Color, subjective reactions, and qualia

In Enrique Villanueva (ed.), Philosophical Issues. Atascadero: Ridgeview. 55-66 (1996)
Abstract
Let me begin by indicating where I think Harman and I are in agreement. We both think that "subjective reactions" must come into an account of color, although we have different views about how they do. We both think that perceptual experience has a "presentational or representational character," and that color is represented by our visual experiences as a feature of external objects, not as a feature of our experience. Moreover, we agree that, as Harman puts it, "color is experienced as a simple basic quality, rather than a disposition or complex of causal properties." As Harman emphasized in an earlier paper, 1 what we are introspectively aware of in our experience is its presentational or representational content, not any "mental paint" which bestows this content. I shall refer to all of this as Harman's "phenomenological point." Because we agree on this, we also agree that if his characters George and Mary were spectrum inverted relative to each other, supposing that to be possible, this would have to involve their perceiving the same objects as having different properties, this despite the fact that as normal perceivers they would perceive these objects as having the same colors. And I think we agree that in this case the properties would have to be relational ones, defined or constituted by their relations to the experiences of the subject perceiving them
Keywords Color  Perception  Qualia  Harman, G
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    William P. Alston (2005). Perception and Representation. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):253-289.
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