Color science and spectrum inversion: A reply to Nida-Rumelin

Consciousness and Cognition 8 (4):566-570 (1999)
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Martine Nida-RĂ¼melin (1996) argues that color science indicates behaviorally undetectable spectrum inversion is possible and raises this possibility as an objection to functionalist accounts of visual states of color. I show that her argument does not rest solely on color science, but also on a philosophically controversial assumption, namely, that visual states of color supervene on physiological states. However, this assumption, on the part of philosophers or vision scientists, has the effect of simply ruling out certain versions of functionalism. While Nida-RĂ¼melin is quite right to search for empirical tests for claims about the nature of visual states, philosophical issues remain pivotal in determining the correctness of these claims.

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Peter Ross
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona


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