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The Red and the RealAn Essay on Color Ontology$
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Jonathan Cohen

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199556168

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199556168.001.0001

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The Argument From Perceptual Variation

The Argument From Perceptual Variation

(p.18) (p.19) 2 The Argument From Perceptual Variation
The Red and the Real


Oxford University Press

An argument for color relationalism based on the phenomenon of perceptual variation, which the author considers as the core argument for relationalism is presented in this chapter. Several different forms of this argument are demonstrated and in every instance, the author argues the evidence favors a relational, rather than an anti-relational, conception of color. The chapter begins with an illustrative instance and a general form with multiple instances of the argument. Then, the author extends the argument form to a number of independent factors: inter-species differences, interpersonal differences, and intrapersonal differences. This chapter concludes with an assertion that one should accept a relational understanding of colors. Also, several puzzles about color in the philosophical literature that turn on perceptual variation phenomena and in which relationalism provides an elegant and unified resolution is presented in the latter part of this chapter.

Keywords:   color relationalism, perceptual variation, color, inter-species differences, interpersonal differences, intrapersonal differences, relationalism

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