Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology

Living Edition
| Editors: Ronnier Luo

Philosophy of Color

  • Barry Maund
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27851-8_236-1


The philosophy of any live topic is a matter of puzzles and problems and debates about their solution. Philosophical debates about color go back to the ancient Greeks, e.g., to Plato, Aristotle, the early atomist Democritus, and many others, and they are still alive. One of the most important reasons why colors are of philosophical interest is that they raise serious metaphysical issues, concerning the nature both of physical reality and of the mind. Central among these issues are questions concerning whether color is part of a mind-independent reality or not and what account can be given of experiences of color.

The Scientific Tradition

Serious thinking about color raises important philosophical puzzles and questions. One of the major problems with color has to do with fitting what people seem to know about colors into what science, particularly physics, tells about physical bodies and their qualities. It is this problem that historically has led the major physicists, who...


Representational Content Color Perception Physical Body Scientific Tradition Color Term 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia