Color, error, and explanatory power

Dialectica 60 (2):171-179 (2006)
At least since Democritus, philosophers have been fond of the idea that material objects do not “really” have color. One such view is the error theory, according to which our ordinary judgments ascribing colors to objects are all erroneous, false; no object has any color at all. The error theorist proposes that everything that is so, including the fact that material objects appear to us to have color, can be explained without ever attributing color to objects—by appealing merely to, e.g., surface reflectance properties, the nature of light, the neurophysiology of perceivers, and so on. The appeal of the error theory stems in significant part from the prevalent thought that such explanations are strongly suggested by our present scientific conception of the world.1
Keywords Belief  Color  Error  Explanation  Metaphysics  Stroud, Barry
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DOI 10.1111/j.1746-8361.2005.01047.x
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