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A Naïve Realist Theory of Colour$
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Keith Allen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198755364

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198755364.001.0001

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(p.93) 5 Causation
A Naïve Realist Theory of Colour

Keith Allen

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers a common line of objection to Distinctness: the Causal Exclusion Argument. According to the Causal Exclusion Argument, distinct mind-independent colours are causally excluded from explaining the occurrence of colour experiences. This is a variation on an argument familiar from discussions of mental causation. It is argued that although we ordinarily believe that colours cause colour experiences, there are reasons to suppose that colours stand in a different kind of causal relationship to colour experiences from that of physical properties like surface reflectance profiles. As well as providing a response to the Causal Exclusion Argument, this difference in the kind of causal relationship that colours and physical properties stand in grounds a further argument for Distinctness.

Keywords:   Distinctness, causal, exclusion, mind-independent, colour experience, mental causation, surface reflectance profile

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