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Within the philosophy of color, there is a dispute between color realism, the view that colors are physical properties that objects possess, and color fictionalism, a species of error theory viewing colors according to which there are no such physical properties that objects possess.
One of the topics in the philosophy of color is the problem of the ontology of color. The questions comprising this field of research are, for example, what kind of properties colors are (i.e. are they physical properties of objects? Or are they properties of their own kind?), but also problems about the representation of colors, and the relationship between the representation of colors and their ontological constitution.
Within the ontology of color, there are various competing types of theories. One way of posing their relationship is in terms of whether they posit colors as sui generis properties (properties of a special kind that can't be reduced to more basic properties or constellations of such). This divides color primitivism from color reductionism. A primitivism about color is any theory that explains colors as irreducible properties. A reductionism is the opposite view, that colors are identical to or reducible to other properties. Typically a reductionist view of color explains colors as an object's disposition to cause certain effects in perceivers or the very dispositional power itself (this sort of view is often dubbed "relationalism", since it defines colors in terms of effects on perceivers, but it also often called simply dispositionalism - various forms of course exist). An example of a notable theorist that defends this kind of view is the philosopher Jonathan Cohen.
Another type of reductionism is color physicalism. Physicalism is the view that colors are identical to certain physical properties of objects. Most commonly the relevant properties are taken to be reflectance properties of surfaces (though there are accounts of colors apart from surface colors too). Byrne, Hilbert and Kalderon defends versions of this view. They identify colors with reflectance types.
A reflectance type is a set, or type, of reflectances, and a reflectance is a surface's disposition to reflect certain percentages of light specified for each wavelength within the visible spectrum.
Both relationalism and physicalism of these kinds are so called realist theories, since apart from specifying what colors are, they maintain that colored things exist.
Primitivism may be either realist or antirealist, since primitivism simply claims that colors aren't reducible to anything else. Some primitivists further accept that, though colors are primitive properties, no real or nomologically possible objects have them. Insofar as we visually represent things as colored - on this view - we are victims of color illusions. For this reason primitivism that denies that colors are ever instantiated is called an error theory.
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If color fictionalism is true, and the world has no colors, should one just stop color discourse, and all the time wear clothes that clash with each other? Prescriptive color fictionalism would say no. In prescriptive color fictionalism, while color discourse is, strictly speaking, false, one should continue using it in everyday life as though color properties do exist.
Color vision became an important part of contemporary analytic philosophy due to the claim by scientists like Leo Hurvich that the physical and neurological aspects of color vision had become completely understood by empirical psychologists in the 1980s. An important work on the subject was C. L. Hardin's 'Color for Philosophers,' which explained stunning empirical findings by empirical psychologists to the conclusion that colors cannot possibly be part of the physical world, but are instead purely mental features.
David Hilbert and Alexander Byrne have devoted their careers to philosophical issues regarding color vision. Byrne and Hilbert have taken a minority position that colors are part of the physical world. Nigel J.T. Thomas provides a particularly clear presentation of the argument. The psychologist George Boeree, in the tradition of J. J. Gibson, specifically assigns color to light, and extends the idea of color realism to all sensory experience, an approach he refers to as "quality realism".[ citation needed ]
Jonathan Cohen (of UCSD) and Michael Tye (of UT Austin) have also written many essays on color vision. Cohen argues for the uncontroversial position of color relationalism with respect to semantics of color vision in Relationalist Manifesto. In The Red and the Real, Cohen argues for the position, with respect to color ontology that generalizes from his semantics to his metaphysics. Cohen's work marks the end of a vigorous debate on the topic of color that started with Hardin.[ citation needed ]
Michael Tye argues, among other things, that there is only one correct way to see colors. Therefore, the colorblind and most mammals do not really have color vision because their vision differs from the vision of "normal" humans. Similarly, creatures with more advanced color vision, although better able to distinguish objects than people, are suffering from color illusions because their vision differs from humans. Tye advanced this particular position in an essay called True Blue.
