The phenomenological character of color perception
- Edward Wilson Averill
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
When an object looks red to an observer, the visual experience of the observer has two important features. The experience visually represents the object as having a property—being red. And the experience has a phenomenological character; that is, there is something that it is like to have an experience of seeing an object as red. Let qualia be the properties that give our sensory and perceptual experiences their phenomenological character. This essay takes up two related problem for a nonreductive account of qualia. Some have argued that on such an account there is no room in a physicalist ontology for qualia. Section 1 shows how qualia might fit into a physicalist ontology. The second problem begins with the observation that there is a gap in scientific accounts of color experience; there is no explanation of why the features of the brain that determine our color experiences give those experiences their phenomenological character. Building on the results of Sect. 1, Sect. 2 develops an account of color perception that bridges this gap and shows how qualia give color perception its phenomenological character. To get a grip on the issues involved the paper begins by considering some aspects of a physicalist account of color.
- Abramov, I. (1997). Physiological mechanisms of color vision. In C. L. Maffi & L. Hardin (Eds.), Color categories in thought and language (pp. 89–117). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef
- Byrne, A., & Hilbert, D. (1997). Colors and reflectances. In A. Byrne & Hilbert D. (Eds.), Readings on color: The philosophy of color (Vol. 1, pp. 263–288). Cambridge: MIT Press.
- Byrne, A. & Hilbert, D. (2003). Color realism and color science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 26(1), 3–21, 52–63.
- Chalmers, D. (1996). The conscious mind: In search of a fundamental theory. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Chalmers, D. (2002). Consciousness and its place in nature. In: Chalmers (Ed.), Philosophy of mind: Classical and contemporary readings. New York: Oxford University Press.
- De Valois, R. L., & De Valois, K. K. (1975). Neural coding of color. In E. C. Carterette & M. P. Friedman (Eds.), Handbook of perception: Vol. 5, Seeing (pp. 117–166). Academic Press. In A. Byrne & D. Hilbert (Eds.), (1997) Readings on color: The science of color (Vol. 2, pp. 93–140). MIT Press.
- Hardin, C. L., & Maffi, L. (Eds.). (1997). Color categories in thought and language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Johnston, M. (1992). How to speak about colors. Philosophical Studies, 68, 221–263. In A. Byrne & D. Hilbert (Eds.), (1997) Readings on color: The philosophy of color (Vol. 1, pp. 137–172m). Cambridge: MIT Press. With Postscript: Visual experience (pp. 172–176). References are to the reprint in Byrne and Hilbert (1997).
- Kim, J. (2005). Physicalism, or something near enough. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
- Langton, R. (1998). Kantian humility: Our ignorance of things in themselves. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
- Langton, R. (2004). Elusive knowledge of things in themselves. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 82, 129–136. CrossRef
- Levine, J. (1993). On leaving out what it is like. In M. Davies & G. W. Humphreys (Eds.), Consciousness. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Lewis, D. K. (1997). Finkish dispositions. The Philosophical Quarterly, 47, 143–158. CrossRef
- Lewis, D. K. (2009). Ramseyan humility. In D. Braddon-Mitchell & R. Nola (Eds.), Conceptual analysis and philosophical naturalism. A Bradford book. Cambridge: MIT Press.
- Martin, C. (1994). Dispositions and conditionals. The Philosophical Quarterly, 44, 1–8. CrossRef
- Mollon, J. D. (2009). A neural basis for the unique hues. Current Biology, 19(11), R441–R442. CrossRef
- Palmer, S. E. (1999). Vision science: Photons to phenomenology, A Bradford Book. Cambridge: MIT Press.
- Russell, B. (1927). The analysis of matter. London: Routledge.
- Sacks, O. (1995). An anthropologist on mars: seven paradoxical tales. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
- Shoemaker, S. (1994). Phenomenal character. Noûs, 28, 21–38. In A. Byrne & D. Hilbert (Eds.), (1997). Readings on color: The philosophy of color (Vol. 1, pp. 227–245). Cambridge: MIT Press.
- The phenomenological character of color perception
Volume 157, Issue 1 , pp 27-45
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Color vision
- Visual modeling
- Visual categorization
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Philosophy Department, Texas Tech University, MS 3092, Lubbock, TX, 79409, USA