Colours: Their Nature and Representation

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 30, 2009 - Philosophy - 268 pages
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The world as we experience it is full of colour. This book defends the radical thesis that no physical object has any of the colours we experience it as having. The author provides a unified account of colour that shows why we experience the illusion and why the illusion is not to be dispelled but welcomed. He develops a pluralist framework of colour-concepts in which other, more sophisticated concepts of colour are introduced to supplement the simple concept that is presupposed in our ordinary colour experience. The discussion draws on philosophical and scientific literature, both historical and modern, but it is not technical, and will appeal to a broad range of philosophers, cognitive scientists and historians of science.
 

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Contents

The representation of colour
1
Colours as virtual properties
25
What colours are essentially
50
The dispositional analysis
68
Conclusion
77
The referential component of properties Evans and Kripke
79
The natural concept of colour
84
The natural concept of colour
85
Difficulties with psychophysical colour
143
Conclusion
146
objectivist and dispositionals
149
Colour truths
155
Colour constancy
158
Objectivist views and appearances
161
Modes of colour appearance
164
Conclusion
168

A question of methodology
88
Thomas Reid and common sense on colour
90
the linguistic and perceptual aspects
94
A role for explicit beliefs
96
An implicit theory of perception
97
Colours as sensible qualities
99
Knowledge of colour appearances
100
Qualia
101
The right account of the natural concept
102
Review
104
the pluralist framework Introduction to Part II
105
The pluralist framework
107
Conceptual splitting
109
The pluralist view of colour
114
Objectivist accounts of colour
116
Blue is blue and nothing else
117
The causal role of colour
120
The autonomy of colour
124
Colour as a disjunctive set of properties
126
The prospects for reductive realism
130
Real by convention
133
The variety of standard conditions
135
Anthropocentric realism
137
The character of psychological space
141
Colours and consciousness Introduction to Part III
171
Colour qualia
174
Qualia
175
Qualia and functionalism
177
Harman and the intrinsic quality of experience
182
The intensionalist account
184
Misconceptions about qualia
190
An argument for qualia
193
A new argument from illusion
195
The significance of the firstperson point of view
197
Physicalist objections
201
Conclusion
205
The psychological reality of colour
206
What are psychological primary colours?
207
Culture and biology
208
Wittgenstein and colour classification
212
Phenomenal qualities and cultural diversity
217
Virtual qualities and the Private Language Argument
220
Phenomenal qualities and private language
224
Intuitive and abstract knowledge
230
Conclusion
236
Bibliography
237
Index
243
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