Reflectance realism and colour constancy: What would count as scientific evidence for Hilbert's ontology of colour?
Graduate studies at Western
Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (4):563 – 582 (2008)
Reflectance realism is an important position in the philosophy of colour. This paper is an examination of David R. Hilbert’s case for there being scientific support for the theory. The specific point in question is whether colour science has shown that reflectance is recovered by the human visual system. Following a discussion of possible counter-evidence in the recent scientific literature, I make the argument that conflicting interpretations of the data on reflectance recovery are informed by different theoretical assumptions about the nature of
colour, and of perception. If this is so, there cannot be neutral empirical
evidence on this point, and this does seem to undermine Hilbert’s claim for
empirical support. In the end, I suggest alternative ways of thinking about the relationship between colour ontology and empirical work on colour.
|Keywords||Colour Philosophy of Cognitive Science Philosophy of Perception Philosophy of Neuroscience|
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