concepts seem to provide a richer characterization of their referents than just the demonstrative characterization of ‘that quality’. In this paper, I develop a materialist account that beefs up the contents of phenomenal concepts while retaining the idea that these contents contain demonstrative elements. I illustrate this account by focusing on our phenomenal concepts of phenomenal colour. The phenomenal colours stand in a similarity space relative to one another in virtue of being complex qualities—qualities that contain saturation, lightness, and various aspects of hue as component elements. Our phenomenal concepts, in turn, provide a demonstrative characterization of each of these component elements as well as a description of how much of that element is present in a given phenomenal colour. The result is an account where phenomenal concepts contain demonstrative elements and yet provide a significantly richer characterization of the intrinsic nature of their referents than just ‘that quality’.
Seppalainen, Tom (2001). Color subjectivism is not supported by color reductionism. Philosophica (Belgium) 68 (2):61-87.   (Google)
Sharlow, Mark F. (2005). Cortical feedback and the ineffability of colors. Psyche 11 (7).   (Google)
Abstract: Philosophers long have noted that some sensations (particularly those of color) seem to be ineffable, or refractory to verbal description. Some proposed neurophysiological explanations of this ineffability deny the intuitive view that sensations have inherently indescribable content. The present paper suggests a new explanation of ineffability that does not have this deflationary consequence. According to the hypothesis presented here, feedback modulation of information flow in the cortex interferes with the production of narratives about sensations, thereby causing the subject to assess as inadequate his or her own verbal descriptions of sensations
Shepard, Roger N. (1993). On the physical basis, linguistic representation, and conscious experience of colors. In Gilbert Harman (ed.), Conceptions of the Human Mind: Essays in Honor of George A. Miller. Lawrence Erlbaum.   (Cited by 10 | Google)
Sibley, Frank N. (1968). Colours. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 68:145-166.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter (2002). A light theory of color. Philosophical Studies 110 (3):267-284.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   Traditional theories locate color in primary qualities of objects, indispositional properties of objects, in visual fields, or nowhere. Incontrast, we argue that color is located in properties of light. Morespecifically, light is red iff there is a property P of the lightthat typically interacts with normal human perceivers to give thesensation of red. This is an error theory, because objects and visualfields that appear red are not really red, since they lack theproperties that make light red. We show how this light theory solvesor avoids problems that afflict its competitors
Skokowski, Paul (2003). The right kind of content for a physicalist about color. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (6):790-790.   (Google)
Abstract: Color experiences have representational content. But this content need not include a propositional component, particularly for reflectance physicalists such as Byrne & Hilbert (B&H). Insisting on such content gives primacy to language where it is not required, and makes the extension of the argument to nonhuman animals suspect
Slade, T. K. (1925). An enquiry into the nature of colour associations. Mind 34 (136):455-470.   (Google | More links)
Smart, J. J. C. (1961). Colours. Philosophy 36 (April-July):128-142.   (Cited by 8 | Google)
Smart, J. J. C. (1959). Incompatible colors. Philosophical Studies 10 (3):39-41.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Smart, J. J. C. (1995). 'Looks red' and dangerous talk. Philosophy 70 (274):545-554.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Smith, Michael A. (1993). Color, transparency, mind-independence. In John J. Haldane & C. Wright (eds.), Reality, Representation, and Projection. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Smith, Michael A. (1986). Peacocke on red and red. Synthese 68 (September):559-576.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   How are we to define red? We seem to face a dilemma. For it seems that we must define red in terms of looks red. But looks red is semantically complex. We must therefore define looks red in terms of red. Can we avoid this dilemma? Christopher Peacocke thinks we can. He claims that we can define the concept of being red in terms of the concept of being red; the concept of a sensational property of visual experience. Peacocke agrees that his definition of red makes use of a concept that those who possess the concept of being red need not possess; namely, red. But he thinks that this does not matter. For, he says, the definition is justified provided we can specify what it is to possess the concept of being red in terms of the concept of being red. What he tries to show is that this might be so even if no-one could possess the concept of being red unless he possessed the concept of being red. Peacocke has two attempts at showing this. However, both these attempts fail. What Peacocke does show is something weaker. He shows that, using red, we can construct a concept that gives what he calls the constitutive role of the concept of being red; but, importantly, that it gives the constitutive role of red does not suffice for what Peacocke says is required for giving a definition. Thus, if we accept Peacocke's standard for definition, it follows that he gives us no way of avoiding the original dilemma. If this is right then perhaps we should join with those like Colin McGinn who think that we should give up our attempts to define our secondary quality concepts
Smith, Peter K. (1987). Subjectivity and colour vision. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 61:245-81.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Sosa, Ernest (1996). Is color psychological or biological? Or both? Philosophical Issues 7:67-74.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Spackman, John (2002). Color, relativism, and realism. Philosophical Studies 108 (3):251-88.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   It is plausible to think that some animals perceive the world as coloreddifferently from the way humans perceive it. I argue that the best way ofaccommodating this fact is to adopt perceiver-relativism, the view that colorpredicates express relations between objects and types of perceivers.Perceiver-relativism makes no claim as to the identity of color properties;it is compatible with both physicalism and dispositionalism. I arguehowever for a response-dependence version of it according to which an object counts as red (for a type of perceiver) iff it standardly looks red to normal perceivers (of that type). Finally, I develop a notion of minimal realism on which this account counts as realist despite its subjectivist elements, in that it is committed to the objectivityof truth
Strawson, Galen (1989). Red and 'red'. Synthese 78 (February):193-232.   (Cited by 60 | Google | More links)
Abstract: THIS PAPER ARGUES FOR THE CLAIM THAT ALTHOUGH COLOUR WORDS LIKE 'RED' ARE, ESSENTIALLY, 'PHENOMENAL-QUALITY' WORDS—I.E., WORDS FOR PROPERTIES WHOSE WHOLE AND ESSENTIAL NATURE CAN BE AND IS FULLY REVEALED IN SENSORY EXPERIENCE, GIVEN ONLY THE QUALITATIVE CHARACTER THAT THAT EXPERIENCE HAS—STILL 'RED' CANNOT BE SUPPOSED TO BE A WORD THAT PICKS OUT OR DENOTES ANY PARTICULAR PHENOMENAL QUALITY. THE ARGUMENT RESTS ESSENTIALLY ON THE SUPPOSITION, OFTEN DISCUSSED UNDER THE HEADING OF THE 'COLOR-SPECTRUM INVERSION ARGUMENT', THAT TWO PEOPLE COULD POSSIBLY AGREE IN ALL THEIR COLOUR-JUDGEMENTS WHILE DIFFERING IN THEIR COLOUR EXPERIENCE.
Stuart, Matthew (2003). Locke's colors. Philosophical Review 112 (1):57-96.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Sundstrom, Par (2007). Colour and consciousness: Untying the metaphysical knot. Philosophical Studies 136 (2):123-165.   (Google | More links)
Teller, Davida Y. (1991). Simpler arguments might work better. Philosophical Psychology 4:51-60.   (Cited by 10 | Google)
Thompson, Evan (2000). Comparative color vision: Quality space and visual ecology. In Color Perception: Philosophical, Psychological, Artistic, and Computational Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 7 | Google)
Thompson, Evan (1995). Colour Vision: A Study in Cognitive Science and the Philosophy of Perception. New York: Routledge.   (Cited by 155 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This book is a major contribution to the interdisciplinary project of investigating the true nature of color vision. In recent times, research into color vision has been one of the main success stories of cognitive science. Each discipline in the field--neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, computer science and philosophy--has contributed significantly to our understanding of color. Evan Thompson provides an accessible review of current scientific and philosophical discussions of color vision. He steers a course between the subjective and objective positions on color, arguing for a relational account. Thompson develops a novel "ecological" approach to color vision in cognitive science and the philosophy of perception. The book is vital reading for all cognitive scientists and philosophers whose interests touch upon this central area
Triplett, Timm (2007). Tye's missing shade of blue. Analysis 67 (294):166–170.   (Google | More links)
Turvey, Michael T.; Whitmyer, Virgil & Shockley, Kevin (2001). Explaining metamers: Right degrees of freedom, not subjectivism. Consciousness and Cognition 10 (1):105-116.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Tye, Michael (2000). Consciousness, Color, and Content. MIT Press.   (Cited by 213 | Google | More links)
Tye, Michael (2006). The puzzle of true blue. Analysis 66 (291):173–178.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Most men and nearly all women have non-defective colour vision, as measured by standard colour tests such as those of Ishihara and Farns- worth. But people vary, according to gender, race and age in their per- formance in matching experiments. For example, when subjects are shown a screen, one half of which is lit by a mixture of red and green lights and the other by yellow or orange light, and they are asked to ad- just the mixture of lights so as to make the two halves of the screen match in colour, they disagree about the location of the match. Where one male subject sees the two sides of the screen as being the same in colour, an- other female subject may see one side as a little redder or greener. And there are corresponding differences with age and race
Tye, Michael (2006). The truth about true blue. Analysis 66 (292):340–344.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Cohen, Hardin, and McLaughlin (2006) complain that my solution to the puzzle of true blue (Tye 2006) depends upon my assuming that 'all variation in colour experience among standard perceivers in standard circumstances is at the level of fine-grained hues (4)'. That assumption, they say, is false: 'there is in fact variation in colour experience among
Van Brakel, Jaap (1993). The plasticity of categories: The case of colour. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1):103-135.   (Cited by 16 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Probably colour is the best worked-out example of allegedly neurophysiologically innate response categories determining percepts and percepts determining concepts, and hence biology fixing the basic categories implicit in the use of language. In this paper I argue against this view and I take C. L. Hardin's Color for Philosophers [1988] as my main target. I start by undermining the view that four unique hues stand apart from all other colour shades (Section 2) and the confidence that the solar spectrum is naturally divided into four categories (Section 3). For such categories to be truly universal, they have to be true for all peoples and in Section 4 I show that Berlin and Kay's [1969] widely quoted theory of basic colour categories is not sufficiently supported to lend it any credibility. Having disposed of the view that inspection of language or ?pure? perception unveils the universal colour categories. I turn to neurophysiological and psychophysical theories of colour vision to see whether they provide a more solid basis for deciding what the innate response categories are. In Section 5 I show that Hardin's account of the opponent-process theory neither supports his view that ?colour-coding?takes place early in the visual neural pathway, nor his view that knowledge of colour vision science will help us solve many philosophical mysteries about colour. In Section 6 I give a more detailed review of what is known today about the neurophysiology of colour vision and I show that there's nothing in the brain which could be called a colour module, let alone a module with homunculi for particular basic colour categories. In Section 7 I show that psychophysical models do not support such rigid constraints on category formation either. Hence (Section 8), at least in the case of colour, current science supports a plasticity in the formation of categories that goes far beyond the requirements of those naturalistic philosophers who would like to ground primitive concepts in biology
Wahl, Russell & Westphal, Jonathan (1998). Colour: Physical or phenomenal? Philosophy 73 (284):301-304.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: We wish to defend Jonathan Westphal's view that colour is complex against a recent ‘phenomenological’ criticism of Eric Rubenstein. There is often thought to be a conflict between two kinds of determinants of colour, physical and phenomenal. On the one hand there are the complex physical facts about colour, such as the determination of a surface colour by an absorption spectrum. There is also, however, the fact that the apparently simple phenomenological quality of what is seen is a function of the physiological and psychological state of the viewing subject. Should the physical trump the phenomenal, or is it the other way round? Much of the phenomenal variation of colour, however, is explained by physical facts. There is a physics and a psychophysics of colour. Colours appear, to the colour scientists at least, to be in some sense objective, a sense not explained by the view that they are purely phenomenal. Taking physics and psychophysics into account will mean rejecting the claim that the content of what our concepts of colours are concepts of is exhausted by the purely phenomenal, or that we can determine these concepts simply by gazing at a colour. Taking account of physics will lead, as Westphal argued, instead to a view about white and the other colour terms like Putnam's account of gold. Necessary truths about colours cannot be explained without reference to the logic of the compossibility of what is given in reflection and absorption spectra, the analogue of H2O
Watkins, Michael (1999). Do animals see colors? An anthropocentrist's guide to animals, the color blind, and far away places. Philosophical Studies 94 (3):189-209.   (Google)
Watkins, Michael (2005). Seeing red: The metaphysics of colours without the physics. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (1):33-52.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: By treating colours as sui generis intrinsic properties of objects we can maintain that (1) colours are causally responsible for colour experiences (and so agree with the physicalist) and (2) colours, along with the similarity and difference relations that colours bear to one another, are presented to us by casual observation (and so agree with the dispositionalist). The major obstacle for such a view is the causal overdetermination of colour experience. Borrowing and expanding on the works of Sydney Shoemaker and Stephen Yablo, the paper offers a solution
Watkins, Michael (1997). What our colour experiences don't teach us: A reply to Boghossian and Velleman. Dialogue 36 (4):783-786.   (Google)
Webster, W. R. (2003). Revelation and transparency in colour vision refuted: A case of mind/brain identity and another bridge over the explanatory gap. Synthese 133 (3):419-39.   (Google)
Abstract:   Russell (1912) and others have argued that the real nature of colour is transparentto us in colour vision. It's nature is fully revealed to us and no further knowledgeis theoretically possible. This is the doctrine of revelation. Two-dimensionalFourier analyses of coloured checkerboards have shown that apparently simple,monadic, colours can be based on quite different physical mechanisms. Experimentswith the McCollough effect on different types of checkerboards have shown thatidentical colours can have energy at the quite different orientations of Fourierharmonic components but no energy at the edges of the checkerboards, thusrefuting revelation. It is concluded that this effect is not explained by a superveniencedispositional account of colour as proposed by McGinn (1996). It was argued that theMcCollough effect in checkerboards was an example of a local mind/body reduction(Kim 1993), by which the different characteristics of identical colours falsifies revelation. This reduction being based on both physical and neurological mechanisms led to a clear explanation of the perceive phenomenal effects and thus laid a small bridge over the explanatory gap
Webster, W. R. (2002). Wavelength theory of color strikes back: The return of the physical. Synthese 132 (3):303-34.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   There have been a number of criticisms, based on visual processes, of the Australian view that colour is an objective property of the world. These criticisms have led to subjective theories about colour. These visual processes (metamers, retinex theory, opponent processes, simultaneous contrast, colour constancy, subjective colours) have been examined and it is suggested that they do not carry their supposed critical weight against an objective theory. In particular, it is argued that metamers don''t occur in nature and primate colour vision evolved without metamers. Thus normal colour vision occurs without the problem of metamers. This argument, in conjunction with evidence against the critical roles of opponent processes and retinex theory in colour vision, is taken to suggest that colour can be given a photon energy/wavelengthrealism explanation. This proposal allows an account of the many microstructural bases of colour generation put forward by Nassau (1983). It is argued that neither disjunctive realism or reflectance realism are adequate objective explanations of colour
Westphal, Jonathan (1982). Brown. Inquiry 25 (4):417 – 433.   (Google)
Westphal, Jonathan (2005). Conflicting appearances, necessity and the irreducibility of propositions about colours. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105 (2):219-235.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Westphal, Jonathan (2010). How can the logic of colour concepts apply to aferimage colours? In Jonathan Cohen & Mohan Matthen (eds.), Color Ontology and Color Science. Mit Press.   (Google)
Whitmyer, Virgil (1999). Ecological color. Philosophical Psychology 12 (2):197-214.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In his 1995 book Colour vision (New York: Routledge), Evan Thompson proposes a new approach to the ontology of color according to which it is tied to the ecological dispositions-affordances described by J.J. Gibson and his followers. Thompson claims that a relational account of color is necessary in order to avoid the problems that go along with the dispute between subjectivists and objectivists about color, but he claims that the received view of perception does not allow a satisfactory relational account of color. Hence to avoid the problems of the subjectivist/objectivist dispute one must abandon the received view of perception. I describe an account which is similar to Thompson's, but which invokes instead the physical dispositional properties described by the received view. All of the distinguishing characteristics that Thompson claims separate his ecological dispositions from physical dispositions are in fact found in the physical dispositions appealed to by my proposed theory. Because my proposed theory is similar to subjectivism, Thompson's departure from the received view is not as radical as he claims. In a final section I describe the a posteriori manner in which a substantive departure from the received view must be carried out by describing an example of ecological experimentation
Wilson, Neil L. (1972). Color qualities and reference to them. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 2 (December):145-169.   (Google)
Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1977). Remarks on Colour. University of California Press.   (Cited by 41 | Google)
Abstract: Parallelt.: Bemerkungen über die Farben.
Wolgast, Elizabeth H. (1962). A question about colors. Philosophical Review 71 (July):328-339.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Wright, Wayne (2003). A dilemma for Jackson and Pargetter's account of color. Southern Journal of Philosophy 41 (1):125-42.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Frank Jackson and Robert Pargetter (1987)2 have argued for a version of reductive physicalism about color which they claim can accommodate the basic intuitions that have led others to embrace dispositionalism or subjectivism about color. Jackson (1996) has further developed the view and provided responses to some objections to its original statement. While Jackson and Pargetter do not have much company in endorsing their specific form of color physicalism, elements of their view have shown up in other realist accounts, including the relativized account of color offered by John Spackman (2002), the disjunctivism of color properties endorsed by Peter Ross (2000), and the subjectivist strain present in Sydney Shoemaker’s (1994) discussion of color.3 Additionally, Mark Johnston (1992) has used Jackson and Pargetter’s view as a principal target in his arguments against color physicalism
Wright, Crispin (1998). Euthyphronism and the physicality of colour: A comment on mark Powell's Realism or Response-Dependence?. In European Review of Philosophy, Volume 3: Response-Dependence. Stanford: CSLI Publications.   (Cited by 4 | Google)

