Colour Layering and Colour Relationalism

Minds and Machines 25 (2):177-191 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Colour Relationalism asserts that colours are non-intrinsic or inherently relational properties of objects, properties that depend not only on a target object but in addition on some relation that object bears to other objects. The most powerful argument for Relationalism infers the inherently relational character of colour from cases in which one’s experience of a colour contextually depends on one’s experience of other colours. Experienced colour layering—say looking at grass through a tinted window and experiencing opaque green through transparent grey—demands a contextual interdependency of one’s experience of one of these colours on one’s experience of the other. However, most if not all colour ontologies, and core perceptual experiential mechanisms like acquaintance and representation, can accommodate colour layering. It follows that experienced colour layering is consistent with colours being non-relational—this contextual interdependency of colours does not entail the constitutive dependency of one colour on the other. I utilize colour layering to examine the inference from the contextual to the constitutive interdependency of colours as it is employed in a well-known argument for Relationalism. I conclude that our justification for Relationalism is far weaker than Relationalists suggest. I first introduce readers to colour layering, then to Relationalism, and following this focus on the intersection of these topics



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,271

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Colour layering and colour constancy.Derek H. Brown - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14.
Colour Relationalism, Contextualism, and Self-Locating Contents.Keith Allen - 2012 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 12 (3):331-350.
Can the physicalist explain colour structure in terms of colour experience?1.Adam Pautz - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (4):535 – 564.
Colour as simple: A reply to Westphal.Eric M. Rubenstein - 1996 - Philosophy 71 (278):595-602.
Colour Resemblance and Colour Realism.Fabian Dorsch - 2010 - Rivista di Estetica 43:85-108.
A realistic colour realism.Joshua Gert - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (4):565 – 589.
Guest Editor's Introduction.Miriam Solomon - 2005 - Episteme 2 (1):1-3.
Guest Editor's Introduction.Sherry Mou - 2001 - Chinese Studies in History 35 (2):3-10.
Guest Editor's Introduction.Ole Döring - 2007 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 39 (2):3-17.
Guest Editor's Introduction.Wim Redeu - 2002 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 34 (2):3-10.


Added to PP

102 (#166,661)

6 months
9 (#288,926)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Derek H. Brown
University of Glasgow

References found in this work

Color realism and color science.Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert - 2003 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (1):3-21.
The Red and the Real: An Essay on Color Ontology.Jonathan D. Cohen - 2009 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
Colour constancy as counterfactual.Jonathan Cohen - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (1):61 – 92.

Add more references