Color

Edited by Alex Byrne (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
About this topic
Summary The central issue in the philosophy of color concerns the nature of colors—for instance, whether they are physical properties of some sort—and whether ordinary objects like tomatoes and lemons really are colored. Color serves as a relatively tractable test case for a variety of issues in the philosophy of perception, epistemology, and metaphysics.
Key works Perhaps the most influential recent book on the general topic of color is Hardin 1988. Other important books are Stroud 2000 and Cohen 2009. A collection of central papers in the philosophy of color is Byrne & Hilbert 1997; Byrne & Hilbert 1997 is a companion volume on color science.
Introductions For short overviews of the competing theories of color, see the introduction to Byrne & Hilbert 1997, Byrne & Hilbert 2002 and Pautz 2009. For a more substantial introduction see Maund 2008. A useful annotated bibliography is Brogaard 2010.
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  1. Color in Islamic Theosophy.Zahra Abdollah - 2011 - Journal of Islamic Philosophy 7:35-51.
  2. Kathleen Ashley and Marilyn Deegan, Being a Pilgrim: Art and Ritual on the Medieval Routes to Santiago. Farnham, Eng., and Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2009. Pp. 264; Color Frontispiece, Many Black-and-White and Color Figures, and Color Maps. $60. [REVIEW]Barbara Abou-El-Haj - 2011 - Speculum 86 (1):157-159.
  3. Constraining Color Categories: The Problem of the Baby and the Bath Water.I. Abramov & J. Gordon - 1997 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (2):179-180.
    No crucial experiment demonstrates that four hue categories are needed to describe color appearance. Instead, converging lines of evidence suggest that the terms red, yellow, green, and blue are sufficient and precise enough for deriving color discrimination functions and for a useful model constraining relations between color appearance and neuronal responses. Such a model need not be based on linguistic universals. Until something better is available, this holds.
  4. On the Genealogy of Color: A Case Study in Historicized Conceptual Analysis.Zed Adams - 2015 - Routledge.
    In On the Genealogy of Color , Zed Adams challenges widely held philosophical views about the nature of color, exploring the relevance of the history of color science for contemporary debates in color realism/anti-realism and philosophy of mind. Adams argues that the two sides of the contemporary debate on the problem of color realism, Cartesian anti-realism and Oxford realism, are both predicated on an assumption that the concept of color perception is ahistorical and unrevisable. Adams takes issue with this premise (...)
  5. Vision, Light and Color in Al-Kindi, Ptolemy and the Ancient Commentators.Peter Adamson - 2006 - Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 16 (2):207-236.
    Al-Kindi was influenced by two Greek traditions in his attempts to explain vision, light and color. Most obviously, his works on optics are indebted to Euclid and, perhaps indirectly, to Ptolemy. But he also knew some works from the Aristotelian tradition that touch on the nature of color and vision. Al-Kindi explicitly rejects the Aristotelian account of vision in his De Aspectibus, and adopts a theory according to which we see by means of a visual ray emitted from the eye. (...)
  6. The Book of ‘How to Make Colours’ and the ‘Schedula Diversarum Artium’.Luis U. Afonso & Débora Matos - 2013 - In Andreas Speer (ed.), Zwischen Kunsthandwerk Und Kunst: Die ,Schedula Diversarum Artium'. De Gruyter. pp. 305-318.
  7. More Than Mere Colouring: The Role of Spectral Information in Human Vision.K. A. Akins & M. Hahn - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (1):125-171.
    A common view in both philosophy and the vision sciences is that, in human vision, wavelength information is primarily ‘for’ colouring: for seeing surfaces and various media as having colours. In this article we examine this assumption of ‘colour-for-colouring’. To motivate the need for an alternative theory, we begin with three major puzzles from neurophysiology, puzzles that are not explained by the standard theory. We then ask about the role of wavelength information in vision writ large. How might wavelength information (...)
  8. Color Perception: Philosophical, Psychological, Artistic, and Computational Perspectives.Kathleen Akins & Martin Hahn - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
  9. The Peculiarity of Color.Kathleen Akins & Martin Hahn - 2000 - In Color Perception: Philosophical, Psychological, Artistic, and Computational Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press.
  10. Objective Colours and Evolutionary Value: A Reply to Dedrick.Miri Albahari - 1999 - Dialogue 38 (1):99-108.
  11. The Interaction of Color.Josef Albers - 1963 - Yale University Press.
  12. Colors as Universals.Virgil C. Aldrich - 1952 - Philosophical Review 61 (3):377-381.
  13. Color Contingent on Words.Lg Allan, S. Siegel & G. Macqueen - 1987 - Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 25 (5):339-339.
