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Perceptual Experience$
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Tamar Szabo Gendler and John Hawthorne

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199289769

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199289769.001.0001

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Manipulating Colour: Pounding an Almond

Manipulating Colour: Pounding an Almond

(p.31) 1 Manipulating Colour: Pounding an Almond
Perceptual Experience

John Campbell

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the role that the experience of colour plays in having colour concepts. It is argued that the experience which is relevant to having colour concepts is experience that informs thoughts about what would happen if there were colour-affecting interventions on an object. Thus, the relevant kind of experience is conscious attention to the objects of colours as an aspect on which direct intervention is possible. However, an interventionist account of colour concepts requires that one can, in fact, directly intervene on colour. This issue is addressed by considering Locke's classic example of changing an almond's colour by pounding it. While Locke uses this example to argue for an error in our ordinary concept of colour, the chapter offers a vindication of our common-sense conception of colour, as something on which direct intervention is possible.

Keywords:   causal mechanism, colour, causation, colour conception, colour experience, conscious attention, high-level state, interventionism, Locke, low-level state

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