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Profile: David R. Hilbert (University of Illinois, Chicago)
  1. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert, Urban Light and Color.
    In Colour for Architecture, published in 1976, the editors, Tom Porter and Byron Mikellides, explain that their book was “produced out of an awareness that colour, as a basic and vital force, is lacking from the built environment and that our knowledge of it is isolated and limited.”1 Lack of urban color was then especially salient in Britain—where the book was published—which had just begun to recoil at the Brutalist legacy of angular stained gray concrete strewn across the postwar landscape. (...)
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  2. David R. Hilbert, Colour, Theories Of.
    The world as perceived by human beings is full of colour. The world as described by physical scientists is composed of colourless particles and fields. Philosophical theories of colour since the scientific revolution have been primarily driven by a desire to harmonize these two apparently conflicting pictures of the world. Any adequate theory of colour has to be consistent with the characteristics of colour as perceived without contradicting the deliverances of the physical sciences. Given this conception of the aim of (...)
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  3. David R. Hilbert, Spraying Color.
    What is color? Of course, examples of colorful objects are not hard to come by (Fig. 1 provides numerous examples), so the question itself is slightly puzzling, suggesting that some confusion needs to be cleared up or ignorance enlightened. But how could anyone (who isn’t blind or Fig. 1 Atoms Inside Balloons totally lacking in color vision) possibly be confused about what color is? After all, if we learn anything about the world merely by looking at it, it’s the colors (...)
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  4. David R. Hilbert, Content, Intention, and Explanation.
    Naturalistic theories of content and whether or not reason-giving explanations of human behavior are causal explanations have been central topics in recent philosophy of mind. Fred Dretske, in his book Explaining Behavior, attempts to construct a naturalistic theory of the contents of beliefs and desires that gives these mental states an important role in the causation of behavior. Even if Dretske is granted that the theory adequately accounts for individual behaviors the theory still faces problems in offering an adequate account (...)
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  5. David R. Hilbert, Why Have Experiences?
    In _An Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision_ George Berkeley made the claim that,.
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  6. Alex Byme & David R. Hilbert (2011). Are Colors Secondary Qualities? In Lawrence Nolan (ed.), Primary and Secondary Qualities: The Historical and Ongoing Debate. Oxford University Press.
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  7. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (2011). Are Colors Secondary Qualities? In Lawrence Nolan (ed.), Primary and Secondary Qualities: The Historical and Ongoing Debate. Oxford University Press.
     
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  8. David R. Hilbert & Alex Byrne (2010). How Do Things Look to the Color-Blind? In Jonathan Cohen & Mohan Matthen (eds.), Color Ontology and Color Science. Mit Press. 259.
    forthcoming in Color Ontology and Color Science, ed. J. Cohen and M. Matthen (MIT).
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  9. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (2008). Basic Sensible Qualities and the Structure of Appearance. Philosophical Issues 18 (1):385-405.
    A sensible quality is a perceptible property, a property that physical objects (or events) perceptually appear to have. Thus smells, tastes, colors and shapes are sensible qualities. An egg, for example, may smell rotten, taste sour, and look cream and round.1,2 The sensible qualities are not a miscellanous jumble—they form complex structures. Crimson, magenta, and chartreuse are not merely three different shades of color: the first two are more similar than either is to the third. Familiar color spaces or color (...)
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  10. David R. Hilbert (2008). Basic Tastes and Unique Hues. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (1):82-82.
    The logic of the basic taste concept is discussed in relation to the physiology and psychophysics of color vision. An alternative version of the basic taste model, analogous to opponent-process theory is introduced. The logic of quality naming experiments is clarified.
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  11. David R. Hilbert & Alex Byrne (2008). Basic Sensible Qualities and the Structure of Appearance. Philosophical Issues 18 (1):385-405.
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  12. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (2007). Truest Blue. Analysis 67 (1):87-92.
    Physical objects are coloured: roses are red, violets are blue, and so forth. In particular, physical objects have fine-grained shades of colour: a certain chip, we can suppose, is true blue (unique, or pure blue). The following sort of scenario is commonplace. The chip looks true blue to John; in the same (ordinary) viewing conditions it looks (slightly) greenish-blue to Jane. Both John and Jane are “normal” perceivers. Now, nothing can be both true blue and greenish-blue; since the chip is (...)
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  13. David R. Hilbert (2007). Drink on, the Jolly Prelate Cries. In Steven Hales (ed.), Philosophy and Beer. Routledge.
    The 18th century philosopher and Anglican bishop, George Berkeley, is chiefly known to posterity for advocating the radical thesis that there is no unthinking stuff in the world. According to Berkeley, bar stools, kegs, mugs and the all paraphernalia of ordinary life (plus everything else) are merely ideas and have no existence outside the mind of those seated on the stools, tapping the kegs, and drinking from the mugs. What is less well-known is that Berkeley devoted much of his energy (...)
