Brown

Inquiry 25 (4):417 – 433 (1982)
Abstract
In Remarks on Colour Wittgenstein discusses a number of puzzling propositions about brown, e.g. that it cannot be pure and that there cannot be a brown light. He does not actually answer the questions he asks, and the status of his projected ?logic of colour concepts? remains unclear. I offer a real definition of brown from which the puzzle propositions follow logically. It is based on two experiments from Helmholtz. Brown is shown to be logically complex in the sense that the concept of brown can be ?unpacked? or resolved into simpler concepts. If my solutions to Wittgenstein's puzzles are the right ones, then science does bear upon the ?logic of colour concepts?, and the contrast between logic and science which Wittgenstein sets up is a false one. At best it will appear as the contrast between the demands of logic and the demands of a particular kind of scientific theory and a particular mode of scientific theorizing. The solutions to the puzzles about brown are distinguished from psychological explanations, and the paper ends by suggesting what it was in his own doctrine that prevented Wittgenstein from answering the questions he had set himself
Keywords Color  Epistemology  Wittgenstein
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References found in this work BETA
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1977). Remarks on Colour. University of California Press.
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Similar books and articles
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1936). The Brown Book. Blackwell (First Published From the Revised Dictated Notes 1958; Second Edition 1969).
Tine Wilde (2002). The 4th Dimension. Wittgenstein on Colour and Imagination. In Christian Kanzian, Josef Quitterer & Edmund Runggaldier (eds.), Persons. An Interdisciplinary Approach. Papers of the 25th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society. 284-286.
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