The Red and the Real

The Red and the Real : An Essay on Color Ontology

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The Red and the Real offers a new approach to longstanding philosophical puzzles about what colors are and how they fit into the natural world. Jonathan Cohen argues for a role-functionalist treatment of color-a view according to which colors are identical to certain functional roles involving perceptual effects on subjects. Cohen first argues (on broadly empirical grounds) for the more general relationalist view that colors are constituted in terms of
relations between objects, perceivers, and viewing conditions. He responds to semantic, ontological, and phenomenological objections against this thesis, and argues that relationalism offers the best hope of respecting both empirical results and ordinary belief about color. He then defends the more specific role
functionalist-account by contending that the latter is the most plausible form of color relationalism.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 278 pages
  • 167 x 232 x 13mm | 476g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199692238
  • 9780199692231
  • 2,785,397

Table of contents

1. Introduction: The Space of Options ; THE CASE FOR COLOR RELATIONALISM ; 2. The Argument From Perceptual Variation ; 3. Variation Revisited: Objections and Responses ; DEFENSEANDELABORATION:ARELATIONALIST'S GUIDE TO REPRESENTATION, ONTOLOGY, AND PHENOMENOLOGY ; 4. Relationalism Defended: Linguistic and Mental Representation of Color ; 5. Relationalism Defended: Ontology ; 6. Relationalism Defended: Phenomenology ; ROLE FUNCTIONALISM ; 7. A Role Functionalist Theory of Color ; 8. Role Functionalism and Its Relationalist Rivals ; SUMMARY ; 9. Summary Conclusion ; References ; Index
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Review quote

Review from previous edition In his admirable and engaging book, Jonathan Cohen defends relationalism about color ... his book contains much new material, develops a coherent package, and provides important and thorough discussions of nearly every theory of color. The book is also fun to read. Cohen is a real color enthusiast, and this comes through on the printed page ... Cohen's book provides the most complete and sophisticated case to date that the
considerable benefits of relationalism outweigh its costs. In addition, it contains important and thorough discussions of nearly every rival theory of color. Cohen presents his ideas admirably. This is the most important book on color in some time. * Adam Pautz, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
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About Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan Cohen is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego. He is also a faculty member of UCSD's Interdiciplinary Cognitive Science Program.
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