3.7a Physicalist Theories of Color

Armstrong, David M. (1969). Colour realism and the argument from microscopes. In R. Brown & C. D. Rollins (eds.), Contemporary Philosophy in Australia. Humanities Press.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Arstila, V. (2003). True colors, false theories. Australian Journal of Philosophy 81 (1):41-61.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: 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
Averill, Edward Wilson & Hazlett, Allan, Color objectivism and color projectivism.   (Google)
Abstract: Objectivism, in the philosophy of color, is (roughly) the claim that colors are physically constituted properties, instantiated by objects around us. On this view many objects around us both look colored and are colored. Projectivism is (roughly) the claim that objects around us look colored, but are not colored. On some projectivist accounts, colors are identified with properties instantiated by elements of perceiver’s visual systems, resulting in a systematic illusion of the instantiation of color properties by objects around us. Objectivism and projectivism are standardly taken to be incompatible theories of color. Here we argue that this incompatibility is only apparent: objectivism and projectivism, properly articulated so as to deal with basic objections, are in fundamental agreement about the ontology of color and phenomenology of color perception
Boghossian, Paul A. & Velleman, J. David (1991). Physicalist theories of color. Philosophical Review 100 (January):67-106.   (Cited by 50 | Google | More links)
Botterell, Andrew (2003). Colors as explainers? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (6):785-786.   (Google)
Abstract: Byrne & Hilbert (B&H) argue that colors are reflectance properties of objects. They also claim that a necessary condition for something's being a color is that it causally explain – or be causally implicated in the explanation of – our perceptions of color. I argue that these two positions are in conflict
Bradley, Peter & Tye, Michael (2001). Of colors, kestrels, caterpillars, and leaves. Journal Of Philosophy 98 (9):469-487.   (Cited by 53 | Google | More links)
Abstract: According to color realism, object colors are mind-independent properties that cover surfaces or permeate volumes of objects. In recent years, some color scientists and a growing number of philosophers have opposed this view on the grounds that realism about color cannot accommodate the apparent unitary/binary structure of the hues. For example, Larry Hardin asserts,
the unitary-binary structure of the colors as we experience them
corresponds to no known physical structure lying outside nervous
systems that is causally involved in the perception of color. This
makes it very difficult to subscribe to a color realism that is
supposed to be about red, green, blue, black, and white—that is,
the colors with which we are perceptually acquainted.1
Similarly, Evan Thompson says
Byrne, Alex, Authors' response continuing commentary on color realism and color science ".   (Google)
Abstract: Our reply is in four parts. The first part addresses objections to our claim that there might be "unknowable" color facts. The second part discusses the use we make of opponent process theory. The third part examines the question of whether colors are causes. The fourth part takes up some issues concerning the content of visual experience. Our target article had three aims: (a) to explain clearly the structure of the debate about color realism; (b) to introduce an interdisciplinary audience to the way philosophers have thought about the issue; (c) to argue that colors are certain sorts of physical properties ("productances"). We are very grateful to the commentators in this continuing commentary for their criticism and constructive suggestions
Byrne, Alex & Hilbert, David R. (1997). Colors and reflectances. In Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (eds.), Readings on Color, Volume 1: The Philosophy of Color. MIT Press.   (Cited by 65 | Google | More links)
Abstract: When we open our eyes, the world seems full of colored opaque objects, light sources, and transparent volumes. One historically popular view, _eliminativism_, is that the world is not in this respect as it appears to be: nothing has any color. Color _realism_, the denial of eliminativism, comes in three mutually exclusive varieties, which may be taken to exhaust the space of plausible realist theories. Acccording to _dispositionalism_, colors are _psychological_ dispositions: dispositions to produce certain kinds of visual experiences. According to both _primitivism_ and _physicalism_, colors are not psychological dispositions; they differ in that primitivism says that no reductive analysis of the colors is possible, whereas physicalism says that they are physical properties. This paper is a defense of physicalism about color
Byrne, Alex & Hilbert, David R. (2003). Color realism and color science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (1):3-21.   (Cited by 71 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The target article is an attempt to make some progress on the problem of color realism. Are objects colored? And what is the nature of the color properties? We defend the view that physical objects (for instance, tomatoes, radishes, and rubies) are colored, and that colors are physical properties, specifically types of reflectance. This is probably a minority opinion, at least among color scientists. Textbooks frequently claim that physical objects are not colored, and that the colors are "subjective" or "in the mind." The article has two other purposes: first, to introduce an interdisciplinary audience to some distinctively philosophical tools that are useful in tackling the problem of color realism and, second, to clarify the various positions and central arguments in the debate
Byrne, Alex & Hilbert, David R. (2003). Color realism redux. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (1):52-59.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Our reply is in three parts. The first part concerns some foundational issues in the debate about color realism. The second part addresses the many objections to the version of physicalism about color ("productance physicalism") defended in the target article. The third part discusses the leading alternative approaches and theories endorsed by the commentators
Byrne, Alex & Hilbert, David R. (2004). Hardin, Tye, and color physicalism. Journal of Philosophy 101 (1):37-43.   (Cited by 14 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Larry Hardin has been the most steadfast and influential critic of physicalist theories of color over the last 20 years. In their modern form these theories originated with the work of Smart and Armstrong in the 1960s and 1970s1 and Hardin appropriately concentrated on their views in his initial critique of physicalism.2 In his most recent contribution to this project3 he attacks Michael Tye’s recent attempts to defend and extend color physicalism.4 Like Byrne and Hilbert5, Tye identifies color with the reflecting properties of objects (“reflectance physicalism”). Specifically, the determinate and determinable colors are identified with types of reflectances. (Setting some complications aside, the reflectance of an object is the proportion of light that it reflects at each wavelength in the visible spectrum.) These reflectance types are, in the terminology of Hilbert, anthropocentric—in the terminology of Lewis6, they are not very “natural”
Cohen, Jonathan (2006). Color and perceptual variation revisited: Unknown facts, alien modalities, and perfect psychosemantics. Dialectica 60 (3):307-319.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: An adequate ontology of color must face the empirical facts about per- ceptual variation. In this paper I begin by reviewing a range of data about perceptual variation, and showing how they tell against color physicalism and motivate color relationalism. Next I consider a series of objections to the argument from perceptual variation, and argue that they are un- persuasive. My conclusion will be that the argument remains a powerful obstacle for color physicalism, and a powerful reason to believe in color relationalism instead
Cohen, Jonathan (2006). Color, variation, and the appeal to essences: Impasse and resolution. Philosophical Studies 133 (3):425-438.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Many philosophers have been attracted by the view that colors are mind- independent properties of object surfaces. A leading, and increasingly popular, version of this view that has been defended in recent years is the so-called physicalist position that identi?es colors with (classes of) spectral re?ectance distributions.1 This view, has, however, come in for a fair bit of criticism for failing to do justice to the facts about perceptual variation.2
Cohen, Jonathan (2003). Perceptual variation, realism, and relativization, or: How I learned to stop worrying and love variations in color vision. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (1):25-26.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In many cases of variation in color vision, there is no non-arbitrary way of choosing between variants. Byrne and Hilbert insist that there is an unknown standard for choosing, while eliminativists claim that all the variants are erroneous. A better response relativizes colors to perceivers, thereby providing a color realism that avoids the need to choose between variants
Cohen, Jonathan (2001). Subjectivism, physicalism or none of the above? Comments on Ross's The Location Problem for Color Subjectivism. Consciousness and Cognition 10 (1):94-104.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In “The Location Problem for Color Subjectivism,” Peter Ross argues against what he calls subjectivism — the view that “colors are not describable in physical terms, ... [but are] mental processes or events of visual states” (2),1 and in favor of physicalism — a view according to which colors are “physical properties of physical objects, such as reflectance properties” (10). He rejects an argument that has been offered in support of subjectivism, and argues that, since no form of subjectivism is able to account for our perception of color, we are better off adopting physicalism
Dedrick, Don (1995). Objectivism and the evolutionary value of color vision. Dialogue 34 (1):35-44.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In Color for Philosophers C. L. Hardin argues that chromatic objectivism?a view which identifies colour with some or other property of objects?must be false. The upshot of Hardin's argument is this: there is, in fact, no principled correlation between physical properties and perceived colours. Since that correlation is a minimal condition for objectivism, objectivism is false. Mohan Matthen, who accepts Hardin's conclusion for what can be called "simple objectivism," takes it that an adaptationist theory of biological function applied to colour is able to surmount the problems Hardin describes. It is Matthen's view that I am primarily concerned with in this paper. I will argue that it entails an overly simple view of adaptive value?as, perhaps, do all objectivist views
Dennett, Daniel C. (2003). Forestalling a food fight over color. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (6):788-789.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Byrne and Hilbert provide valuable clarification of the complexities–undreamt of by the layman–that make it hard to answer the question of what color is, and that often lead color scientists to say such remarkable and extravagant things. They emphasize at the outset that their issue is not just how to define the ordinary language term “color”: “The problem of color realism is like the investigation of what humans can digest, not the investigation of the folk category of food.” [ms p4], but then I am puzzled by a tension in the target article regarding the weight they put on our ordinary intuitions about color. The very setting of the issue as a disagreement between “color realists” and “color eliminativists” endows the everyday concept with somewhat more authority than it deserves–comparable to an imaginary debate between biologists who were “food realists” and “food eliminativists”!
Gluer, Kathrin (forthcoming). Colors Without Circles? In Ralph Schumacher (ed.), Theories of Color Perception. Kluwer.   (Google)
Abstract: The dispute between realists about color and anti-realists is actually a dispute about the
nature of color properties. The disputants do not disagree over what material objects are
like. Rather, they disagree over whether any of the uncontroversial facts about material
objects – their powers to cause visual experiences, their dispositions to reflect incident
light, their atomic makeup, and so on – amount to their having colors. The disagreement
is thus about which properties colors are and, in particular, whether colors are any of the
properties in a particular set that is acknowledged on both sides to exhaust the properties
of material objects (1991, 67)
Glüer-Pagin, Kathrin (2007). Colors without circles? Erkenntnis 66 (1-2):107-131.   (Google)
Abstract: forthcoming in Theories of Color Perception, ed. R. Schumacher, special issue of Erkenntnis 2007
Grandy, Richard E. (1989). A modern inquiry into the physical property of colors in mind, value and culture. In David Weissbord (ed.), Mind, Value, and Culture: Essays in Honor of E. M. Adams. Atascadero: Ridgeview.   (Google)
Hardin, C. L. (2003). A spectral reflectance doth not a color make. Journal of Philosophy 100 (4):191-202.   (Cited by 9 | Google)
Hilbert, David R. (1987). Color and Color Perception: A Study in Anthropocentric Realism. CSLI Press.   (Cited by 94 | Google)
Huettel, Scott (2003). In favor of an ecological account of color. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (1):33-33.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: B&H understate the difficulties facing their version of color realism. We doubt that they can fix reflectance types and magnitudes in a way that does not invoke relations to perceivers. B&HÂ’s account therefore resembles the dispositional or ecological accounts that they dismiss. This is a good thing, for a dispositional account is promising if understood in an ecological framework
Jackson, Frank (2003). Color and content. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (1):34-34.   (Google)
Abstract: Those who identify colours with physical properties need to say how the content of colour experiences relate to their favoured identifications. This is because it is not plausible to hold that colour experiences represent things as having the physical properties in question. I sketch how physical realists about colour might tackle this item of unfinished business
Jackson, Frank (1996). The primary quality view of color. Philosophical Perspectives 10:199-219.   (Cited by 29 | Google | More links)
Maund, Barry (2003). Clarifying the problem of color realism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (1):40-41.   (Google)
Abstract: “The problem of color realism” as defined in the first section of the target article, is crucial to the argument laid out by Byrne & Hilbert. They claim that the problem of color realism “does not concern, at least in the first instance, color language or color concepts” (sect. 1.1). I argue that this claim is misconceived and that a different characterisation of the problem, and some of their preliminary assumptions makes their positive proposal less appealing
McFarland, Duncan & Miller, Alexander (1998). Jackson on colour as a primary quality. Analysis 58 (2):76-85.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Mizrahi, Vivian (2010). Color and transparency. Rivista di Estetica 43 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: 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.
Mizrahi, Vivian (2006). Color objectivism and color pluralism. Dialectica 60 (3):283-306.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Most objectivist and dispositionalist theories of color have tried to resolve the challenge raised by color variations by drawing a distinction between real and apparent colors. This paper considers such a strategy to be fundamentally erroneous. The high degree of variability of colors constitutes a crucial feature of colors and color perception; it cannot be avoided without leaving aside the real nature of color. The objectivist theory of color defended in this paper holds that objects have locally many different objective colors. Most color variations are then real and result from the extreme richness of color properties.
Mizrahi, Vivian & Nida-Rumelin, Martine (2006). Introduction. Dialectica 60 (3):209-222.   (Google | More links)
Pasnau, Robert (2009). The event of color. Philosophical Studies 142 (3).   (Google)
Abstract: When objects are illuminated, the light they reflect does not simply bounce off their surface. Rather, that light is entirely reabsorbed and then reemitted, as the result of a complex microphysical event near the surface of the object. If we are to be physicalists regarding color, then we should analyze colors in terms of that event, just as we analyze heat in terms of molecular motion, and sound in terms of vibrations. On this account, colors are not standing properties of objects, but events, or (more cautiously) properties associated with events. Accordingly, objects in the dark are no more colored than a turned-off stove is hot. Such an account requires rejecting some of what folk ordinarily say about color, but this is the most coherent version of color physicalism
Pautz, Adam (2003). Have Byrne and Hilbert answered Hardin's challenge? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (1):44-45.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I argue that Byrne and Hilbert have not answered Hardin’s objection to physicalism about color concerning the unitary-binary structure of the colors for two reasons. First, their account of unitary-binary structure seems unsatisfactory. Second, _pace_ Byrne and Hilbert, there are no physicalistically acceptable candidates to be the hue- magnitudes. I conclude with a question about the justification of physicalism about color
Polger, Thomas W. (online). True colors: A problem for Tye's color realism.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Michael Tye has recently been a vocal defender of color realism or, as I shall call it, color objectivism. Objectivism about color is the view that color properties are identical to intrinsic physical properties of the surfaces of objects. Subjectivism about color is the denial of color objectivism. Objectivists argue that color claims must be taken at face value. In this paper I forego the usual bickering about whether there are surface reflectance properties that can be identified with colors as the objectivist theory requires. Supposing that some such properties could be found, I argue that if objectivism about color were correct it would have the unsavory consequence that we are rarely if ever right—perhaps never right—about the particular colors of particular things. So objectivism does not bear out common attribution of colors to the surfaces of things, after all
Smart, J. J. C. (1975). On some criticisms of a physicalist theory of colors. In Charles L. Y. Cheng (ed.), Philosophical Aspects of the Mind-Body Problem. University Press of Hawaii.   (Cited by 33 | Google)
Tye, Michael, Of colors, kestrels, caterpillars, and leaves.   (Google)
Abstract: According to color realism, object colors are mind-independent properties that cover surfaces or permeate volumes of objects. In recent years, some color scientists and a growing number of philosophers have opposed this view on the grounds that realism about color cannot accommodate the apparent unitary/binary structure of the hues. For example, Larry Hardin asserts, the unitary-binary structure of the colors as we experience them corresponds to no known physical structure lying outside nervous systems that is causally involved in the perception of color. This makes it very difficult to subscribe to a color realism that is supposed to be about red, green, blue, black, and white—that is, the colors with which we are perceptually acquainted.1 Similarly, Evan Thompson says

