The relativity of color

Synthese 123 (1):105-130 (2000)
C. L. Hardin led a recent development in the philosophical literature on color in which research from visual science is used to argue that colors are not properties of physical objects, but rather are mental processes. I defend J. J. C. Smart''s physicalism, which claims that colors are physical properties of objects, against this attack. Assuming that every object has a single veridical (that is, nonillusory) color, it seems that physicalism must give a specification of veridical color in terms natural to physics, independently of our interests. Hardin argues that since physicalism doesn''t give us any such specification of veridical color, this view is false. However, this argument assumes a mistaken account of veridical color. I show physicalism can appeal to an alternative account, according to which veridical color is characterized in terms of favored conditions of perceptual access, independently of any specification of the physical nature of color.
Keywords Color  Metaphysics  Physicalism  Property  Relativity  Hardin, C
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DOI 10.1023/A:1005265725232
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Peter W. Ross (2001). Qualia and the Senses. Philosophical Quarterly 51 (205):495-511.
Peter W. Ross (2001). Locating Color: Further Thoughts. Consciousness and Cognition 10 (1):146-156.
Peter W. Ross (1999). The Appearance and Nature of Color. Southern Journal of Philosophy 37 (2):227-252.

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