A colour sorting task reveals the limits of the Universalist/Relativist dichotomy

Abstract
We designed a new protocol requiring French adult participants to group a large number of Munsell colour chips into three or four groups. On one, relativist, view, participants would be expected to rely on their colour lexicon in such a task. In this [ramework, the resulting groups should be more similar to French colour categories than to other languages categories. On another, universalist, view, participants would be expected to rely on universal features of perception. In this second framework, the resulting groups should match colour categories of three and four basic terms languages. In this work, we first collected data to build an accurate map of French colour terms categories (Experiment 1). We went on testing how native French speakers spontaneously sorted a set of randomly presented coloured chips and, in line with the relativist prediction, we found that the resulting colour groups were more similar to French colour categories than to three and four basic terms languages (Experiment 2). However, the same results were obtained in a verbal interference condition (Experiment 3), suggesting that participants rely on language specific and nevertheless perceptual, colour categories. Collectively, these results suggest that the universalist/relativist dichotomy is a too narrow one.
Keywords Categorization  Colour  Perception  Language
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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 Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Jaap Van Brakel (1993). The Plasticity of Categories: The Case of Colour. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1):103-135.
    J. Van Brakel (1993). The Plasticity of Categories: The Case of Colour. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1):103 - 135.
    Oscar Vilarroya (2005). A Categorial Mutation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):508-509.
    Tine Wilde (2002). The 4th Dimension. Wittgenstein on Colour and Imagination. In Christian Kanzian, Josef Quitterer & Edmund Runggaldier (eds.), Persons. An Interdisciplinary Approach. Papers of the 25th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society. 284-286.
    David H. Foster (2003). Does Colour Constancy Exist? Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7 (10):439-443.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2012-01-24

    Total downloads

    3 ( #223,982 of 1,088,400 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,400 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


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