The Myth of the Common Sense Conception of Color

In Asa Maria Wikforss & Teresa Marques (eds.), Shifting Concepts: The Philosophy and Psychology of Conceptual Variability. Oxford University Press. pp. 106-127 (2020)
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Some philosophical theories of the nature of color aim to respect a "common sense" conception of color: aligning with the common sense conception is supposed to speak in favor of a theory and conflicting with it is supposed to speak against a theory. In this paper, we argue that the idea of a "common sense" conception of color that philosophers of color have relied upon is overly simplistic. By drawing on experimental and historical evidence, we show how conceptions of color vary along several dimensions and how even supposedly "core" components of the contemporary "common sense" conception of color are less stable than they have been thought to be.
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