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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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Relationalism Defended: Linguistic and Mental Representation of Color

Relationalism Defended: Linguistic and Mental Representation of Color

Chapter:
(p.98) (p.99) 4 Relationalism Defended: Linguistic and Mental Representation of Color
Source:
The Red and the Real
Author(s):

JONATHAN COHEN

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199556168.003.0004

This chapter concerns the possibility of reconciling a relationalist metaphysics of color with data about the semantics of (mental and linguistic) color ascription. It aims to offer a semantics that bridges ordinary color ascriptions and relational color properties. In doing so, the solution offered works from both ends of the semantic relation: symbol and world. A context-sensitive semantics for color ascription that made use of both fine- and coarse-grained relational color properties are provided. The author argues that color predicates are pragmatically or semantically enriched in some way by the contexts in which they are uttered. In addition, color attributions pick out relational properties that are typically less fine-grained than those recognized in earlier chapters. Lastly, the author illustrates how the proposal presented here gives the relationalist resources to respond to a number of otherwise pressing objections that have their roots in facts about language and the mind.

Keywords:   color ascription, relational color properties, context-sensitive semantics, color predicates, color attributions, relationalist, language, mind

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