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  14. David R. Hilbert (2007). Truest Blue. Analysis 67 (1):87 - 92.
    1. The “puzzle” Physical objects are coloured: roses are red, violets are blue, and so forth. In particular, physical objects have fine-grained shades of colour: a certain chip, we can suppose, is true blue (unique, or pure blue). The following sort of scenario is commonplace. The chip looks true blue to John; in the same (ordinary) viewing conditions it looks (slightly) greenish-blue to Jane. Both John and Jane are “normal” perceivers. Now, nothing can be both true blue and greenish-blue; since (...)
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  15. David R. Hilbert & Alex Byrne (2007). Color Primitivism. Erkenntnis 66 (1/2):73 - 105.
    The typical kind of color realism is reductive: the color properties are identified with properties specified in other terms (as ways of altering light, for instance). If no reductive analysis is available — if the colors are primitive sui generis properties — this is often taken to be a convincing argument for eliminativism. That is, realist primitivism is usually thought to be untenable. The realist preference for reductive theories of color over the last few decades is particularly striking in light (...)
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  16. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (2006). Color Primitivism. In Ralph Schumacher (ed.), Perception and Status of Secondary Qualities. Kluwer. 73 - 105.
    The realist preference for reductive theories of color over the last few decades is particularly striking in light of the generally anti-reductionist mood of recent philosophy of mind. The parallels between the mind-body problem and the case of color are substantial enough that the difference in trajectory is surprising. While dualism and non-.
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  17. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (2006). Hoffman's "Proof" of the Possibility of Spectrum Inversion. Consciousness and Cognition 15 (1):48-50.
    Philosophers have devoted a great deal of discussion to the question of whether an inverted spectrum thought experiment refutes functionalism. (For a review of the inverted spectrum and its many philosophical applications, see Byrne, 2004.) If Ho?man is correct the matter can be swiftly and conclusively settled, without appeal to any empirical data about color vision (or anything else). Assuming only that color experiences and functional relations can be mathematically represented, a simple mathematical result.
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  18. Nick Huggett & David R. Hilbert (2006). Groups in Mind. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):765-77.
    We consider the question of the manner of the internalization of the geometry and topology of physical space in the mind, both the mechanism of internalization and precisely what structures are internalized. Though we will not argue for the point here, we agree with the long tradition which holds that an understanding of this issue is crucial for addressing many metaphysical and epistemological questions concerning space.
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  19. David R. Hilbert (2005). Color Constancy and the Complexity of Color. Philosophical Topics 33 (1):141-158.
    We can start with a definition. “[C]olour constancy is the constancy of the perceived colours of surfaces under changes in the intensity and spectral composition of the illumination.” (Foster et al. 1997) Given the definition we can now ask a question: Does human color vision exhibit color constancy?1 The answer to the question depends in part on how we interpret it. If the question is understood as asking whether human color vision displays constancy for every possible scene across every possible (...)
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  20. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (2004). Comments and Criticism. Journal of Philosophy 101 (1):37-43.
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  21. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (2004). Hardin, Tye, and Color Physicalism. Journal of Philosophy 101 (1):37-43.
    Larry Hardin has been the most steadfast and influential critic of physicalist theories of color over the last 20 years. In their modern form these theories originated with the work of Smart and Armstrong in the 1960s and 1970s1 and Hardin appropriately concentrated on their views in his initial critique of physicalism.2 In his most recent contribution to this project3 he attacks Michael Tye’s recent attempts to defend and extend color physicalism.4 Like Byrne and Hilbert5, Tye identifies color with the (...)
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  22. David R. Hilbert (2004). Hallucination, Sense-Data and Direct Realism. Philosophical Studies 120 (1-3):185-191.
    Although it has been something of a fetish for philosophers to distinguish between hallucination and illusion, the enduring problems for philosophy of perception that both phenomena present are not essentially different. Hallucination, in its pure philosophical form, is just another example of the philosopher’s penchant for considering extreme and extremely idealized cases in order to understand the ordinary. The problem that has driven much philosophical thinking about perception is the problem of how to reconcile our evident direct perceptual contact with (...)
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  23. David R. Hilbert (2004). Hardin, Tye, and Color Physicalism. Journal of Philosophy 101 (1):37 - 43.
  24. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (2003). Color Realism and Color Science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (1):3-21.
    The target article is an attempt to make some progress on the problem of color realism. Are objects colored? And what is the nature of the color properties? We defend the view that physical objects (for instance, tomatoes, radishes, and rubies) are colored, and that colors are physical properties, specifically types of reflectance. This is probably a minority opinion, at least among color scientists. Textbooks frequently claim that physical objects are not colored, and that the colors are "subjective" or "in (...)
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  25. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (2003). Color Realism Redux. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (1):52-59.