Paul Churchland (of UCSD) has also commented extensively on the implication of color vision science on his version of reductive materialism. In the 1980s Paul Churchland's view located colors in the retina. But his more recent view locates color in spectral opponency cells deeper in the color information stream. Paul Churchland's view is similar to Byrne and Hilbert's view, but differs in that it emphasized the subjective nature of color vision and identifies subjective colors with coding vectors in neural networks.
Many philosophers follow empirical psychologists in endorsing color irrealism, the view that colors are entirely mental constructs and not physical features of the world. Surprisingly, most philosophers who have extensively addressed the topic have attempted to defend color realism against the empirical psychologists who universally defend color antirealism.[ according to whom? ][ citation needed ]
Jonathan Cohen has edited a collection of essays on the topic of color philosophy called Color Vision and Color Science, Color Ontology and Color Science.
Materialism is a form of philosophical monism that holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental states and consciousness, are results of material interactions. According to philosophical materialism, mind and consciousness are by-products or epiphenomena of material processes, without which they cannot exist. This concept directly contrasts with idealism, where mind and consciousness are first-order realities to which matter is subject and material interactions are secondary.
Nominalism is a philosophical view which comes at least in two varieties. In one of them it is the rejection of abstract objects, in the other it is the rejection of universals.
Ontology is the philosophical study of being. More broadly, it studies concepts that directly relate to being, in particular becoming, existence, reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, ontology often deals with questions concerning what entities exist or may be said to exist and how such entities may be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences.
The philosophy of perception is concerned with the nature of perceptual experience and the status of perceptual data, in particular how they relate to beliefs about, or knowledge of, the world. Any explicit account of perception requires a commitment to one of a variety of ontological or metaphysical views. Philosophers distinguish internalist accounts, which assume that perceptions of objects, and knowledge or beliefs about them, are aspects of an individual's mind, and externalist accounts, which state that they constitute real aspects of the world external to the individual. The position of naïve realism—the 'everyday' impression of physical objects constituting what is perceived—is to some extent contradicted by the occurrence of perceptual illusions and hallucinations and the relativity of perceptual experience as well as certain insights in science. Realist conceptions include phenomenalism and direct and indirect realism. Anti-realist conceptions include idealism and skepticism.
Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary. The term is also used to refer to the ontological status of things, indicating their existence. In physical terms, reality is the totality of a system, known and unknown. Philosophical questions about the nature of reality or existence or being are considered under the rubric of ontology, which is a major branch of metaphysics in the Western philosophical tradition. Ontological questions also feature in diverse branches of philosophy, including the philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophical logic. These include questions about whether only physical objects are real, whether reality is fundamentally immaterial, whether hypothetical unobservable entities posited by scientific theories exist, whether God exists, whether numbers and other abstract objects exist, and whether possible worlds exist.
The philosophy of mathematics is the branch of philosophy that studies the assumptions, foundations, and implications of mathematics. It aims to understand the nature and methods of mathematics, and finding out the place of mathematics in people's lives. The logical and structural nature of mathematics itself makes this study both broad and unique among its philosophical counterparts.
Intentionality is a philosophical concept defined as "the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs". The idea fell out of discussion with the end of the medieval scholastic period, but in recent times was resurrected by Franz Brentano and later adopted by Edmund Husserl. Today, intentionality is a live concern among philosophers of mind and language. The earliest theory of intentionality is associated with St. Anselm's ontological argument for the existence of God, and with his tenets distinguishing between objects that exist in the understanding and objects that exist in reality.
Wilfrid Stalker Sellars was an American philosopher and prominent developer of critical realism, who "revolutionized both the content and the method of philosophy in the United States".
