The location problem for color subjectivism

Consciousness and Cognition 10 (1):42-58 (2001)
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According to color subjectivism, colors are mental properties, processes, or events of visual experiences of color. I first lay out an argument for subjectivism founded on claims from visual science and show that it also relies on a philosophical assumption. I then argue that subjectivism is untenable because this view cannot provide a plausible account of color perception. I describe three versions of subjectivism, each of which combines subjectivism with a theory of perception, namely sense datum theory, adverbialism, and the virtual color proposal, and argue that each version faces serious objections. Considering these three theories of perception to be exhaustive of those available to the subjectivist, I conclude that subjectivism is untenable and that the scientifically motivated argument for this view is unsound. I then offer the diagnosis that the philosophical assumption on which this argument relies is mistaken.



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Peter Ross
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Citations of this work

Color science and spectrum inversion: A reply to Nida-Rumelin.Peter W. Ross - 1999 - Consciousness and Cognition 8 (4):566-570.
Color.Barry Maund - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Qualia and the Senses.Peter W. Ross - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (205):495-511.
Color, mental location, and the visual field.David M. Rosenthal - 2001 - Consciousness and Cognition 10 (1):85-93.

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