    Our reply is in three parts. The first part concerns some foundational issues in the debate about color realism. The second part addresses the many objections to the version of physicalism about color ("productance physicalism") defended in the target article. The third part discusses the leading alternative approaches and theories endorsed by the commentators.
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  26. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (2003). Color Realism Revisited. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (6):791-793.
    Our reply is in four parts. The first part, R1, addresses objections to our claim that there might be “unknowable” color facts. The second part, R2, discusses the use we make of opponent process theory. The third part, R3, examines the question of whether colors are causes. The fourth part, R4, takes up some issues concerning the content of visual experience.
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  27. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (2002). Philosophical Issues About Colour Vision. In L. Nagel (ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Macmillan.
    The primary issues concern whether objects have colours, and what sorts of properties the colours are. Some philosophers hold that nothing is coloured, others that colour are powers to affect perceivers, and others that colours are physical properties.
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  28. David R. Hilbert & Mark Eli Kalderon (2000). Color and the Inverted Spectrum. In Steven Davis (ed.), Vancouver Studies in Cognitive Science. New York: Oxford University Press. 187-214.
    If you trained someone to emit a particular sound at the sight of something red, another at the sight of something yellow, and so on for other colors, still he would not yet be describing objects by their colors. Though he might be a help to us in giving a description. A description is a representation of a distribution in a space (in that of time, for instance).
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  29. David R. Hilbert (1998). Theories of Colour. In Edward Craig (ed.), The Encyclopdia of Philosophy. Routledge.
    The world as perceived by human beings is full of colour. The world as described by physical scientists is composed of colourless particles and fields. Philosophical theories of colour since the scientific revolution have been primarily driven by a desire to harmonize these two apparently conflicting pictures of the world. Any adequate theory of colour has to be consistent with the characteristics of colour as perceived without contradicting the deliverances of the physical sciences. Given this conception of the aim of (...)
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  30. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (1997). Colors and Reflectances. In Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (eds.), Readings on Color, Volume 1: The Philosophy of Color. Mit Press.
    When we open our eyes, the world seems full of colored opaque objects, light sources, and transparent volumes. One historically popular view, _eliminativism_, is that the world is not in this respect as it appears to be: nothing has any color. Color _realism_, the denial of eliminativism, comes in three mutually exclusive varieties, which may be taken to exhaust the space of plausible realist theories. Acccording to _dispositionalism_, colors are _psychological_ dispositions: dispositions to produce certain kinds of visual experiences. According (...)
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  31. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (1997). Glossary of Color Science. In A. Byrne & D. R. Hilbert (eds.), Readings on Color, Volume 2: The Science of Color. Mit Press.
    Anomaloscope An instrument used for detecting anomalies of color vision. The test subject adjusts the ratio of two monochromatic lights to form a match with a third monochromatic light. The most common form of this procedure involves a Rayleigh match: a match between a mixture of monochromatic green and red lights, and a monochromatic yellow light. Normal subjects will choose a matching ratio of red to green light that falls within a fairly narrow range of values. Subjects with anomalous color (...)
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  32. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (1997). Introduction. In Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (eds.), The Philosophy of Color. The Mit Press.
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  33. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (eds.) (1997). Phenomenal Character. Mit Press.
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  34. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (1997). Readings on Color, Volume 1: The Philosophy of Color. MIT Press.
  35. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (1997). Readings on Color, Volume 2: The Science of Color. MIT Press.
     
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  36. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (eds.) (1997). Readings on Color: The Philosophy of Color Vol. I. The Mit Press.
    "This admirable volume of readings is the first of a pair: the editors are to be applauded for placing the philosophy of color exactly where it should go, in ...
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  37. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (eds.) (1997). Readings on Color: The Science of Color. A Bradford Book.
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  38. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (eds.) (1997). The Philosophy of Color. The Mit Press.
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  39. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (1997). Unique Hues. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (2):184-185.
    Saunders & van Brakel argue, inter alia, that there is for the claim that there are four unique hues (red, green, blue, and yellow), and that there are two corresponding opponent processes. We argue that this is quite mistaken.
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  40. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (1995). Perception and Causation. Journal of Philosophy 92 (6):323-329.
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  41. David R. Hilbert (1993). Comments on Anthropomorphism. Philosophical Studies 69 (2-3):123-127.
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  42. David R. Hilbert (1992). What is Color Vision? Philosophical Studies 68 (3):351-70.
    There are serious reasons for accepting each of these propositions individually but there are apparently insurmountable difficulties with accepting all three of them simultaneously if we assume that color is a single property. 1) and 2) together seem to imply that there is some property which all organisms with color vision can see and 3) seems to imply that there can be no such property. If these implications really are valid then one or more of these propositions will have to (...)
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  43. David R. Hilbert (1987). Color and Color Perception: A Study in Anthropocentric Realism. Csli Press.