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3.7c. Primitivist Theories of Color (Primitivist Theories of Color on PhilPapers)

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)