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 roles involving perceptual effects on subjects. Cohen first argues (on broadly empirical grounds) for the more general relationalist view that colors are constituted in terms ofrelations between objects, perceivers, and viewing conditions. He responds to semantic, ontological, and phenomenological objections 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 specificrole functionalist-account by contending that the latter is the most plausible form of color relationalism.
OUP Oxford; June 2009
- ISBN: 9780191570001
- Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
- Title: The Red and the Real
- Author: Jonathan Cohen
Imprint: OUP Oxford
In The Press
In his admirable and engaging book, Jonathan Cohen defends relationalism about color. Roughly, relationalism is the traditional view that colors are constituted in terms of relations between objects and subjects... 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 nearly every rival theory of color. Cohen presents hisideas admirably. This is the most important book on color in some time.
About The Author
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.