David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 104 (1):1-32 (1995)
b>. Computational models of colour vision assume that the biological function of colour vision is to detect surface reflectance. Some philosophers invoke these models as a basis for 'externalism' about perceptual content (content is distal) and 'objectivism' about colour (colour is surface reflectance). In an earlier article (Thompson et al. 1992), I criticized the 'computational objectivist' position on the basis of comparative colour vision: There are fundmental differences among the colour vision of animals and these differences do not converge on the detection of any single type of environmental property. David R. Hilbert (1992) has recently defended computational objectivism against my 'comparative argument;' his arguments are based on the externalist approach to perceptual content originally developed by Mohan Matthen (1988) and on the computationally inspired theory of the evolutionary basis for trichromacy developed by Roger N. Shepard (1990). The present article provides a reply to Hilbert with extensive criticism of both Matthen's and Shepard's theories. I argue that the biological function of colour vision is not to detect surface reflectance, but to provide a set of perceptual categories that can apply to objects in a stable way in a variety of conditions. Comparative research indicates that both the perceptual categories and the distal stimuli will differ according to the animal and its visual ecology; therefore externalism and objectivism must be rejected
|Keywords||Color Epistemology Perception Science Vision|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
John R. Searle (1983). Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind. Cambridge University Press.
Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson & Eleanor Rosch (1991). The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. MIT Press.
S. J. Gould & R. C. Lewontin (1994). The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme. In E. Sober (ed.), Conceptual Issues in Evolutionary Biology. The MIT Press. Bradford Books 73-90.
Citations of this work BETA
Lauren Olin (2016). Burge on Perception and Sensation. Synthese 193 (5):1479-1508.
Elizabeth Schier (2007). The Represented Object of Color Experience. Philosophical Psychology 20 (1):1 – 27.
Similar books and articles
Mazviita Chirimuuta (2008). Reflectance Realism and Colour Constancy: What Would Count as Scientific Evidence for Hilbert's Ontology of Colour? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (4):563 – 582.
Mohan P. Matthen (1999). The Disunity of Color. Philosophical Review 108 (1):47-84.
Derek H. Brown (2006). On the Dual Referent Approach to Colour Theory. Philosophical Quarterly 56 (222):96-113.
J. Van Brakel (1993). The Plasticity of Categories: The Case of Colour. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1):103-135.
Jaap Van Brakel (1993). The Plasticity of Categories: The Case of Colour. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1):103-135.
Bernard Harrison (1967). On Describing Colors. Inquiry 10 (1-4):38-52.
W. R. Webster (2002). Wavelength Theory of Color Strikes Back: The Return of the Physical. Synthese 132 (3):303-34.
Evan Thompson (1995). Colour Vision. Routledge.
Don Dedrick (1995). Objectivism and the Evolutionary Value of Color Vision. Dialogue 34 (1):35-44.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads61 ( #66,579 of 1,790,256 )
Recent downloads (6 months)10 ( #83,381 of 1,790,256 )
How can I increase my downloads?