Do colours look like dispositions? A reply to Langsam et al

Dispositionalism says that the colours are dispositions to produce certain sorts of experiences in perceivers—that colours are secondary qualities, on one use of that term. Recently dispositionalism has been under attack on the ground that “colours do not look like dispositions” (Dancy 1986, Boghossian and Velleman 1989, McGinn 1996; see also McGinn 1983, 132-6, and Johnston 19921). In response, Langsam has argued that, on the contrary, “colours d o look like dispositions” (2000, 74).2 This note makes three claims. First, neither side has made its case. Secondly, it’s true—on one interpretation—that colours do not look like dispositions. Thirdly, this does not show that dispositionalism is false.
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