Introduction to the philosophy of colour

Brown, D. H. and Macpherson, F. (2021) Introduction to the philosophy of colour. In: Brown, D. H. and Macpherson, F. (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Colour. Series: Routledge handbooks in philosophy. Routledge: Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY, pp. 1-21. ISBN 9780415743037 (doi: 10.4324/9781351048521-1)

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This chapter explores why the examination of many different aspects of colour has been a prominent feature in philosophy. It is because, first, colours are exceedingly familiar, seemingly simple features that become enigmatic under scrutiny, and they are difficult to capture in any familiar-sounding, unsophisticated theory. Second, through colour one can confront various problems that span the breadth of philosophy, including problems pertaining to perception, the mind-body relation, the nature of science, scepticism, vagueness, meta-ethics, and aesthetics. Colour’s usefulness in philosophy is also due to colour being an enduring example of perceptual variation: the experienced colour of a jacket can change depending on lighting conditions, one’s previous retinal state, and the absorption curves of different perceivers’ cones, among other things. The triggering of colour experience by non-traditional stimuli is often classified as a form of colour illusion, and the extent and nature of colours illusions is always a crucial topic to philosophy of perception.

Item Type:Book Sections (Introduction)
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Brown, Dr Derek and Macpherson, Professor Fiona
Authors: Brown, D. H., and Macpherson, F.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Published Online:28 September 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The contributors
First Published:First published in The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Colour:1-21
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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