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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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Role Functionalism and Its Relationalist Rivals

Role Functionalism and Its Relationalist Rivals

(p.218) 8 Role Functionalism and Its Relationalist Rivals
The Red and the Real


Oxford University Press

This chapter compares role functionalism with other forms of color relationalism that have attracted philosophical adherents and argues that these alternative forms of relationalism all have serious drawbacks. Specifically, these forms include color dispositionalism, ecological relationalism, and sensory classificationalism. The author argues that dispositionalism either collapses onto role functionalism or rests on an implausible account of the relationship between dispositions and their bases. Ecological relationalism, on the other hand, falls prey to worries about multiple realization and is committed either to an unacceptable form of idealism or mislocates colors. Lastly, sensory classficationism links too tightly the perceptual classificatory responses of organisms and their subsequent epistemic or non-epistemic actions. With these contentions at hand, this chapter asserts that the role functionalism is the most promising species of relationalist color ontology.

Keywords:   role functionalism, color relationalism, color dispositionalism, ecological relationalism, sensory classificationalism, multiple realization, relationalist color ontology

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