  14. The “Color” of Humanism: Personal Reflections on a Global Reality.Norm R. Allen Jr - 2012 - Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism 20 (1):31-38.
  15. The Colour Sense.Charles Grant B. Allen - 1879
  16. The Development of the Colour-Sense.G. Allen - 1878 - Mind 3:129.
  17. Mr. G. S. Hall on the Perception of Colour.Grant Allen - 1879 - Mind 4 (14):267-268.
  18. The Colour-Sense: Its Origin and Development.Grant Allen - 1879 - Mind 4 (15):415-421.
  19. Development of the Sense of Colour.Grant Allen - 1878 - Mind 3 (9):129-132.
  20. Colour Physicalism, Naïve Realism, and the Argument From Structure.Keith Allen - 2015 - Minds and Machines 25 (2):193-212.
    Colours appear to instantiate a number of structural properties: for instance, they stand in distinctive relations of similarity and difference, and admit of a fundamental distinction into unique and binary. Accounting for these structural properties is often taken to present a serious problem for physicalist theories of colour. This paper argues that a prominent attempt by Byrne and Hilbert to account for the structural properties of the colours, consistent with the claim that colours are types of surface spectral reflectance, is (...)
  21. Colour, Contextualism, and Self-Locating Contents.Keith Allen - 2012 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 12 (3):331-350.
    This paper considers two accounts of the way that colours are represented in perception, thought, and language that are consistent with relationalist theories of colour: Jonathan Cohen’s contextualist semantics for colour ascriptions, and Andy Egan’s suggestion that colour ascriptions have self-locating contents. I argue that colours are not represented in perception, thought, or language as mind-dependent relational properties.
  22. Review of The Quest for Reality, by Barry Stroud. [REVIEW]Keith Malcolm Allen - unknown
  23. Varnas, Colours, and Functions.Nick Allen - 1998 - Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft 6 (2):163-178.
  24. Relating Color Working Memory and Color Perception.Sarah R. Allred & Jonathan I. Flombaum - 2014 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 18 (11):562-565.
  25. On Color Induction with Reference to Color Recognition.Mary Almack & G. F. Arps - 1916 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 1 (5):426.
  26. Jonathan Cohen/Color: A Functionalist Proposal 1–42 Ray Buchanan/Are Truth and Reference Quasi-Disquotational? 43–75 Matthew Davidson/Presentism and the Non-Present 77–92. [REVIEW]M. Almeida & Lucky Libertarianism - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 113:291-292.
  27. Variation of Surface-Colour Judgments in Natural Scenes.K. Amano, D. H. Foster & S. M. C. Nascimento - 2004 - In Robert Schwartz (ed.), Perception. Malden Ma: Blackwell. pp. 65-65.
  28. Alain Mercier, La deuxième fille de Cluny: Grandeurs et misères de Saint-Martin-des-Champs. Grenoble: Glénat, 2012. Pp. 576; many color figures. €59. ISBN: 9782355450082. [REVIEW]Kirk Ambrose - 2013 - Speculum 88 (4):1128-1130.
  29. The Color of Ivory: Polychromy on Byzantine Ivories. [REVIEW]Jefferey Anderson - 1998 - The Medieval Review 12.
  30. Alice Walker – The Color Purple: A Reader's Guide to Essential Criticism.Tiffany M. B. Anderson - 2013 - The European Legacy 18 (3):371-372.
  31. Noël Coulet, Alice Planche, and Françoise Robin, Le Roì René: Le Prince, le Mécène, l'Écrivain, le Mythe. Aix-En-Provence: Edisud, 1982. Pp. 246; 72 Illustrations . F 125. [REVIEW]Denise Angers - 1985 - Speculum 60 (1):219-220.
  32. The Simple View of Colours and the Reference of Perceptual Terms.Gabriele De Anna - 2002 - Philosophy 77 (299):87 - 108.
    This essay deals with the problem of the status of colours, traditionally considered as the paradigmatic case of secondary qualities: do colours exist only as aspects of experience or are they real properties of objects, existing independently of human and animal perception? Recently, John Campbell has argued in favour of the simple view of colours, according to which colours are real properties of objects. I discuss the place of Campbell's position in a debated which was started by John Mackie and (...)
  33. The Simple View of Colours and the Reference of Perceptual Terms.Gabriele Anndea - 2002 - Philosophy 77 (1):87-108.
    This essay deals with the problem of the status of colours, traditionally considered as the paradigmatic case of secondary qualities: do colours exist only as aspects of experience or are they real properties of objects, existing independently of human and animal perception? Recently, John Campbell has argued in favour of the simple view of colours, according to which colours are real properties of objects. I discuss the place of Campbell's position in a debated which was started by John Mackie and (...)