3.7b Dispositionalist Theories of Color

Allen, Keith (2009). Being coloured and looking coloured. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (4):pp. 647-670.   (Google | More links)
Boghossian, Paul A. & Velleman, J. David (1989). Color as a secondary quality. Mind 98 (January):81-103.   (Cited by 148 | Google | More links)
Byrne, Alex (2001). Do colors look like dispositions? Reply to Langsam and others. Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):238-245.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
Cohen, Jonathan (2003). Color: A functionalist proposal. Philosophical Studies 113 (1):1-42.   (Google | More links)
Abstract:   In this paper I propose and defend an account of color that I call color functionalism. I argue that functionalism is a non-traditional species of primary quality theory, and that it accommodates our intuitions about color and the facts of color science better than more widely discussed alternatives
Gluer, Kathrin (forthcoming). Colors Without Circles? In Ralph Schumacher (ed.), Theories of Color Perception. Kluwer.   (Google)
Abstract: The dispute between realists about color and anti-realists is actually a dispute about the
nature of color properties. The disputants do not disagree over what material objects are
like. Rather, they disagree over whether any of the uncontroversial facts about material
objects – their powers to cause visual experiences, their dispositions to reflect incident
light, their atomic makeup, and so on – amount to their having colors. The disagreement
is thus about which properties colors are and, in particular, whether colors are any of the
properties in a particular set that is acknowledged on both sides to exhaust the properties
of material objects (1991, 67)
Glüer, Kathrin (2007). Colors without circles? Erkenntnis 66 (1-2):107--131.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Realists about color, be they dispositionalists or physicalists, agree on the truth of the following claim: (R) x is red iff x is disposed to look red under standard conditions. The disagreement is only about whether to identify the colors with the relevant dispositions, or with their categorical bases. This is a question about the representational content of color experience: What kind of properties do color experiences ascribe to objects? It has been argued (for instance by Boghossian and Velleman, 1991) that truths like (R) cannot be used in an account of the colors as they would result in ‚circular’, and therefore empty, contents. It has also been argued (for instance by Harman, 1996) that switching to an account of color in terms of a functional account of color sensations would result in a circular, and therefore empty, account. In this paper, I defend a realist account of color in terms of a (non-reductive) functional account of color sensations. Such an account of sensations has been suggested by Pagin (2000), and it can be applied to color sensations without the resulting account of the colors themselves being circular or empty. I argue that the so-called transparency of experience does not provide any argument against such an account. I also argue that on such an account, the issue of physicalism vs. dispositionalism boils down to the question of the modal profile of the color concepts
Glüer-Pagin, Kathrin (2007). Colors without circles? Erkenntnis 66 (1-2):107-131.   (Google)
Abstract: forthcoming in Theories of Color Perception, ed. R. Schumacher, special issue of Erkenntnis 2007
Gold, Ian (1999). Dispositions and the central problem of color. Philosophical Studies 93 (1):21-44.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Harvey, J. (2000). Colour-dispositionalism and its recent critics. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):137-156.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Hardin, C. L. (1983). Colors, normal observers and standard conditions. Journal of Philosophy 80 (December):806-13.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Huettel, Scott (2003). In favor of an ecological account of color. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (1):33-33.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: B&H understate the difficulties facing their version of color realism. We doubt that they can fix reflectance types and magnitudes in a way that does not invoke relations to perceivers. B&HÂ’s account therefore resembles the dispositional or ecological accounts that they dismiss. This is a good thing, for a dispositional account is promising if understood in an ecological framework
Allen, Keith (2010). In defence of natural daylight. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (1):1-18.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Objects appear different as the illumination under which they are perceived varies. This fact is sometimes thought to pose a problem for the view that colours are mind-independent properties: if a coloured object appears different under different illuminations, then under which illumination does the object appear the colour it really is? I argue that given the nature of natural daylight, and certain plausible assumptions about the nature of the colours it illuminates, there is a non-arbitrary reason to suppose that it is under natural daylight that we are able to perceive the real colours of objects
McGinn, Colin (1996). Another look at color. Journal of Philosophy 93 (11):537-53.   (Cited by 45 | Google | More links)
Miscevic, Nenad (2007). Is color-dispositionalism nasty and unecological? Erkenntnis 66 (1-2).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: This article is a brief presentation and defense of response-dispositionalist intentionalism against a family of objections. The view claims that for a surface to have an objective stable color is to have a disposition to cause in normal observers a response, namely, intentional phenomenal-color experience. The objections, raised recently by M. Johnston, B. Stroud, and by Byrne and Hilbert, claim that any dispositionalist view is unfair to the naive perceiver-thinker, saddles her with massive error and represents her as maladaptated to her environment. The paper reconstructs the main line of thought in favor of response-intentionalism and argues that it is in fact rather charitable and fair to naïve cognizers, and also avoids a cluster of related objections
Peacocke, Christopher (1984). Colour concepts and colour experience. Synthese 58 (March):365-82.   (Cited by 41 | Google | More links)
Pitson, Tony (1997). The dispositional account of colour. Philosophia 25 (1-4):247-266.   (Google | More links)
Stroud, Barry G. (2007). Dispositional theories of the colours of things. Erkenntnis 66 (1-2).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Dispositional theories of the colours of objects identify an object’s having a certain colour with its being such that it would produce perceptions of certain kinds in perceivers of certain kinds under certain specified conditions. Without doubting that objects have dispositions to produce perceptions of certain kinds, this paper questions whether the relevant kinds of perceptions, perceivers, and conditions can be specified in a way that (i) does not rely on acceptance of any objects as being coloured in a non-dispositional sense and (ii) secures the necessity of the identity between an object’s having the disposition so specified and its having the colour in question. Accepting any theory that looked as if it succeeded on both these counts would require an explanation of why a parallel identity does not hold for an object’s disposition to produce, e.g., perceptions of shape
Stroud, Barry G. (2004). Unmasking and dispositionalism: Reply to mark Johnston. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (1):202-212.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Swartz, Robert J. (1967). Color concepts and dispositions. Synthese 17 (June):202-222.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Thompson, Evan; Palacios, A. & Varela, F. J. (1992). Ways of coloring. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.   (Cited by 142 | Google)

