How do things look to the color-blind?

In Jonathan Cohen & Mohan Matthen (eds.), Color Ontology and Color Science. Bradford. pp. 259 (2010)
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Color-vision defects constitute a spectrum of disorders with varying degrees and types of departure from normal human color vision. One form of color-vision defect is dichromacy; by mixing together only two lights, the dichromat can match any light, unlike normal trichromatic humans, who need to mix three. In a philosophical context, our titular question may be taken in two ways. First, it can be taken at face value as a question about visible properties of external objects, and second, it may be interpreted as the more intangible question of “what it’s like” to be color-blind.

Author Profiles

David R. Hilbert
University of Illinois, Chicago
Alex Byrne
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


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