A light theory with heavy burdens

Philosophical Studies 126 (1):57 - 70 (2005)
Abstract
In “ A Light Theory of Color”, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and David Sparrow argue that color is neither a primary quality of objects, nor a disposition that objects have, nor a property of our visual fields. Rather, according to the view they present, color is a property of light. The present paper aims to show, first, that the light theory is vulnerable to many of the very same objections that Sinnott-Armstrong and Sparrow raise against rival views. Second, the paper argues that the strategies that Sinnott-Armstrong and Sparrow use to avoid certain objections are also available to proponents of rival accounts. This might only seem to show that the light theory is in the same shaky boat as other theories: suffering from the same problems but having the same tools for solving them. The paper concludes with a suggestion as to why this is not the case, but why the existence of the light theory is nevertheless likely to bring increased clarity to the debate about color realism.
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