3.7c Primitivist Theories of Color

Batty, Clare (ms). Naive color.   (Google)
Broackes, Justin (1992). The autonomy of colour. In K. Lennon & D. Charles (eds.), Reduction, Explanation, and Realism. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 73 | Google)
Abstract: This essay* takes two notions of autonomy and two notions of explanation and argues that colours occur in explanations that fall under all of them. The claim that colours can be used to explain anything at all may seem to some people an outrage. But their pessimism is unjustified and the orthodox dispositional view which may seem to support it, I shall argue, itself has difficulties. In broad terms, Section 2 shows that there exist good straight scientific laws of colour, constituting what one might call a phenomenal science. Section 3 offers a larger view of what we are doing when we attribute colours to things, a view which makes it a case of holistic explanation, similar in many ways to psychological explanation. Section 2 emphasizes the model of scientific explanation, and Section 3 the holistic model found in rational explanation; but it will emerge that colour explanation in different ways fits both models, as it also does the two principal notions of autonomy that the first section identifies
Byrne, Alex & Hilbert, David R. (2006). Color primitivism. In Ralph Schumacher (ed.), Perception and Status of Secondary Qualities. Kluwer.   (Cited by 9 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The realist preference for reductive theories of color over the last few decades is particularly striking in light of the generally anti-reductionist mood of recent philosophy of mind. The parallels between the mind-body problem and the case of color are substantial enough that the difference in trajectory is surprising. While dualism and non-
Campbell, John (1993). A simple view of colour. In John J. Haldane & C. Wright (eds.), Reality: Representation and Projection. Oup.   (Cited by 41 | Google)
Abstract: Physics tells us what is objectively there. It has no place for the colours of things. So colours are not objectively there. Hence, if there is such a thing at all, colour is mind-dependent. This argument forms the background to disputes over whether common sense makes a mistake about colours. It is assumed that..
Campbell, John (1997). The simple view of colour. In Alex Byrne & David Hilbert (eds.), Readings on Color. Mit Press.   (Google)
Cohen, Jonathan (online). It's not easy being green: Hardin and color relationalism.   (Google)
Abstract: But Hardin hasn’t contented himself with reframing traditional philosoph- ical issues about color in a way that is sensitive to relevant empirical con- straints. In addition, he has been a staunch defender of color eliminativism — the view that there are no colors, qua properties of tables, chairs, and other mind-external objects, and a vociferous critic of several varieties of re- alism about color that have been defended by others (e.g., [Hardin, 2003], [Hardin, 2005]). These other views include the so-called color physical- ism of [Hilbert, 1987], [Byrne and Hilbert, 1997a], [Byrne and Hilbert, 2003], and [Tye, 2000],1 and, inconveniently, even the relationalist view defended in [Cohen, 2003a], [Cohen, 2004a], [Cohen, 2003b], [McLaughlin, 2003], and [Jakab and McLaughlin, 2003]
de Anna, G. (2002). The simple view of colour and the reference of perceptual terms. Philosophy 77 (299):87-108.   (Google)
Abstract: This essay deals with the problem of the status of colours, traditionally considered as the paradigmatic case of secondary qualities: do colours exist only as aspects of experience or are they real properties of objects, existing independently of human and animal perception? Recently, John Campbell has argued in favour of the simple view of colours, according to which colours are real properties of objects. I discuss the place of Campbell's position in a debated which was started by John Mackie and continued by John McDowell, and defend it from a criticism due to Michael Smith. I conclude that the simple view is a philosophically credible position. Subsequently, I consider an alleged contradiction between the simple view and semantic externalism pointed out by Jim Edwards. I suggest that a supporter of the simple view may consistently maintain semantic externalism, if she also accepts epistemological externalism about the canonical warrant of perceptual judgements
Edwards, J. (2003). A reply to de Anna on the simple view of colour. Philosophy 78 (303):99-114.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: John Campbell proposed a so-called simple view of colours according to which colours are categorical properties of the surfaces of objects just as they normally appear to be. I raised an invertion problem for Campbell's view according to which the senses of colour terms fail to match their references, thus rendering those terms meaningless—or so I claimed. Gabriele de Anna defended Campbell's view against my example by contesting two points in particular. Firstly, de Anna claimed that there is no special problem here for the simple view of colours, a similar invertion story could apply to primary qualities terms for shapes. Secondly, de Anna purported to give an account of the senses and references of colour terms in my invertion story which renders the senses and references of those terms mutually consistent. In this paper I contested both of de Anna's claims. Regarding the first, I argue that his imagined invertion of apparent shapes is not epistemically stable, in contrast to the invertion of apparent shapes is not epistemically stable, in contrast to the invertion of apparent colours. Hence the victims of apparently inverted shapes would be able to discover the mismatch of senses and refences of their shape terms, in contrast to the victims of apparent invertions of colours. Regarding the second, I argue that de Anna's account of the victim's colour terms itself uses and not merely mentions so-called colours terms. Hence de Anna' account of them is itself meaningless due to a mismatch of sense and reference. So I conclude that my objection to Campbell's simple view of colours stands
Gardner, John (online). What it is like to perceive colour.   (Google)
Abstract: I argue that the knowledge argument is best understood as an argument for the existence of non-physical properties of material objects, or colours. I suggest that the knowledge argument is standardly presented as an argument for the existence of qualia because it is implicitly assumed that physics “tell us” that what it is like to perceive colour is determined, not by properties of material objects, but by properties of perceiving subjects; hence any gaps in Mary’s knowledge must be gaps in her knowledge about perceiving subjects. If nothing else, this physicalist assumption is odd given that the knowledge argument is supposed to be an argument against physicalism. Using the knowledge argument as an argument for the existence of non-physical colours is consistent with the transparency of perceptual experience. Moreover, rejecting the physicalist assumption behind the orthodox interpretation of the knowledge argument undermines the motivation for thinking of non-physical colours as epiphenomenal
Hilbert, David R. & Byrne, Alex (ms). Color primitivism.   (Google)
Abstract: Some of these views are realist: objects like oranges and lemons have the colors we mostly take them to have. Others are eliminativist: oranges and lemons are not colored. The usual kind of realism is reductive: the color properties are identified with properties specified in other terms (as ways of altering light, for instance). If no reductive analysis is available—if the colors are primitive sui generis properties—this is often taken to be a convincing argument for eliminativism. Realist primitivism, in other words, is usually thought to be untenable
Matthen, Mohan (2010). Color Experience: A Semantic Theory. In Jonathan Cohen & Mohan Matthen (eds.), Color Ontology and Color Science. MIT Press.   (Google)
Abstract: What is the relationship between color experience and color? Here, I defend the view that it is semantic: color experience denotes color in a code innately known by the perceiver. This semantic theory contrasts with a variety of theories according to which color is defined as the cause of color experience (in a special set of circumstances). It also contrasts with primary quality theories of color, which treat color as a physical quantity. I argue that the semantic theory better accounts for the kinds of knowledge we have regarding both the color of objects that we see and of the colors themselves.
Stroud-Drinkwater, Clive (1994). The naive theory of color. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (2):345-54.   (Google | More links)
Watkins, Michael (2010). A posteriori primitivism. Philosophical Studies 150 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: Recent criticisms of non-reductive accounts of color assume that the only arguments for such accounts are a priori arguments. I put forward a posteriori arguments for a non-reductive account of colors which avoids those criticisms
Westphal, Jonathan (1991). Colour: A Philosophical Introduction. Blackwell.   (Cited by 11 | Google)

3.7d Theories of Color, Misc

Allen, Keith (2007). The mind-independence of colour. European Journal of Philosophy 15 (2):137–158.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Averill, Edward W. (1992). The relational nature of color. Philosophical Review 101 (3):551-88.   (Cited by 44 | Google | More links)
Brogaard, Berit, Color by.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The nature of the colors—what they are like, whether they are instantiated by objects or are projected by our minds, whether their nature is revealed to us in color perception, and whether there could be alien colors (e.g. reddish-green)—has been one of the central topics in philosophy for centuries. This entry focuses on the contemporary philosophical debate about the nature of the colors
Brown, D. H. (2006). On the dual referent approach to colour theory. Philosophical Quarterly 56 (222):96-113.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Brogaard, Berit, Perspectival truth and color perception.   (Google)
Abstract: Perspectivalism is a semantic theory according to which the contents of utterances and mental states (perhaps of a particular kind) have a truth-value only relative to a particular perspective (or standard) determined by the context of the speaker or bearer of the mental state. I have defended this view for epistemic terms, moral terms and predicates of personal taste elsewhere (Brogaard 2008a, 2008b, forthcoming). The main aim of this paper is to defend perspectivalism about color perception and color discourse. The content of color perception and color discourse, I will argue, has a truth-value only relative to a centered world containing an appropriate viewing condition and the perceiver, or a perceiver that is deferred to. Some may object to the underlying assumption that perceptual experiences have truth-evaluable contents. Representationalists typically treat perceptual experiences as propositional attitudes with full-blown or non-deflationary propositional contents (Russellian, Fregean or possible-worlds contents). But the assumption that perceptual experiences are propositional attitudes has been explicitly denied by numerous others. For example, direct realists hold that good perceptual experiences are relations to objects. Accordingly, good perceptual experiences do not have full-blown truth-evaluable contents. Sense-data theorists hold that perceptual experiences are relations to sense-data. Consequently, no perceptual experience has full-blown truth-evaluable content. Adverbialists deny that experiences are relations to objects or properties. Perceiving R is engaging in the activity of perceiving R- wise. For example, one has an experience as of R being red just in case one is engaged in the activity of perceiving red-ly and R-wise. So, adverbialists too deny that perceptual experiences have full-blown truth-evaluable contents. Raw feel theorists equate perceptual..
Broackes, Justin (2010). What do the colour-blind see? In Jonathan Cohen & Mohan Matthen (eds.), Color Ontology and Color Science. Mit Press.   (Google)
Byrne, Alex (2006). Comments on Cohen, mizrahi, Maund, and Levine. Dialectica 60:223-44.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Byrne, Alex (ms). Colour vision, philosophical issues about.   (Google)
Abstract: The primary issues concern whether objects have colours, and what sorts of properties the colours are. Some philosophers hold that nothing is coloured, others that colour are powers to affect perceivers, and others that colours are physical properties
Byrne, Alex & Hilbert, David R. (forthcoming). Philosophical issues about colour vision. In L. Nagel (ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Macmillan.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The primary issues concern whether objects have colours, and what sorts of properties the colours are. Some philosophers hold that nothing is coloured, others that colour are powers to affect perceivers, and others that colours are physical properties
Byrne, Alex & Hilbert, David R. (1997). Readings on Color, Volume 1: The Philosophy of Color. MIT Press.   (Cited by 36 | Google)
Clark, Austen (1998). Color perception (in 3000 words). In George Graham & William Bechtel (eds.), A Companion to Cognitive Science. Blackwell.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: A neighbor who strikes it rich evokes both admiration and envy, and a similar mix of emotions must be aroused in many neighborhoods of cognitive science when the residents look at the results of research in color perception. It provides what is probably the most widely acknowledged success story of any domain of scientific psychology: the success, against all expectation, of the opponent process theory of color perception. Initially proposed by a Ewald Hering, a nineteenth century physiologist, it drew its inspiration from the existence of opposing muscle groups. Hering thought that analogous opposing processes could explain some aspects of color perception, but the resulting theory was more complicated and less intuitive than that proposed by the great Hermann von Helmholtz. Helmholtz carried his day, but in the long run Hering turned out to be right
Cohen, Jonathan (online). A guided tour of color. A Field Guide to the Philosophy of Mind.   (Google)
Abstract: One of the most salient facts about our experience of the world is that objects appear to have colors. This feature of our experience is both striking and pervasive. Indeed, representations of colors of objects are among the most notable deliverances of the visual modality, which is perhaps our most important source of information about the world. For this reason, among others, questions about the nature of color have crucial significance for a variety of philosophical subjects including perception, ontology, epistemology, semantics, and philosophy of mind. But the nature of color is a fascinating philosophical topic in its own right, and there has been a significant increase in the philosophical attention paid to this matter in recent years. In this essay I'll survey some of the main views about the nature of color in the contemporary literature and attempt to lay out some of the arguments that have been used to support or reject various of these accounts
Cohen, Jonathan (2007). A relationalist's guide to error about color perception. Noûs 41 (2):335–353.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Color relationalism is the view that colors are constituted in terms of relations to perceiving subjects. Among its explanatory virtues, relation- alism provides a satisfying treatment of cases of perceptual variation. But it can seem that relationalists lack resources for saying that a representa- tion of x’s color is erroneous. Surely, though, a theory of color that makes errors of color perception impossible cannot be correct. In this paper I’ll argue that, initial appearances notwithstanding, relationalism contains the resources to account for errors of color perception. I’ll conclude that worries about making room for error are worries the relationalist can meet
Cohen, Jonathan (web). Color. In John Symons & P. Calvo (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Psychology. Routledge.   (Google)
Abstract: Questions about the ontology of color matter because colors matter. Colors are (or, at least, appear to be) extremely pervasive and salient features of the world. Moreover, people care about the distribution of these features: they expend money and effort to paint their houses, cars, and other possessions, and their clear preference for polychromatic over monochromatic televisions and computer monitors have consigned monochromatic models to the status of rare antiques. The apparent ubiquity of colors and their importance to our lives makes them a ripe target for ontological questions such as the following:
• What is the nature of colors?
• Are they, as they seem to be, properties of objects?
Cohen, Jonathan (2003). Color: A functionalist proposal. Philosophical Studies 113 (1):1-42.   (Google | More links)
Abstract:   In this paper I propose and defend an account of color that I call color functionalism. I argue that functionalism is a non-traditional species of primary quality theory, and that it accommodates our intuitions about color and the facts of color science better than more widely discussed alternatives
Cohen, Jonathan (2008). Colour constancy as counterfactual. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (1):61 – 92.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: 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
Cohen, Jonathan & Matthen, Mohan (eds.) (2010). Color Ontology and Color Science. Mit Press.   (Google)
Cohen, Jonathan (2004). Color properties and color ascriptions: A relationalist manifesto. Philosophical Review 113 (4):451-506.   (Cited by 19 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Are colors relational or non-relational properties of their bearers? Is red a property that is instantiated by all and only the objects with a certain intrinsic (/non-relational) nature? Or does an object with a particular intrinsic (/non-relational) nature count as red only in virtue of standing in certain relations - for example, only when it looks a certain way to a certain perceiver, or only in certain circumstances of observation? In this paper I shall argue for the view that color properties are relational (henceforth, relationalism), and against the view that colors are not relational (henceforth, anti- or non-relationalism)
Cohen, Jonathan, Color relationalism and color phenomenology.   (Google)
Abstract: Color relationalism is the view that colors are constituted in terms of relations between subjects and objects. The most historically important form of color relationalism is the classic dispositionalist view according to which, for example red is the disposition to look red to standard observers in standard conditions (mutatis mutandis for other colors).1 However, it has become increasingly apparent in recent years that a commitment to the relationality of colors bears interest that goes beyond dispositionalism (Cohen, 2004; Matthen, 1999, 2001, 2005; Thompson, 1995). Accordingly, it is an important project for those interested in the metaphysics of color to sort through and assess different forms of color relationalism. There is, however, a powerful and general cluster of objections that has been thought by many to amount to a decisive refutation of any and all forms of color relationalism. Although this idea has been developed in a number of ways, the basic thought is that relationalism — qua theory of color — is at odds with the manifest evidence of color phenomenology, and that this clash between theory and data should be resolved by giving up the theory
Cohen, Jonathan (online). It's not easy being green: Hardin and color relationalism.   (Google)
Abstract: But Hardin hasn’t contented himself with reframing traditional philosoph- ical issues about color in a way that is sensitive to relevant empirical con- straints. In addition, he has been a staunch defender of color eliminativism — the view that there are no colors, qua properties of tables, chairs, and other mind-external objects, and a vociferous critic of several varieties of re- alism about color that have been defended by others (e.g., [Hardin, 2003], [Hardin, 2005]). These other views include the so-called color physical- ism of [Hilbert, 1987], [Byrne and Hilbert, 1997a], [Byrne and Hilbert, 2003], and [Tye, 2000],1 and, inconveniently, even the relationalist view defended in [Cohen, 2003a], [Cohen, 2004a], [Cohen, 2003b], [McLaughlin, 2003], and [Jakab and McLaughlin, 2003]
Cohen, Jonathan (2003). On the structural properties of the colours. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (1):78-95.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Primary quality theories of color claim that colors are intrinsic, objective, mind-independent properties of external objects — that colors, like size and shape, are examples of the sort of properties moderns such as Boyle and Locke called primary qualities of body.1 Primary quality theories have long been seen as one of the main philosophical options for understanding the nature of color
Cohen, Jonathan; Hardin, C. L. & McLaughlin, Brian P. (2006). True colours. Analysis 66 (292):335-340.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract: (Tye 2006) presents us with the following scenario: John and Jane are both stan- dard human visual perceivers (according to the Ishihara test or the Farnsworth test, for example) viewing the same surface of Munsell chip 527 in standard conditions of visual observation. The surface of the chip looks “true blue” to John (i.e., it looks blue not tinged with any other colour to John), and blue tinged with green to Jane.1 Tye then in effect poses a multiple choice question
Cohen, Jonathan (2001). Two recent anthologies on color. Philosophical Psychology 14 (1):118-122.   (Google)
Abstract: 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
Hardin, C. L. (1988). Color for Philosophers. Hackett.   (Cited by 383 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Hazlett, Allan & Averill, Edward Wilson (forthcoming). A problem for relational theories of color. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.   (Google)
Abstract: We argue that relationalism entails an unacceptable claim about the content of visual experience: that ordinary ‘red’ objects look like they look like the look like they’re red, etc
Hilbert, David R. (1987). Color and Color Perception: A Study in Anthropocentric Realism. CSLI Press.   (Cited by 94 | Google)
Hilbert, David R. & Kalderon, Mark Eli (2000). Color and the inverted spectrum. In Steven Davis (ed.), Vancouver Studies in Cognitive Science. New York: Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 23 | Google)
Abstract: If you trained someone to emit a particular sound at the sight of something red, another at the sight of something yellow, and so on for other colors, still he would not yet be describing objects by their colors. Though he might be a help to us in giving a description. A description is a representation of a distribution in a space (in that of time, for instance)
Hilbert, David R. (online). Theories of colour.   (Google)
Abstract: The world as perceived by human beings is full of colour. The world as described by physical scientists is composed of colourless particles and fields. Philosophical theories of colour since the scientific revolution have been primarily driven by a desire to harmonize these two apparently conflicting pictures of the world. Any adequate theory of colour has to be consistent with the characteristics of colour as perceived without contradicting the deliverances of the physical sciences. Given this conception of the aim of a theory of colour, there are three possibilities for resolving the apparent conflict between the scientific and perceptual facts. The first possibility is to deny that physical objects have colours. Theories of this kind admit that objects appear coloured but maintain that these appearances are misleading. The conflict is resolved by removing colour from the external world. Second, it might be that colour is a relational property. For an object to possess a particular colour it must be related in the right way to a perceiver. One common version of this view analyzes colour as a disposition to cause particular kinds of perceptual experiences in a human being. Since the physical sciences deal only with the intrinsic properties of physical objects and their relations to other physical objects and not their relations to perceiving subjects, the possibility of conflict is removed. A third possible response to the conflict is to maintain that colour really is a property of external objects and that the conflict is merely apparent. Some theories of this form maintain that colour is identical to a physical property of objects. Others maintain that colour is a property that physical objects possess over and above all their physical
1
properties. Philosophical discussions of colour typically take the form of either elaborating on one of these three possibilities or attempting to show more generally that one of these three types of responses is to be preferred to the others..
Kulvicki, John (2003). Hue magnitudes and revelation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (1):36-37.   (Google)
Abstract: Revelation, the thesis that the full intrinsic nature of colors is revealed to us by color experiences, is false in Byrne & Hilbert's (B&H's) view, but in an interesting and nonobvious way. I show what would make Revelation true, given B&H's account of colors, and then show why that situation fails to obtain, and why that is interesting
Matthen, Mohan P. (1999). The disunity of color. Philosophical Review 108 (1):47-84.   (Cited by 18 | Google | More links)
Abstract: What is color? What is color vision? Most philosophers answer by reference to humans: to human color qualia, or to the environmental properties or "quality spaces" perceived by humans. It is argued, with reference to empirical findings concerning comparative color vision and the evolution of color vision, that all such attempts are mistaken. An adequate definition of color vision must eschew reference to its outputs in the human cognition and refer only to inputs: color vision consists in the use of wavelength discrimination in the construction of visual representations. A color quality is one that is generated from such processing
Maund, Barry (online). Color. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.   (Google)
Mizrahi, Vivian (2006). Color objectivism and color pluralism. Dialectica 60 (3):283-306.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Most objectivist and dispositionalist theories of color have tried to resolve the challenge raised by color variations by drawing a distinction between real and apparent colors. This paper considers such a strategy to be fundamentally erroneous. The high degree of variability of colors constitutes a crucial feature of colors and color perception; it cannot be avoided without leaving aside the real nature of color. The objectivist theory of color defended in this paper holds that objects have locally many different objective colors. Most color variations are then real and result from the extreme richness of color properties.
Palmer, Stephen . (1999). Color, consciousness, and the isomorphism constraint. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (6):923-943.   (Cited by 78 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The relations among consciousness, brain, behavior, and scientific explanation are explored in the domain of color perception. Current scientific knowledge about color similarity, color composition, dimensional structure, unique colors, and color categories is used to assess Locke
Pautz, Adam (web). Colors. In Bayne, T., Cleeremans, A., Wilkins & P. (eds.), Oxford Companion to Consciousness. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: An overview of the main positions on color forthcoming in the Oxford Companion to Consciousness
Thompson, Evan (1995). Colour Vision. Routledge.   (Cited by 155 | Google | More links)
Thompson, Evan; Palacios, A. & Varela, F. J. (1992). Ways of coloring. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.   (Cited by 142 | Google)
Westphal, Jonathan (1991). Colour: A Philosophical Introduction. Blackwell.   (Cited by 11 | Google)
Zemplén, Gábor A. (2004). Newton's colour circle and Palmer's “normal” colour space. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (1):166-168.   (Google)
Abstract: Taking the real Newtonian colour circle – and not the one Palmer depicts as Newton's – we don't have to wait 300 years for Palmer to say no to the Lockean aperçu about the inverted spectrum. One of the aims of this historical detour is to show that one's commitment about the “topology” of the colour space greatly affects Palmer's argument

