Colour: Some Philosophical Problems from Wittgenstein (Aristotelian Society Series)

  • Publish Date: 1987-12-13
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Jonathan Westphal
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A book for anyone interested in either colour or the primary/secondary quality distinction. What do we mean when we talk about colour? Why can't there be brown light or anything transparent white? Why can green be bluish but not reddish? These puzzle propositions from Wittgenstein's Remarks on Colour are, for the first time, subjected to a detailed examination in an investigation that brings together philosophy, phenomenology, psychology and physics. The issues raised in this discussion are of major importance to the arguments in the Tractatus and are highly relevant to Goethe's Theory of Colours . The author rejects Wittgenstein's grammatical explanation of colour as well as the physicalist's reduction of colours to light emissions of specified wavelengths. If the author is correct, the way we understand what it is to talk about colour will confound most attempts to characterize the divide between mental and physical. This work combines a history of colour science and a sensitivity to issues in epistemology and the philosophy of mind with an understanding of recent colour research.