Daylight savings: what an answer to the perceptual variation problem cannot be

Philosophical Studies 178 (3):833-843 (2020)
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Significant variations in the way objects appear across different viewing conditions pose a challenge to the view that they have some true, determinate color. This view would seem to require that we break the symmetry between multiple appearances in favor of a single variant. A wide range of philosophical and non-philosophical writers have held that the symmetry can be broken by appealing to daylight viewing conditions—that the appearances of objects in daylight have a stronger, and perhaps unique, claim to reveal their true colors. In this note we argue that, whatever else its merits, this appeal to daylight is not a satisfactory answer to the problem posed by perceptual variation.

Author Profiles

Jonathan Cohen
University of California, San Diego
Eliot Michaelson
King's College London


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