3.7e Color Realism

Allen, Keith (2009). Being coloured and looking coloured. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (4):pp. 647-670.   (Google | More links)
Allen, Keith (2009). Inter-species variation in colour perception. Philosophical Studies 142 (2).   (Google)
Abstract: Inter-species variation in colour perception poses a serious problem for the view that colours are mind-independent properties. Given that colour perception varies so drastically across species, which species perceives colours as they really are? In this paper, I argue that all do. Specifically, I argue that members of different species perceive properties that are determinates of different, mutually compatible, determinables. This is an instance of a general selectionist strategy for dealing with cases of perceptual variation. According to selectionist views, objects simultaneously instantiate a plurality of colours, all of them genuinely mind-independent, and subjects select from amongst this plurality which colours they perceive. I contrast selectionist views with relationalist views that deny the mind-independence of colour, and consider some general objections to this strategy
Allen, Keith (2007). The mind-independence of colour. European Journal of Philosophy 15 (2):137–158.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Averill, Edward Wilson & Hazlett, Allan, Color objectivism and color projectivism.   (Google)
Abstract: Objectivism, in the philosophy of color, is (roughly) the claim that colors are physically constituted properties, instantiated by objects around us. On this view many objects around us both look colored and are colored. Projectivism is (roughly) the claim that objects around us look colored, but are not colored. On some projectivist accounts, colors are identified with properties instantiated by elements of perceiver’s visual systems, resulting in a systematic illusion of the instantiation of color properties by objects around us. Objectivism and projectivism are standardly taken to be incompatible theories of color. Here we argue that this incompatibility is only apparent: objectivism and projectivism, properly articulated so as to deal with basic objections, are in fundamental agreement about the ontology of color and phenomenology of color perception
Boghossian, Paul A. (2002). Seeking the real. Philosophical Studies 108 (1-2):223-38.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   A critical discussion of Barry Stroud's claim, in his book The Quest for Reality, that we could never rationally arrive at the conclusion that, for example, the world is not really colored
Brewer, Bill (2004). Stroud's Quest for reality. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (2):408-414.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Barry Stroud begins his investigation into the metaphysics of colour with a discussion of the elusiveness of the genuinely philosophical quest for reality. He insists upon a distinction between two ways in which the idea of a correspondence between perceptions or beliefs and the facts may be understood: first, as equivalent to the plain truth of the perceptions/beliefs in question; second, as conveying the metaphysical reality of the corresponding features of the world. I begin by voicing some suspicion about this distinction. Then I go on to consider various aspects of his central argument against the likelihood of any successful unmasking explanation in connection with colour. The final moves of this argument seem to me to be unstable. Either his conclusion that the unmasker’s overall strategy is self-defeating is stronger than is warranted, or his insistence that no conclusive result is established in connection with the fundamental quest for reality is unduly cautious, depending on how precisely the dependence, which he rightly insists upon, of the identification of perceptions of colour upon some identification of colour properties themselves, is to be taken
Broackes, Justin (2007). Colour, world and archimedean metaphysics: Stroud and the Quest for reality. Erkenntnis 66 (1-2):27-71.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Barry Stroud’s book _The Quest for Reality_1 is, I think, the most substantial study of colour realism that has yet been written. It subjects to fundamental criticism a tradition that found its classic expression in Descartes and Locke and which in many ways remains standard today; it argues to be flawed not only the traditional rejection of colours as mere ideas or features of ideas in the mind, but also the view that colours are dispositions or powers in objects to produce ideas in us—which in other quarters sometimes passes as a form of colour realism. Stroud rejects subjectivism, dispositionalism, relativism, and reductionism; but he is deliberately reticent about offering any positive account of what we believe to exist when believe colours to exist (after all, he says, in quiet allusion to Butler, everything is what it is and not another thing). And he is resolute in denying that we can give a philosophical argument to establish such belief as true. Stroud’s general conclusion can be seen as occupying a middle ground between what we might call dogmatic anti-realism and dogmatic realism. He argues (in Ch. 7) that anti-realism (or what Stroud calls the ‘unmasking’ of colours) is a view that cannot be affirmed without a kind of self-refutation—for ‘no one could abandon all beliefs about the colours of things and still _understand_ the colour terms’ (168, my emphasis). On the other hand (in Ch. 9), it remains in some sense a ‘possibility’ (204) that everyday colour beliefs might actually all be false. Stroud’s final judgment is not that we shall or should abandon the ‘Quest for Reality’, though he has expressed many reservations about it.2 The
Broackes, Justin (1992). The autonomy of colour. In K. Lennon & D. Charles (eds.), Reduction, Explanation, and Realism. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 73 | Google)
Abstract: This essay* takes two notions of autonomy and two notions of explanation and argues that colours occur in explanations that fall under all of them. The claim that colours can be used to explain anything at all may seem to some people an outrage. But their pessimism is unjustified and the orthodox dispositional view which may seem to support it, I shall argue, itself has difficulties. In broad terms, Section 2 shows that there exist good straight scientific laws of colour, constituting what one might call a phenomenal science. Section 3 offers a larger view of what we are doing when we attribute colours to things, a view which makes it a case of holistic explanation, similar in many ways to psychological explanation. Section 2 emphasizes the model of scientific explanation, and Section 3 the holistic model found in rational explanation; but it will emerge that colour explanation in different ways fits both models, as it also does the two principal notions of autonomy that the first section identifies
Byrne, Alex (2006). Comments on Cohen, mizrahi, Maund, and Levine. Dialectica 60:223-44.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Byrne, Alex & Hilbert, David R. (2004). Hardin, Tye, and color physicalism. Journal of Philosophy 101 (1):37-43.   (Cited by 14 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Larry Hardin has been the most steadfast and influential critic of physicalist theories of color over the last 20 years. In their modern form these theories originated with the work of Smart and Armstrong in the 1960s and 1970s1 and Hardin appropriately concentrated on their views in his initial critique of physicalism.2 In his most recent contribution to this project3 he attacks Michael Tye’s recent attempts to defend and extend color physicalism.4 Like Byrne and Hilbert5, Tye identifies color with the reflecting properties of objects (“reflectance physicalism”). Specifically, the determinate and determinable colors are identified with types of reflectances. (Setting some complications aside, the reflectance of an object is the proportion of light that it reflects at each wavelength in the visible spectrum.) These reflectance types are, in the terminology of Hilbert, anthropocentric—in the terminology of Lewis6, they are not very “natural”
Byrne, Alex & Hilbert, David R. (2007). Truest blue. Analysis 67 (1):87-92.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Physical objects are coloured: roses are red, violets are blue, and so forth. In particular, physical objects have fine-grained shades of colour: a certain chip, we can suppose, is true blue (unique, or pure blue). The following sort of scenario is commonplace. The chip looks true blue to John; in the same (ordinary) viewing conditions it looks (slightly) greenish-blue to Jane. Both John and Jane are “normal” perceivers. Now, nothing can be both true blue and greenish-blue; since the chip is true blue, it is not greenish-blue. Hence Jane, unlike John, is misperceiving the chip. Generalizing, the conclusion is that there is widespread misperception of fine-grained shades. According to Tye (2006), and Cohen, Hardin, and McLaughlin (2006), the previous paragraph amounts to a paradox: an apparently unacceptable conclusion has been drawn from apparently acceptable premises via apparently acceptable reasoning. (See also Hawthorne and Kovakovich 2006: 180-1.) Tye swallows the conclusion, aided by a dose of evolutionary speculation. Hardin (1988), on the other hand, rejects the first premise, and denies that physical objects are coloured. Cohen (2004) and McLaughlin (2003) claim that both Jane and John have the colour of the chip right. Our opening paragraph concealed a crucial parameter. In fact, the chip looks greenish-blue-relative-to- circumstances-C to Jane, and true-blue-relative-to-circumstances-C* to John, and the chip has both these relativized colours.1 All this ingenious philosophizing would be in vain, of course, if the conclusion of the opening paragraph were not puzzling or problematic. So, why is it supposed to be? According to Tye, the conclusion is puzzling because John and Jane are both “_normal_ perceivers” (xx). He seems to think that it is (prima facie) plausible to assume that there is no variation in perceptual accuracy among normal perceivers. But he does not explain why this assumption should be made..
Campbell, K. (1993). David Armstrong and realism about colour. In John Bacon, K. Campbell & Lloyd Reinhardt (eds.), Ontology, Causality, and Mind. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Chirimuuta, Mazviita (2008). Reflectance realism and colour constancy: What would count as scientific evidence for Hilbert's ontology of colour? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (4):563 – 582.   (Google)
Abstract: Reflectance realism is an important position in the philosophy of colour. This paper is an examination of David R. Hilbert’s case for there being scientific support for the theory. The specific point in question is whether colour science has shown that reflectance is recovered by the human visual system. Following a discussion of possible counter-evidence in the recent scientific literature, I make the argument that conflicting interpretations of the data on reflectance recovery are informed by different theoretical assumptions about the nature of
colour, and of perception. If this is so, there cannot be neutral empirical
evidence on this point, and this does seem to undermine Hilbert’s claim for
empirical support. In the end, I suggest alternative ways of thinking about the relationship between colour ontology and empirical work on colour.
Cohen, Jonathan (2007). A relationalist's guide to error about color perception. Noûs 41 (2):335–353.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Color relationalism is the view that colors are constituted in terms of relations to perceiving subjects. Among its explanatory virtues, relation- alism provides a satisfying treatment of cases of perceptual variation. But it can seem that relationalists lack resources for saying that a representa- tion of x’s color is erroneous. Surely, though, a theory of color that makes errors of color perception impossible cannot be correct. In this paper I’ll argue that, initial appearances notwithstanding, relationalism contains the resources to account for errors of color perception. I’ll conclude that worries about making room for error are worries the relationalist can meet
Cohen, Jonathan (2003). Barry Stroud, the Quest for reality: Subjectivism and the metaphysics of colour. Noûs 37 (3):537-554.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In The Quest for Reality: Subjectivism and the Metaphysics of Colour [Stroud, 2000], Barry Stroud carries out an ambitious attack on various forms of irrealism and subjectivism about color. The views he targets - those that would deny a place in objective reality to the colors - have a venerable history in philosophy. Versions of them have been defended by Galileo, Descartes, Boyle, Locke, and Hume; more recently, forms of these positions have been articulated by Williams, Smart, Mackie, Ryle, and Hardin, among others. Stroud's aim is to argue not only that these writers fail to make their cases, but that no conceivable argument could ever convince us that colors are not a part of objective reality
Dedrick, Don (1995). Objectivism and the evolutionary value of color vision. Dialogue 34 (1):35-44.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In Color for Philosophers C. L. Hardin argues that chromatic objectivism?a view which identifies colour with some or other property of objects?must be false. The upshot of Hardin's argument is this: there is, in fact, no principled correlation between physical properties and perceived colours. Since that correlation is a minimal condition for objectivism, objectivism is false. Mohan Matthen, who accepts Hardin's conclusion for what can be called "simple objectivism," takes it that an adaptationist theory of biological function applied to colour is able to surmount the problems Hardin describes. It is Matthen's view that I am primarily concerned with in this paper. I will argue that it entails an overly simple view of adaptive value?as, perhaps, do all objectivist views
Eilan, Naomi M. (ms). On the reality of color.   (Google)
Abstract: The Quest for Reality, contains, amongst much else, a sustained and deeply illuminating investigation of the thesis Barry Stroud labels ’subjectivism’ about colours. The grounds he relentlessly amasses for rejecting the thesis are, in my view, compelling. There is a sense, indeed, in which I think they are more compelling than he says he himself finds them. For as I understand his arguments, they contain the materials for delivering a positive answer to the question: are objects really coloured? As Stroud himself presents the outcome of his investigation, they do not. Actually, to put it in this ’headline-grabbing’ way is misleading. The real issue turns on the main concern of his book-- his immensely thought-provoking investigation of the questions: what counts as a metaphysical account of reality? And, in the test case of colours, can the task of addressing the question of whether they are or are not part of reality be successfully undertaken? The suggestion I will be making is that his rejection of subjectivism contains the materials for asking about the metaphysical reality of colour in a way that is distinct from the way he shows cannot work; and that on this distinct way, the answer to the question of whether objects are really coloured is: yes. So, he might either reject the very idea that this alternative way of framing the question about colours does count as an example of a metaphysical quest for their reality; or he might agree that it is one, but disagree with the positive answer I sketch on his behalf, so to speak
