Form without Matter: Empedocles and Aristotle on Color Perception

Hardcover | February 28, 2015

byMark Eli Kalderon

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Mark Eli Kalderon presents an original study in the philosophy of perception written in the medium of historiography. He considers the phenomenology and metaphysics of sensory presentation through the examination of an ancient aporia. Specifically, he argues that a puzzle about perception at adistance is behind Empedocles' theory of vision. Empedocles conceives of perception as a mode of material assimilation, but this raises a puzzle about color vision, since color vision seems to present colors that inhere in distant objects. But if the colors inhere in distant objects how can they betaken in by the organ of sight and so be palpable to sense? Aristotle purports to resolve this puzzle in his definition of perception as the assimilation of sensible form without the matter of the perceived particular. Aristotle explicitly criticizes Empedocles, though he is keen to retain the ideathat perception is a mode of assimilation, if not a material mode. Aristotle's notorious definition has long puzzled commentators. Kalderon shows how, read in light of Empedoclean puzzlement about the sensory presentation of remote objects, Aristotle's definition of perception can be better understood. Moreover, when so read, the resulting conception of perception is both attractive and defensible.

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Mark Eli Kalderon presents an original study in the philosophy of perception written in the medium of historiography. He considers the phenomenology and metaphysics of sensory presentation through the examination of an ancient aporia. Specifically, he argues that a puzzle about perception at adistance is behind Empedocles' theory of vi...

Mark Eli Kalderon is a Professor of Philosophy at University College London. He received his PhD from Princeton in 1995. His most recent work concerns color and the nature of perception. He is the author of Moral Fictionalism (OUP, 2005), and editor of Fictionalism in Metaphysics (OUP, 2005).

other books by Mark Eli Kalderon

Moral Fictionalism
Moral Fictionalism

Paperback|Jun 1 2007

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pagesPublished:February 28, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198717903

ISBN - 13:9780198717904

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgements1. Empedocles2. Perception at a Distance3. Transparency4. Color5. Light and Dark6. The Generation of the Hues7. The Eye8. Two Transitions to Actuality9. Form Without MatterBibliographyIndex