  34. Remarks on Colour.G. E. M. Anscombe, Linda L. McAlister & Margarete Schättle (eds.) - 2007 - University of California Press.
    This book comprises material on colour which was written by Wittgenstein in the last eighteen months of his life. It is one of the few documents which shows him concentratedly at work on a single philosophical issue. The principal theme is the features of different colours, of different kinds of colour and of luminosity—a theme which Wittgenstein treats in such a way as to destroy the traditional idea that colour is a simple and logically uniform kind of thing. This edition (...)
  35. Remarks on Colour.G. E. M. Anscombe, Linda L. McAlister & Margarete Schattle (eds.) - 1991 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    This book comprises material on colour which was written by Wittgenstein in the last eighteen months of his life. It is one of the few documents which shows him concentratedly at work on a single philosophical issue. The principal theme is the features of different colours, of different kinds of colour and of luminosity—a theme which Wittgenstein treats in such a way as to destroy the traditional idea that colour is a simple and logically uniform kind of thing. This edition (...)
  36. Playing Three Color Light's Out with Langton's Turmite.Crista Arangala & Michael O' Brien - 2016 - Complexity 21 (S2):243-248.
  37. Simultaneous Color Constancy.Lawrence Arend & Adam Reeves - 1986 - J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 3 (10):1743-1751.
    Observers matched patches (simulated Munsell papers) in two simultaneously presented computer-controlled displays, a standard array presented under 6500-K illumination and a test array under 4000 or 10,000 K. Adaptation to the test illuminants was limited. The adjusted patch was surrounded by a single color (annulus display) or by many colors (Mondrian display). Observers either matched hue and saturation or made surface-color (paper) matches in which the subject was asked to make the test patch look as if it were cut from (...)
  38. Reply to Campbell.David M. Armstrong - 1993 - In John Bacon, Keith Campbell & Lloyd Reinhardt (eds.), Ontology, Causality and Mind: Essays in Honour of D M Armstrong. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  39. The Expression and Composition of Color.Rudolf Arnheim - 1998 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (4):349-352.
  40. What Makes Unique Hues Unique?Valtteri Arstila - forthcoming - Synthese:1-24.
    There exist two widely used notions concerning the structure of phenomenal color space. The first is the notion of unique/binary hue structure, which maintains that there are four unique hues from which all other hues are composed. The second notion is the similarity structure of hues, which describes the interrelations between the hues and hence does not divide hues into two types as the first notion does. Philosophers have considered the existence of the unique/binary hue structure to be empirically and (...)
  41. Naive Realism and the Problem of Color-Seeing in Dim Light.B. M. Arthadeva - 1961 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 21 (June):467-478.
  42. Introduction À la Couleur des Discours aux Images.J. Aumont - 1994
  43. Color and the Anthropocentric Problem.Edward W. Averill - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (June):281-303.
  44. Toward a Projectivist Account of Color.Edward Wilson Averill - 2005 - Journal of Philosophy 102 (5):217-234.
  45. Perceptual Variation and Access to Colors.Edward Wilson Averill - 2003 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (1):22-22.
    To identify the set of reflectances that constitute redness, the authors must first determine which surfaces are red. They do this by relying on widespread agreement among us. However, arguments based on the possible ways in which humans would perceive colors show that mere widespread agreement among us is not a satisfactory way to determine which surfaces are red.
  46. A Limited Objectivism Defended.Edward Wilson Averill - 1992 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 15 (1):27-28.
  47. Color for Philosophers: Unweaving the Rainbow.Color and Color Perception: A Study in Anthropocentric Realism.Edward Wilson Averill, C. L. Hardin & David R. Hilbert - 1991 - Philosophical Review 100 (3):459.
  48. Color Objectivism and Color Projectivism.Edward Wilson Averill & Allan Hazlett - 2011 - Philosophical Psychology 24 (6):751 - 765.
    Objectivism and projectivism are standardly taken to be incompatible theories of color. Here we argue that this incompatibility is only apparent: objectivism and projectivism, properly articulated so as to deal with basic objections, are in fundamental agreement about the ontology of color and the phenomenology of color perception.
  49. Emmanuel Azzopardi, Coinage of the Crusaders and the World of Islam. Main Photography and Design by Daniel Cilia. Sta. Venera, Malta: Midsea Books, 2006. Pp. 304; Many Black-and-White and Color Figures, 8 Color Plates, and Color Maps. $156. Distributed by the David Brown Book Company, PO Box 511, 28 Main St., Oakville, CT 06779. [REVIEW]Jere L. Bacharach - 2009 - Speculum 84 (1):112-113.
  50. Conclusions From Color Vision of Insects.Werner Backhaus & Randolf Menzel - 1992 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 15 (1):28-30.
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