Fogelin, Robert J. (2004). Stroud's Quest for reality. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (2):401-407.   (Google | More links)
Gert, Joshua (2006). A realistic colour realism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (4):565 – 589.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Whether or not one endorses realism about colour, it is very tempting to regard realism about determinable colours such as green and yellow as standing or falling together with realism about determinate colours such as unique green or green31. Indeed some of the most prominent representatives of both sides of the colour realism debate explicitly endorse the idea that these two kinds of realism are so linked. Against such theorists, the present paper argues that one can be a realist about the determinable colours of objects, and thus hold that most of the colour ascriptions made by competent speakers are literally true, while denying that there are any positive facts of the matter as to the determinate colours of objects. The result is a realistic colour realism that can certify most of our everyday colour ascriptions as literally correct, while acknowledging the data regarding individual variation
Gibbard, Allan F. (1996). Visible properties of human interest only. Philosophical Issues 7:199-208.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Gluer, Kathrin (forthcoming). Colors Without Circles? In Ralph Schumacher (ed.), Theories of Color Perception. Kluwer.   (Google)
Abstract: The dispute between realists about color and anti-realists is actually a dispute about the
nature of color properties. The disputants do not disagree over what material objects are
like. Rather, they disagree over whether any of the uncontroversial facts about material
objects – their powers to cause visual experiences, their dispositions to reflect incident
light, their atomic makeup, and so on – amount to their having colors. The disagreement
is thus about which properties colors are and, in particular, whether colors are any of the
properties in a particular set that is acknowledged on both sides to exhaust the properties
of material objects (1991, 67)
Glüer, Kathrin (2007). Colors without circles? Erkenntnis 66 (1-2):107--131.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Realists about color, be they dispositionalists or physicalists, agree on the truth of the following claim: (R) x is red iff x is disposed to look red under standard conditions. The disagreement is only about whether to identify the colors with the relevant dispositions, or with their categorical bases. This is a question about the representational content of color experience: What kind of properties do color experiences ascribe to objects? It has been argued (for instance by Boghossian and Velleman, 1991) that truths like (R) cannot be used in an account of the colors as they would result in ‚circular’, and therefore empty, contents. It has also been argued (for instance by Harman, 1996) that switching to an account of color in terms of a functional account of color sensations would result in a circular, and therefore empty, account. In this paper, I defend a realist account of color in terms of a (non-reductive) functional account of color sensations. Such an account of sensations has been suggested by Pagin (2000), and it can be applied to color sensations without the resulting account of the colors themselves being circular or empty. I argue that the so-called transparency of experience does not provide any argument against such an account. I also argue that on such an account, the issue of physicalism vs. dispositionalism boils down to the question of the modal profile of the color concepts
Glüer-Pagin, Kathrin (2007). Colors without circles? Erkenntnis 66 (1-2):107-131.   (Google)
Abstract: forthcoming in Theories of Color Perception, ed. R. Schumacher, special issue of Erkenntnis 2007
Hardin, C. L. (2004). A green thought in a green shade. Harvard Review of Philosophy 12:29-39.   (Cited by 8 | Google)
Hardin, C. L. (2003). A spectral reflectance doth not a color make. Journal of Philosophy 100 (4):191-202.   (Cited by 9 | Google)
Hardin, C. L. (1990). Color and illusion. In William G. Lycan (ed.), Mind and Cognition. Blackwell.   (Cited by 18 | Google)
Hardin, C. L. (1988). Color for Philosophers. Hackett.   (Cited by 383 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Hardin, Clyde L. (1988). Color for Philosophers: Unweaving the Rainbow. Hackett.   (Google)
Hilbert, David R. (1987). Color and Color Perception: A Study in Anthropocentric Realism. CSLI Press.   (Cited by 94 | Google)
Hilbert, David R. (1992). What is color vision? Philosophical Studies 68 (3):351-70.   (Cited by 24 | Google | More links)
Abstract: There are serious reasons for accepting each of these propositions individually but there are apparently insurmountable difficulties with accepting all three of them simultaneously if we assume that color is a single property. 1) and 2) together seem to imply that there is some property which all organisms with color vision can see and 3) seems to imply that there can be no such property. If these implications really are valid then one or more of these propositions will have to be rejected in spite of whatever reasons can be given for their apparent acceptability. Before going on to discuss possible resolutions of this apparent contradiction it is worth pointing out there our three propositions are not all of a kind. Proposition 1) is a metaphysical thesis about the ontological status of color and proposition 3) is an empirical thesis about what properties organisms with color vision are capable of detecting. If you accept 1) then 2) will appear to verge on the trivial, but if 1) is denied then the status of 2) will appear more problematic. In what follows I will have more to say about why we either should or should not accept all three of these propositions
Allen, Keith (2010). In defence of natural daylight. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (1):1-18.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Objects appear different as the illumination under which they are perceived varies. This fact is sometimes thought to pose a problem for the view that colours are mind-independent properties: if a coloured object appears different under different illuminations, then under which illumination does the object appear the colour it really is? I argue that given the nature of natural daylight, and certain plausible assumptions about the nature of the colours it illuminates, there is a non-arbitrary reason to suppose that it is under natural daylight that we are able to perceive the real colours of objects
Matthen, Mohan P. (1999). The disunity of color. Philosophical Review 108 (1):47-84.   (Cited by 18 | Google | More links)
Abstract: What is color? What is color vision? Most philosophers answer by reference to humans: to human color qualia, or to the environmental properties or "quality spaces" perceived by humans. It is argued, with reference to empirical findings concerning comparative color vision and the evolution of color vision, that all such attempts are mistaken. An adequate definition of color vision must eschew reference to its outputs in the human cognition and refer only to inputs: color vision consists in the use of wavelength discrimination in the construction of visual representations. A color quality is one that is generated from such processing
Matthen, Mohan (2010). Color Experience: A Semantic Theory. In Jonathan Cohen & Mohan Matthen (eds.), Color Ontology and Color Science. MIT Press.   (Google)
Abstract: What is the relationship between color experience and color? Here, I defend the view that it is semantic: color experience denotes color in a code innately known by the perceiver. This semantic theory contrasts with a variety of theories according to which color is defined as the cause of color experience (in a special set of circumstances). It also contrasts with primary quality theories of color, which treat color as a physical quantity. I argue that the semantic theory better accounts for the kinds of knowledge we have regarding both the color of objects that we see and of the colors themselves.
Maund, J. Barry (1995). Colours: Their Nature and Representation. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 42 | Google)
Abstract: This book defends the radical thesis that no physical object has any of the colours we experience it as having.
McDowell, John (2004). Reality and colours: Comment on Stroud. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (2):395-400.   (Google | More links)
McGilvray, James A. (1994). Constant colors in the head. Synthese 100 (2):197-239.   (Cited by 17 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   I defend a version of color subjectivism — that colors are sortals for certain neural events — by arguing against a sophisticated form of color objectivism and by showing how a subjectivist can legitimately explain the phenomenal fact that colors seem to be properties of external objects
Mizrahi, Vivian (2010). Color and transparency. Rivista di Estetica 43 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: 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.
Mizrahi, Vivian (2006). Color objectivism and color pluralism. Dialectica 60 (3):283-306.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Most objectivist and dispositionalist theories of color have tried to resolve the challenge raised by color variations by drawing a distinction between real and apparent colors. This paper considers such a strategy to be fundamentally erroneous. The high degree of variability of colors constitutes a crucial feature of colors and color perception; it cannot be avoided without leaving aside the real nature of color. The objectivist theory of color defended in this paper holds that objects have locally many different objective colors. Most color variations are then real and result from the extreme richness of color properties.
Mizrahi, Vivian & Nida-Rumelin, Martine (2006). Introduction. Dialectica 60 (3):209-222.   (Google | More links)
Pautz, Adam (2003). Have Byrne and Hilbert answered Hardin's challenge? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (1):44-45.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I argue that Byrne and Hilbert have not answered Hardin’s objection to physicalism about color concerning the unitary-binary structure of the colors for two reasons. First, their account of unitary-binary structure seems unsatisfactory. Second, _pace_ Byrne and Hilbert, there are no physicalistically acceptable candidates to be the hue- magnitudes. I conclude with a question about the justification of physicalism about color
Stroud, Barry G. (2002). Explaining the Quest and its prospects: Reply to Boghossian and Byrne. Philosophical Studies 108 (1-2):239-247.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   A brief description of the goal and main lines of argument of The Quest for Reality, in reply to the responses of Paul Boghossian and Alex Byrne
Stroud, Barry G. (2004). Replies. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (2):423-442.   (Google | More links)
Stroud, Barry G. (2000). The Quest for Reality: Subjectivism and the Metaphysics of Colour. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 45 | Google | More links)
Abstract: We say "the grass is green" or "lemons are yellow" to state what everyone knows. But are the things we see around us really colored, or do they only look that way because of the effects of light rays on our eyes and brains? Is color somehow "unreal" or "subjective" and dependent on our human perceptions and the conditions under which we see things? Distinguished scholar Barry Stroud investigates these and related questions in The Quest for Reality. In this long-awaited book, he examines what a person would have to do and believe in order to reach the conclusion that everyone's perceptions and beliefs about the color of things are "illusions" and do not accurately represent the way things are in the world as it is independently of us. Arguing that no such conclusion could be consistently reached, Stroud finds that the conditions of a successful unmasking of color cannot all be fulfilled. The discussion extends beyond color to present a serious challenge to many other philosophical attempts to discover the way things really are. A model of subtle, elegant, and rigorous philosophical writing, this study will attract a wide audience from all areas of philosophy
Thomas, Nigel J. T. (2001). Color realism: Toward a solution to the "hard problem". Consciousness And Cognition 10 (1):140-145.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This article was written as a commentary on a target article by Peter W. Ross entitled "The Location Problem for Color Subjectivism" [Consciousness and Cognition 10(1), 42-58 (2001)], and is published together with it, and with other commentaries and Ross's reply. If you or your library have the necessary subscription you can get PDF versions of the target article, all the commentaries, and Ross's reply to the commentaries here. However, I do not think that it is by any means essential for you to have read Ross's piece in order to understand this one. Ross defends a view called "color physicalism" or color realism that holds (simplifying somewhat) that colors are real physical properties (in typical cases, spectral reflectances of object surfaces). This is in opposition to what is probably a more widely held "subjectivist" view of color, holding that color qualities really exist only in the mind. In my commentary I suggest that a realist view of qualitative properties, such as Ross's, together with a direct, active view of perception, and a concept of "extended mind" (Clark & Chalmers, 1998) may provide the materials for a real solution to the notorious hard problem of consciousness. I sketch this solution in outline. - N.J.T.T
Thompson, Evan; Palacios, A. & Varela, F. J. (1992). Ways of coloring. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.   (Cited by 142 | Google)
Tye, Michael, Of colors, kestrels, caterpillars, and leaves.   (Google)
Abstract: According to color realism, object colors are mind-independent properties that cover surfaces or permeate volumes of objects. In recent years, some color scientists and a growing number of philosophers have opposed this view on the grounds that realism about color cannot accommodate the apparent unitary/binary structure of the hues. For example, Larry Hardin asserts, the unitary-binary structure of the colors as we experience them corresponds to no known physical structure lying outside nervous systems that is causally involved in the perception of color. This makes it very difficult to subscribe to a color realism that is supposed to be about red, green, blue, black, and white—that is, the colors with which we are perceptually acquainted.1 Similarly, Evan Thompson says
Tye, Michael (2007). True blue redux. Analysis 67 (1):92-93.   (Google)
Abstract: 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

