Paperback: 268 pages
Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.; Expanded edition (January 1, 1988)
Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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This book is a model example of how to write philosophy. It examines a body of evidence about an aspect of the real world--in this case, about the physics, physiology, psychology, and cultural anthropology of human color vision--and does so with impressive clarity; a completely naive reader could read it and learn more than from most textbooks. It then goes on to explore the philosophical implications of this body of evidence. Here the conclusions are less satisfactory, largely because the author forces things into a framework of objective (= in reality apart from the mind) vs. subjective (= in the mind apart from reality), with no conception of the intentional or relational (in the mind interacting with reality), and thus reaches the unwarranted conclusion that color is subjective. But even given this limitation, his arguments are so clearly presented that the reader is never confused about what his conclusions are or how he reached them; the presentation approaches the honesty of good mathematics. If there is a muse of expository prose this book belongs in her shrine.
Following an able and readable survey of color science (such as it is), the author concludes that, since color doesn't fit anywhere in our science (as presently conceived), it therefore follows that color doesn't exist -- or is, at best, an illusion. Brilliant! Just think of all the troublesome phenomena that might be dismissed in this manner.
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