The Red and the Real: An Essay on Color Ontology

Paperback | July 9, 2011

byJonathan Cohen

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The Red and the Real offers a new approach to longstanding philosophical puzzles about what colors are and how they fit into the natural world. Jonathan Cohen argues for a role-functionalist treatment of color - a view according to which colors are identical to certain functional rolesinvolving perceptual effects on subjects. Cohen first argues (on broadly empirical grounds) for the more general relationalist view that colors are constituted in terms of relations between objects, perceivers, and viewing conditions. He responds to semantic, ontological, and phenomenologicalobjections against this thesis, and argues that relationalism offers the best hope of respecting both empirical results and ordinary belief about color. He then defends the more specific role functionalist-account by contending that the latter is the most plausible form of colorrelationalism.

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The Red and the Real offers a new approach to longstanding philosophical puzzles about what colors are and how they fit into the natural world. Jonathan Cohen argues for a role-functionalist treatment of color - a view according to which colors are identical to certain functional rolesinvolving perceptual effects on subjects. Cohen fi...

Jonathan Cohen is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego. He is also a faculty member of UCSD's Interdiciplinary Cognitive Science Program.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.52 inPublished:July 9, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199692238

ISBN - 13:9780199692231

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Space of OptionsTHE CASE FOR COLOR RELATIONALISM2. The Argument From Perceptual Variation3. Variation Revisited: Objections and ResponsesDEFENSEANDELABORATION:ARELATIONALIST'S GUIDE TO REPRESENTATION, ONTOLOGY, AND PHENOMENOLOGY4. Relationalism Defended: Linguistic and Mental Representation of Color5. Relationalism Defended: Ontology6. Relationalism Defended: PhenomenologyROLE FUNCTIONALISM7. A Role Functionalist Theory of Color8. Role Functionalism and Its Relationalist RivalsSUMMARY9. Summary ConclusionReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

Review from previous edition: "In his admirable and engaging book, Jonathan Cohen defends relationalism about color ... his book contains much new material, develops a coherent package, and provides important and thorough discussions of nearly every theory of color. The book is also fun toread. Cohen is a real color enthusiast, and this comes through on the printed page ... Cohen's book provides the most complete and sophisticated case to date that the considerable benefits of relationalism outweigh its costs. In addition, it contains important and thorough discussions of nearlyevery rival theory of color. Cohen presents his ideas admirably. This is the most important book on color in some time." --Adam Pautz, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews