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Color Ontology and Color Science$
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Jonathan Cohen and Mohan Matthen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262013857

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262013857.001.0001

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(p.ix) Introduction
Color Ontology and Color Science

Jonathan Cohen

Mohan Matthen

The MIT Press

This book is concerned with the philosophical and psychological theories of color, which traditionally hold on to the idea that colors are, by their own nature, ordered in ways that are phenomenally evident to a perceiver in virtue of one’s experience of them. It has been suggested by W.E. Johnson that the human understanding of “adjectives” such as number, color, and shape, is governed by a characteristic structure. Colors are of a special class in this respect since they are not distinguished by shared characteristics but by a special kind of difference which distinguishes one color from another; whereas no such difference exists between a color and a shape. This “special kind of difference” is an ordering, within which there can be generated certain subclasses via a grasp of the relevant ordering relations.

Keywords:   theories of color, W.E. Johnson, human understanding, adjectives, characteristic structure, special kind of difference, ordering relations

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