Eliminative materialism is the claim that people's common-sense understanding of the mind is false and that certain classes of mental states that most people believe in do not exist. It is a materialist position in the philosophy of mind. Some supporters of eliminativism argue that no coherent neural basis will be found for many everyday psychological concepts such as belief or desire, since they are poorly defined. Rather, they argue that psychological concepts of behaviour and experience should be judged by how well they reduce to the biological level. Other versions entail the non-existence of conscious mental states such as pain and visual perceptions.
In logic, mathematics, and philosophy, a property is a characteristic of an object; a red object is said to have the property of redness. The property may be considered a form of object in its own right, able to possess other properties. A property, however, differs from individual objects in that it may be instantiated, and often in more than one thing. It differs from the logical/mathematical concept of class by not having any concept of extensionality, and from the philosophical concept of class in that a property is considered to be distinct from the objects which possess it. Understanding how different individual entities can in some sense have some of the same properties is the basis of the problem of universals.
The knowledge argument is a philosophical thought experiment proposed by Frank Jackson in his article "Epiphenomenal Qualia" (1982) and extended in "What Mary Didn't Know" (1986). The experiment is intended to argue against physicalism—the view that the universe, including all that is mental, is entirely physical. The debate that emerged following its publication became the subject of an edited volume—There's Something About Mary (2004)—which includes replies from such philosophers as Daniel Dennett, David Lewis, and Paul Churchland.
The question of direct or naïve realism, as opposed to indirect or representational realism, arises in the philosophy of perception and of mind out of the debate over the nature of conscious experience; the epistemological question of whether the world we see around us is the real world itself or merely an internal perceptual copy of that world generated by neural processes in our brain.
Bastiaan Cornelis van Fraassen is a Dutch-American philosopher noted for his seminal contributions to philosophy of science. He is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University and the McCosh Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Princeton University.
Property dualism describes a category of positions in the philosophy of mind which hold that, although the world is composed of just one kind of substance—the physical kind—there exist two distinct kinds of properties: physical properties and mental properties. In other words, it is the view that non-physical, mental properties inhere in or naturally supervene upon certain physical substances.
An intrinsic property is a property that an object or a thing has of itself, independently of other things, including its context. An extrinsic property is a property that depends on a thing's relationship with other things. For example, mass is an intrinsic property of any physical object, whereas weight is an extrinsic property that varies depending on the strength of the gravitational field in which the respective object is placed. As such, the question of intrinsicality and extrinsicality in empirically observable objects is a significant field of study in ontology, the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being.
Relationalism is any theoretical position that gives importance to the relational nature of things. For relationalism, things exist and function only as relational entities. Relationalism may be contrasted with relationism, which tends to emphasize relations per se.
Michael Tye is a British philosopher who is currently Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. He has made significant contributions to the philosophy of mind.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to metaphysics:
Structuralism is a theory in the philosophy of mathematics that holds that mathematical theories describe structures of mathematical objects. Mathematical objects are exhaustively defined by their place in such structures. Consequently, structuralism maintains that mathematical objects do not possess any intrinsic properties but are defined by their external relations in a system. For instance, structuralism holds that the integer 1 is exhaustively defined by being the successor of 0 in the structure of the theory of natural numbers. By generalization of this example, any integer is defined by their respective place in this structure of the number line. Other examples of mathematical objects might include lines and planes in geometry, or elements and operations in abstract algebra.
Everett Wesley Hall was an American philosopher, known for his advocacy of common-sense realism and his notion of what he called the "categorial" primacy of certain assertions. Hall received his A.B. and M.A. degrees from Lawrence College, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. Between 1929 and his death in 1960, he taught at the following universities: the University of Chicago, Ohio State, Stanford, the University of Iowa, and the University of North Carolina. He also held visiting appointments at Northwestern University, the University of Southern California, and Kyoto University. Hall was the author of four books as well as numerous papers. The books are What is Value (1952), Modern Science and Human Values(1956), Philosophical Systems(1960), and Our Knowledge of Fact and Value (1961). After his death a number of his papers were collected by his colleague, E. M. Adams and published as Categorial Analysis (1964).