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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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Color Experience: A Semantic Theory

Color Experience: A Semantic Theory

(p.67) 3 Color Experience: A Semantic Theory
Color Ontology and Color Science

Mohan Matthen

The MIT Press

This chapter presents a semantic theory of color experience, on which color experience represents or denotes color properties, and attributes these properties to visual objects. Utilizing the concept of representation is vital to any semantic theory, and in the theory offered here, the semantic relationships operate via the vehicle of a systematic set of similarity relations. Color experience informs us about the external world by means of a semantic relationship—representation or denotation—that it bears to external world properties, and it attributes these properties to external objects. It is further argued here that our understanding of these perceptual relations is innate, and that the similarity relations in question are dynamic in the sense that they are constitutively linked to certain cognitive changes in the perceiver subsequent to color perception.

Keywords:   semantic theory of color experience, color properties, representation, semantic relationships, similarity relations, denotation, external objects, perceptual relations, color perception, cognitive changes

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