3.7f Color Irrealism

Boghossian, Paul A. (2002). Seeking the real. Philosophical Studies 108 (1-2):223-38.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   A critical discussion of Barry Stroud's claim, in his book The Quest for Reality, that we could never rationally arrive at the conclusion that, for example, the world is not really colored
Brewer, Bill (2004). Stroud's Quest for reality. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (2):408-414.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Barry Stroud begins his investigation into the metaphysics of colour with a discussion of the elusiveness of the genuinely philosophical quest for reality. He insists upon a distinction between two ways in which the idea of a correspondence between perceptions or beliefs and the facts may be understood: first, as equivalent to the plain truth of the perceptions/beliefs in question; second, as conveying the metaphysical reality of the corresponding features of the world. I begin by voicing some suspicion about this distinction. Then I go on to consider various aspects of his central argument against the likelihood of any successful unmasking explanation in connection with colour. The final moves of this argument seem to me to be unstable. Either his conclusion that the unmasker’s overall strategy is self-defeating is stronger than is warranted, or his insistence that no conclusive result is established in connection with the fundamental quest for reality is unduly cautious, depending on how precisely the dependence, which he rightly insists upon, of the identification of perceptions of colour upon some identification of colour properties themselves, is to be taken
Byrne, Alex & Hilbert, David R. (2007). Truest blue. Analysis 67 (1):87-92.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Physical objects are coloured: roses are red, violets are blue, and so forth. In particular, physical objects have fine-grained shades of colour: a certain chip, we can suppose, is true blue (unique, or pure blue). The following sort of scenario is commonplace. The chip looks true blue to John; in the same (ordinary) viewing conditions it looks (slightly) greenish-blue to Jane. Both John and Jane are “normal” perceivers. Now, nothing can be both true blue and greenish-blue; since the chip is true blue, it is not greenish-blue. Hence Jane, unlike John, is misperceiving the chip. Generalizing, the conclusion is that there is widespread misperception of fine-grained shades. According to Tye (2006), and Cohen, Hardin, and McLaughlin (2006), the previous paragraph amounts to a paradox: an apparently unacceptable conclusion has been drawn from apparently acceptable premises via apparently acceptable reasoning. (See also Hawthorne and Kovakovich 2006: 180-1.) Tye swallows the conclusion, aided by a dose of evolutionary speculation. Hardin (1988), on the other hand, rejects the first premise, and denies that physical objects are coloured. Cohen (2004) and McLaughlin (2003) claim that both Jane and John have the colour of the chip right. Our opening paragraph concealed a crucial parameter. In fact, the chip looks greenish-blue-relative-to- circumstances-C to Jane, and true-blue-relative-to-circumstances-C* to John, and the chip has both these relativized colours.1 All this ingenious philosophizing would be in vain, of course, if the conclusion of the opening paragraph were not puzzling or problematic. So, why is it supposed to be? According to Tye, the conclusion is puzzling because John and Jane are both “_normal_ perceivers” (xx). He seems to think that it is (prima facie) plausible to assume that there is no variation in perceptual accuracy among normal perceivers. But he does not explain why this assumption should be made..
Byrne, Alex (2002). Yes, Virginia, Lemons are yellow. Philosophical Studies 108 (1-2):213-22.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   This paper discusses a number of themes and arguments in The Quest for Reality: Stroud's distinction between philosophical and ordinary questions about reality; the similarity he finds between the view that coloris unreal and the view that it is subjective; his argument against thesecondary quality theory; his argument against the error theory; and the disappointing conclusion of the book
Clark, Austen (1996). True theories, false colors. Philosophy of Science (Supplement) 63 (3):143-50.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Abstract: University of Connecticut Storrs, CT 06279-2054 Abstract. Recent versions of objectivism can reply to the argument from metamers. The deeper rift between subjectivists and objectivists lies in the question of how to explain the structure of qualitative similarities among the colors. Subjectivism grounded in this fashion can answer the circularity objection raised by Dedrick. It endorses skepticism about the claim that there is some one property of objects that it is the function of color vision to detect. Color vision may enable us to detect differences in spectral composition without granting us the capacity to detect identities
Cohen, Jonathan (2003). Barry Stroud, the Quest for reality: Subjectivism and the metaphysics of colour. Noûs 37 (3):537-554.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In The Quest for Reality: Subjectivism and the Metaphysics of Colour [Stroud, 2000], Barry Stroud carries out an ambitious attack on various forms of irrealism and subjectivism about color. The views he targets - those that would deny a place in objective reality to the colors - have a venerable history in philosophy. Versions of them have been defended by Galileo, Descartes, Boyle, Locke, and Hume; more recently, forms of these positions have been articulated by Williams, Smart, Mackie, Ryle, and Hardin, among others. Stroud's aim is to argue not only that these writers fail to make their cases, but that no conceivable argument could ever convince us that colors are not a part of objective reality
Cohen, Jonathan (2001). Subjectivism, physicalism or none of the above? Comments on Ross's The Location Problem for Color Subjectivism. Consciousness and Cognition 10 (1):94-104.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In “The Location Problem for Color Subjectivism,” Peter Ross argues against what he calls subjectivism — the view that “colors are not describable in physical terms, ... [but are] mental processes or events of visual states” (2),1 and in favor of physicalism — a view according to which colors are “physical properties of physical objects, such as reflectance properties” (10). He rejects an argument that has been offered in support of subjectivism, and argues that, since no form of subjectivism is able to account for our perception of color, we are better off adopting physicalism
Dedrick, Don (1996). Can color be reduced to anything? Philosophy of Science Supplement 3 (3):134-42.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Abstract: C. L. Hardin has argued that the colour opponency of the vision system leads to chromatic subjectivism: chromatic sensory states reduce to neurophysiological states. Much of the force of Hardin's argument derives from a critique of chromatic objectivism. On this view chromatic sensory states are held to reduce to an external property. While I agree with Hardin's critique of objectivism it is far from clear that the problems which beset objectivism do not apply to the subjectivist position as well. I develop a critique of subjectivism that parallels Hardin's anti-objectivist argument
Ellis, Jonathan (2006). Color, error, and explanatory power. Dialectica 60 (2):171-179.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: At least since Democritus, philosophers have been fond of the idea that material objects do not “really” have color. One such view is the error theory, according to which our ordinary judgments ascribing colors to objects are all erroneous, false; no object has any color at all. The error theorist proposes that everything that is so, including the fact that material objects appear to us to have color, can be explained without ever attributing color to objects—by appealing merely to, e.g., surface reflectance properties, the nature of light, the neurophysiology of perceivers, and so on. The appeal of the error theory stems in significant part from the prevalent thought that such explanations are strongly suggested by our present scientific conception of the world.1
Ellis, Jonathan (2005). Colour irrealism and the formation of colour concepts. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (1):53-73.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: According to colour irrealism, material objects do not have colour; they only appear to have colour. The appeal of this view, prominent among philosophers and scientists alike, stems in large part from the conviction that scientific explanations of colour facts do not ascribe colour to material objects. To explain why objects appear to have colour, for instance, we need only appeal to surface reflectance properties, properties of light, the neurophysiology of observers, etc. Typically attending colour irrealism is the error theory of ordinary colour judgement: ordinary judgements in which colour is ascribed to a material object are, strictly speaking, false. In this paper, I claim that colour irrealists who endorse the error theory cannot explain how we acquire colour concepts (yellow, green, etc.), concepts they must acknowledge we do possess. Our basic colour concepts, I argue, could not be phenomenal concepts that we acquire by attending to the colour properties of our experience. And, I explain, all other plausible explanations render colour concepts such that our ordinary colour judgements involving them are often true. Given the explanatory considerations upon which the irrealist's position is based, this is a severe problem for colour irrealism
Gatzia, Dimitria Electra (2010). Colour Fictionalism. Rivista Di Estetica (43).   (Google | More links)
Gatzia, Dimitria Electra (forthcoming). Fictional Colors. Sorites.   (Google)
Gold, Ian (2001). Spatial location in color vision. Consciousness and Cognition 10 (1):59-62.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Ross argues that the location problem for color-the problem of how it is represented as occupying a particular location in space-constitutes an objection to color subjectivism. There are two ways in which the location problem can be interpreted. First, it can be read as a why-question about the relation of visual experience to the environment represented: Why does visual experience represent a patch of color as located in this part of space rather than that? On this interpretation, the subjectivist can answer Ross's objection by appealing to the physical location of reflectance rather than color. Second, it can be read as a how-question about visual representation itself: How does visual experience put together the experience of a color with the experience of its being located in space? This version makes the location problem a problem about visual experience itself and renders the ontology of color irrelevant to its solution. The location problem is thus no more a problem for the color subjectivist than for the color realist
Hall, Richard J. (1996). The evolution of color vision without colors. Philosophy of Science Supplement 63 (3):125-33.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Hardin, C. L. (2004). A green thought in a green shade. Harvard Review of Philosophy 12:29-39.   (Cited by 8 | Google)
Hardin, C. L. (1984). Are scientific objects colored? Mind 93 (October):491-500.   (Google | More links)
Hardin, C. L. (2003). A spectral reflectance doth not a color make. Journal of Philosophy 100 (4):191-202.   (Cited by 9 | Google)
Hardin, C. L. (1990). Color and illusion. In William G. Lycan (ed.), Mind and Cognition. Blackwell.   (Cited by 18 | Google)
Hardin, Clyde L. (1988). Color for Philosophers: Unweaving the Rainbow. Hackett.   (Google)
Hazlett, Allan (ms). Color dualism.   (Google)
Abstract: According to a common view, colors are not properties of physical objects, but are merely powers to produce color experiences in observers. Locke and Descartes both seem to have defended this: [C]onsider the red and white colors in Porphyre: Hinder light but from striking on it, and its Colours Vanish; it not longer produces any such Ideas in us: Upon the return of Light, it produces these appearances on us again. […] It has, indeed such a Configuration of Particles, both Night and Day, as are apt by the Rays of Light rebounding from some parts of that hard Stone, to produce in us the Idea of redness, and from others the Idea of whiteness: But whiteness or redness are not in it at any time, but such a texture, that hath the power to produce such a sensation in us
Holman, Emmett L. (2002). Color eliminativism and color experience. Pacific Philosophical Quareterly 83 (1):38-56.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Maund, Barry (2003). Perception. Acumen.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Maund, Barry (2006). The illusory theory of colours: An anti-realist theory. Dialectica 60 (3):245-268.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Maund, J. Barry (1991). The nature of color. History of Philosophy Quarterly 8 (3):253-63.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
McDowell, John (2004). Reality and colours: Comment on Stroud. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (2):395-400.   (Google | More links)
McGilvray, James A. (1994). Constant colors in the head. Synthese 100 (2):197-239.   (Cited by 17 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   I defend a version of color subjectivism — that colors are sortals for certain neural events — by arguing against a sophisticated form of color objectivism and by showing how a subjectivist can legitimately explain the phenomenal fact that colors seem to be properties of external objects
McGilvray, James A. (1983). To color. Synthese 54 (January):37-70.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Mizrahi, Vivian & Nida-Rumelin, Martine (2006). Introduction. Dialectica 60 (3):209-222.   (Google | More links)
Pautz, Adam (online). Color eliminativism.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Philosophical theories of color divide over two issues. First, there is the issue of Reductionism versus Primitivism. _Reductionism_ holds that colors are identical with physical properties, dispositional properties, or other properties specifiable in non-chromatic terms
Pautz, Adam (2003). Have Byrne and Hilbert answered Hardin's challenge? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (1):44-45.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I argue that Byrne and Hilbert have not answered Hardin’s objection to physicalism about color concerning the unitary-binary structure of the colors for two reasons. First, their account of unitary-binary structure seems unsatisfactory. Second, _pace_ Byrne and Hilbert, there are no physicalistically acceptable candidates to be the hue- magnitudes. I conclude with a question about the justification of physicalism about color
Stroud, Barry G. (2002). Explaining the Quest and its prospects: Reply to Boghossian and Byrne. Philosophical Studies 108 (1-2):239-247.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   A brief description of the goal and main lines of argument of The Quest for Reality, in reply to the responses of Paul Boghossian and Alex Byrne
Stroud, Barry G. (2004). Replies. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (2):423-442.   (Google | More links)
Stroud, Barry G. (2000). The Quest for Reality: Subjectivism and the Metaphysics of Colour. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 45 | Google | More links)
Abstract: We say "the grass is green" or "lemons are yellow" to state what everyone knows. But are the things we see around us really colored, or do they only look that way because of the effects of light rays on our eyes and brains? Is color somehow "unreal" or "subjective" and dependent on our human perceptions and the conditions under which we see things? Distinguished scholar Barry Stroud investigates these and related questions in The Quest for Reality. In this long-awaited book, he examines what a person would have to do and believe in order to reach the conclusion that everyone's perceptions and beliefs about the color of things are "illusions" and do not accurately represent the way things are in the world as it is independently of us. Arguing that no such conclusion could be consistently reached, Stroud finds that the conditions of a successful unmasking of color cannot all be fulfilled. The discussion extends beyond color to present a serious challenge to many other philosophical attempts to discover the way things really are. A model of subtle, elegant, and rigorous philosophical writing, this study will attract a wide audience from all areas of philosophy
Tolliver, Joseph T. (1996). Interior colors. Philosophical Topics 22:411-41.   (Cited by 2 | Google)

