Colors as Primitive Dispositions

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


“Primitivist dispositionalism” combines the basic insights worth saving from dispositionalism and primitivism, by taking color to be an “appearance property,” such as your aunt’s looking young, her youthful appearance. Chapter 6 argues that to see a color is to see an appearance property, just as to see your aunt’s youthful appearance is to see an appearance property. A model for appearance properties is outlined here, the metaphysical implications of primitivist dispositionalism are addressed, and it is shown that the apple does indeed look like it was in Eden, namely, “gloriously, perfectly, and primitively red” (Chalmers 2006, 49). The resulting account of color is dispositional, in that there is nothing to being red beyond looking red. Nevertheless, by giving due credit to the phenomenology of color experience that makes primitivism appealing, it offers a way for us to remain on Earth, yet feel like we’re in Eden.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Studies in Metaphysics
EditorsKaren Bennett, Dean W. Zimmerman
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191834196
ISBN (Print)9780198791980, 9780198791973
StatePublished - Feb 2017

Publication series

NameOxford Studies in Metaphysics


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