Analysis 67 (2):162–166 (2007)

Authors
Jonathan Cohen
University of California, San Diego
Abstract
It can happen that a single surface S, viewed in normal conditions, looks pure blue (“true blue”) to observer John but looks blue tinged with green to a second observer, Jane, even though both are normal in the sense that they pass the standard psychophysical tests for color vision. Tye (2006a) finds this situation prima facie puzzling, and then offers two different “solutions” to the puzzle.1 The first is that at least one observer misrepresents S’s color because, though normal in the sense explained, she is not a Normal color observer: her color detection system is not operating in the current condition in the way that Mother Nature intended it to operate. His second solution involves the idea that Mother Nature designed our color detection systems to be reliable with respect to the detection of coarse-grained colors (e.g., blue, green, yellow, orange), but our capacity to represent the fine-grained colors (e.g., true blue, blue tinged with green) is an undesigned spandrel. On this second solution, it is consistent with the variation between John and Jane that both represent the color of S in a way that complies with Mother Nature’s intentions: both represent S as exemplifying the coarse-grained color blue, and since (we may assume) S is in fact blue, both represent it veridically. Of course, they also represent fine-grained colors of S, and, according to Tye, at most one of these representations is veridical (Tye says that only God knows which). But at the level of representation for which Mother Nature designed our color detection systems, both John and Jane (qua Normal observers) are reliable detectors
Keywords color  perceptual variation
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-8284.2007.00668.x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 56,913
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Puzzle of True Blue.Michael Tye - 2006 - Analysis 66 (3):173-178.
Truest Blue.A. Byrne & D. R. Hilbert - 2007 - Analysis 67 (1):87-92.
The Truth About True Blue.Michael Tye - 2006 - Analysis 66 (4):340–344.
True Colours.Jonathan Cohen, C. L. Hardin & Brian P. McLaughlin - 2006 - Analysis 66 (4):335-340.
The Truth About True Blue.Michael Tye - 2006 - Analysis 66 (292):340-344.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

What’s That Smell?Clare Batty - 2009 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (4):321-348.
Tye-Dyed Teleology and the Inverted Spectrum.Jason Ford - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (2):267-281.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Truth About True Blue.Michael Tye - 2006 - Analysis 66 (4):340–344.
True Colours.Jonathan Cohen, C. L. Hardin & Brian P. McLaughlin - 2006 - Analysis 66 (4):335-340.
Olive Green or Chestnut Brown?Rolf G. Kuehni - 2003 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (1):35-36.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
168 ( #56,816 of 2,409,610 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #347,486 of 2,409,610 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes