Colour, world and archimedean metaphysics: Stroud and the Quest for reality [Book Review]

Erkenntnis 66 (1-2):27-71 (2007)
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.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA
    Alex Byrne (2002). Yes, Virginia, Lemons Are Yellow. Philosophical Studies 108 (1-2):213-22.
    Donald Davidson (1991). Three Varieties of Knowledge. In A. Phillips Griffiths (ed.), A. J. Ayer Memorial Essays. New York: Cambridge University Press. 153-166.

    View all 11 references

    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    30 ( #49,068 of 1,089,047 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,722 of 1,089,047 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.