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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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How Do Things Look to the Color-Blind?

How Do Things Look to the Color-Blind?

(p.258) (p.259) 11 How Do Things Look to the Color-Blind?
Color Ontology and Color Science

Alex Byrne

David R. Hilbert

The MIT Press

This chapter addresses the question as is posed in the title. In other words, the question being asked concerns the colors represented by a dichromat’s experience. 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, the 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.

Keywords:   colors, dichromat, color-vision defects, human color vision, dichromacy, trichromatic, visible properties, external objects, color-blind

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