3.7g Color Terms

Averill, Edward W. (1980). Why are colour terms primarily used as adjectives? Philosophical Quarterly 30 (January):19-33.   (Google | More links)
Brown, D. H. (2006). On the dual referent approach to colour theory. Philosophical Quarterly 56 (222):96-113.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Casati, Roberto (1993). Colour predicates and vagueness. Acta Analytica 10 (10):129-134.   (Google)
Cohen, Jonathan (2007). A relationalist's guide to error about color perception. Noûs 41 (2):335–353.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Color relationalism is the view that colors are constituted in terms of relations to perceiving subjects. Among its explanatory virtues, relation- alism provides a satisfying treatment of cases of perceptual variation. But it can seem that relationalists lack resources for saying that a representa- tion of x’s color is erroneous. Surely, though, a theory of color that makes errors of color perception impossible cannot be correct. In this paper I’ll argue that, initial appearances notwithstanding, relationalism contains the resources to account for errors of color perception. I’ll conclude that worries about making room for error are worries the relationalist can meet
Gold, Ian (1999). On Lewis on naming the colours. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 77 (3):365-370.   (Google | More links)
Hazen, A. P. (1999). On naming the colours. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 77 (2):224-231.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Lewis, David (1997). Naming the colours. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 75 (3):325-42.   (Cited by 54 | Google | More links)
Mizrahi, Vivian (2006). Color objectivism and color pluralism. Dialectica 60 (3):283-306.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Most objectivist and dispositionalist theories of color have tried to resolve the challenge raised by color variations by drawing a distinction between real and apparent colors. This paper considers such a strategy to be fundamentally erroneous. The high degree of variability of colors constitutes a crucial feature of colors and color perception; it cannot be avoided without leaving aside the real nature of color. The objectivist theory of color defended in this paper holds that objects have locally many different objective colors. Most color variations are then real and result from the extreme richness of color properties.
Mizrahi, Vivian (2009). Is colour composition phenomenal? In D. Skusevich & P. Matikas (eds.), Color Perception: Physiology, Processes and Analysis. Nova Science Publishers.   (Google)
Abstract: Most philosophical or scientific theories suppose that colour composition judgments refer to the way colours appear to us. The dominant view is therefore phenomenalist in the sense that colour composition is phenomenally given to perceivers. This paper argues that there is no evidence for a phenomenalist view of colour composition and that a conventionalist approach should be favoured.
Nida-Rumelin, Martine (1997). The character of color predicates: A phenomenalist view. In M. Anduschus, Albert Newen & Wolfgang Kunne (eds.), Direct Reference, Indexicality, and Propositional Attitudes. CSLI Press.   (Google)
Pilat, Robert (online). Colour names and the concepts of colours.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: There is growing body of knowledge about how humans and animals perceive col- ours; we may safely say that both physiology and physics of colour perception are becoming less and less mysterious. Still it doesn't help to solve a philosophical puzzle: What do exactly mean expressions like “perceived red” or “perceived green”? What do perceived colours refer to in the world? There are three problem fields I am touching on in this paper: (i) semantics of colour names, (ii) ontological status of colours, (iii) cognitive relevance of colours. I am trying to formulate onto- logical and epistemological assumptions for semantics of colour names. I am espe- cially focused on classical problem of objectivity of colours. While pursuing my task I am making some critical remarks about Wittgenstein's views on colours as formulated in “Tractatus” and modified in “Remarks on Colours”. I am using
Spohn, Wolfgang (1997). The character of color predicates: A materialist view. In M. Anduschus, Albert Newen & Wolfgang Kunne (eds.), Direct Reference, Indexicality, and Propositional Attitudes. CSLI Press.   (Cited by 13 | Google | More links)
Abstract: where _x_ stands for a visible object and _y_ for a perceiving subject (the reference to a time may be neglected).1 I take here ”character” in the sense of Kaplan (1977) as substantiated by Haas-Spohn (1995 and Chapter 14 in this book)). The point of using Kaplan’s framework is simple, but of utmost importance: It provides a scheme for clearly separating epistemological and metaphysical issues, for specifying how the two domains are related, and for connecting them to questions concerning meaning where confusions are often only duplicated. All this is achieved by it better than by any alternative I know of.2
Srzednicki, D. J. (1962). Incompatibility statements. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 40 (August):178-186.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Sutton, John (ms). Review of Don Dedrick, naming the Rainbow: Colour language, colour science, and culture.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: By spotlighting the irreducible role of cognitive processes between biology and culture, this synthesis and critique of the universalist tradition in colour science offers a genuine starting-point for all future 'serious inquiry into the relationship between linguistic and non-linguistic aspects of colour classification'

3.7h Color, Misc

Aldrich, Virgil C. (1954). The last word on being red and blue all over. Philosophical Studies 5 (1):5-10.   (Google | More links)
Arbini, Ronald (1963). Frederick Ferre on colour incompatibility. Mind 72 (October):586-590.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Austin, James W. (1980). Wittgenstein's solutions to the color exclusion problem. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 41 (September-December):142-149.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Brenner, William H. (1987). Brownish-yellow' and 'reddish-green. Philosophical Investigations 10 (July):200-211.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Buckner, D. K. (1986). Transparently false: Reply to Hardin. Analysis 46 (March):86-87.   (Google)
Byrne, Alex & Hilbert, David R. (1997). Colors and reflectances. In Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (eds.), Readings on Color, Volume 1: The Philosophy of Color. MIT Press.   (Cited by 65 | Google | More links)
Abstract: When we open our eyes, the world seems full of colored opaque objects, light sources, and transparent volumes. One historically popular view, _eliminativism_, is that the world is not in this respect as it appears to be: nothing has any color. Color _realism_, the denial of eliminativism, comes in three mutually exclusive varieties, which may be taken to exhaust the space of plausible realist theories. Acccording to _dispositionalism_, colors are _psychological_ dispositions: dispositions to produce certain kinds of visual experiences. According to both _primitivism_ and _physicalism_, colors are not psychological dispositions; they differ in that primitivism says that no reductive analysis of the colors is possible, whereas physicalism says that they are physical properties. This paper is a defense of physicalism about color
Byrne, Alex (2003). Color and similarity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):641-65.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Abstract: 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)
Byrne, Alex (2006). Color and the mind-body problem. Dialectica 60 (2):223-44.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Abstract: b>: there is no “mind-body problem”, or “hard problem of consciousness”; if there is a hard problem of something, it is the problem of reconciling the manifest and scientific images
Byrne, Alex & Hilbert, David R. (1997). Glossary of color science. In A. Byrne & D. R. Hilbert (eds.), Readings on Color, Volume 2: The Science of Color. MIT Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Anomaloscope An instrument used for detecting anomalies of color vision. The test subject adjusts the ratio of two monochromatic lights to form a match with a third monochromatic light. The most common form of this procedure involves a Rayleigh match: a match between a mixture of monochromatic green and red lights, and a monochromatic yellow light. Normal subjects will choose a matching ratio of red to green light that falls within a fairly narrow range of values. Subjects with anomalous color vision will choose a ratio of red to green that falls outside this range, and red-green dichromats will accept any ratio of red to green as forming a match
Byrne, Alex & Hilbert, David R. (1997). Readings on Color, Volume 2: The Science of Color. MIT Press.   (Cited by 14 | Google)
Cohen, Jonathan (2008). Colour constancy as counterfactual. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (1):61 – 92.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: 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
Cohen, Jonathan (2001). Two recent anthologies on color. Philosophical Psychology 14 (1):118-122.   (Google)
Abstract: 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
Cummins, Robert E. (1978). The missing shade of blue. Philosophical Review 87 (October):548-565.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Davis, Steven (ed.) (2000). Color Perception: Philosophical, Psychological, Artistic, and Computational Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Abstract: Color has been studied for centuries, but has never been completely understood. Digital technology has recently sparked a burgeoning interdisciplinary interest in color. The fact that color is a quality of perception rather than a physical quality brings up a host of interesting questions of interest to both artists and scholars. This volume--the ninth in the Vancouver Studies in Cognitive Science series--brings together chapters by psychologists, philosophers, computer scientists, and artists to explore the nature of human color perception with the aim to further our understanding of color by encouraging interdisciplinary interaction
Foster, D. (2003). Does colour constancy exist? Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7:439-443.   (Cited by 24 | Google | More links)
Gilbert, Paul (1989). Reflections on white: A rejoinder to Westphal. Mind 98 (July):423-6.   (Google | More links)
Gilbert, Paul (1987). Westphal and Wittgenstein on white. Mind 76 (July):399-403.   (Google | More links)
Graham, J. L. (1999). Room enough for one: Towards a solution for color incompatibility. Philosophical Investigations 22 (3):240-261.   (Google | More links)
Hardin, C. L. (1985). A transparent case for subjectivism. Analysis 45 (March):117-119.   (Google)
Hardin, C. L. (1989). Could white be green? Mind 98 (390):285-8.   (Google | More links)
Hardin, C. L. (1985). The resemblances of colors. Philosophical Studies 48 (July):35-47.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Hilton, John (1961). Red and green all over again. Analysis 22 (December):47-48.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Hilbert, David R. (online). Theories of colour.   (Google)
Abstract: The world as perceived by human beings is full of colour. The world as described by physical scientists is composed of colourless particles and fields. Philosophical theories of colour since the scientific revolution have been primarily driven by a desire to harmonize these two apparently conflicting pictures of the world. Any adequate theory of colour has to be consistent with the characteristics of colour as perceived without contradicting the deliverances of the physical sciences. Given this conception of the aim of a theory of colour, there are three possibilities for resolving the apparent conflict between the scientific and perceptual facts. The first possibility is to deny that physical objects have colours. Theories of this kind admit that objects appear coloured but maintain that these appearances are misleading. The conflict is resolved by removing colour from the external world. Second, it might be that colour is a relational property. For an object to possess a particular colour it must be related in the right way to a perceiver. One common version of this view analyzes colour as a disposition to cause particular kinds of perceptual experiences in a human being. Since the physical sciences deal only with the intrinsic properties of physical objects and their relations to other physical objects and not their relations to perceiving subjects, the possibility of conflict is removed. A third possible response to the conflict is to maintain that colour really is a property of external objects and that the conflict is merely apparent. Some theories of this form maintain that colour is identical to a physical property of objects. Others maintain that colour is a property that physical objects possess over and above all their physical
1
properties. Philosophical discussions of colour typically take the form of either elaborating on one of these three possibilities or attempting to show more generally that one of these three types of responses is to be preferred to the others..
Horner, Elaine (2000). 'There cannot be a transparent white': A defence of Wittgenstein's account of the puzzle propositions. Philosophical Investigations 23 (3):218-241.   (Google | More links)
Lotto, R. Beau & Purves, Dale (2002). The empirical basis of color perception. Consciousness and Cognition 11 (4):609-629.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Mamiani, Maurizio (2000). The structure of a scientific controversy: Hooke versus Newton about colors. In Scientific Controversies: Philosophical and Historical Perspectives. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
McGinn, M. (1991). Westphal on the physical basis of color incompatibility. Analysis 51 (October):218-22.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Mizrahi, Vivian (2010). Color and transparency. Rivista di Estetica 43 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: 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.
Myin, Erik (2001). Color and the duplication assumption. Synthese 129 (1):61-77.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   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
O'Hair, S. G. (1969). Putnam on reds and greens. Philosophical Review 78 (October):504-506.   (Google | More links)
Pears, David F. (1951). Incompatibilities of colours. In Logic And Language. Oxford,: Blackwell.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Radford, Colin (1965). Reply to mr Kenner's the triviality of the red-green problem. Analysis 25 (June):207-208.   (Google)
Radford, Colin (1963). The insolubility of the red-green problem. Analysis 23 (January):68-71.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Suarez, Juan & Nida-Rumelin, Martine (ms). Reddish green: A challenge for modal claims about phenomenal structure.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Tye, Michael (2007). True blue redux. Analysis 67 (1):92-93.   (Google)
Abstract: 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
Unwin, Nicholas (ms). Explaining Colour Phenomenology: Reduction versus Connection.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: 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.
Westphal, Jonathan (1989). Black. Mind 98 (October):585-9.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Westphal, Jonathan (1988). Reply to Gilbert's Westphal and Wittgenstein on white. Mind 97 (October):603-604.   (Google)
Westphal, Jonathan (1986). White. Mind 95 (379):310-28.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)