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Real Materialismand Other Essays$
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Galen Strawson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199267422

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199267422.001.0001

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Red and ‘Red’

Red and ‘Red’

(p.101) 4 Red and ‘Red’
Real Materialism

Galen Strawson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues for the claim that although colour words like ‘red’ are essentially ‘phenomenal-quality’ words — i.e., words for properties whose whole and essential nature can be and is fully revealed in sensory experience, given only the qualitative character that that experience has — still ‘red’ cannot be supposed to be a word that picks out or denotes any particular phenomenal quality. The argument rests essentially on the supposition, often discussed under the heading of the ‘colour-spectrum inversion argument’, that two people could possibly agree in all their colour-judgements while differing in their colour experience.

Keywords:   colour, colour words, phenomenal character, colour-spectrum inversion, functionalism, properties, colour experience

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