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Primary and Secondary QualitiesThe Historical and Ongoing Debate$
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Lawrence Nolan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199556151

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199556151.001.0001

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Colour Eliminativism

Colour Eliminativism

(p.362) 14 Colour Eliminativism
Primary and Secondary Qualities

Barry Maund

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that, with certain qualifications, the right theory of colour is a form of eliminativism. The first qualification is that the subject of colour is complex, and an adequate theory of the subject, likewise, will be complex, containing both metaphysical and semantic theses. Eliminativism, rightly understood, comprises only a part of the story, but an indispensable part. The second qualification is that it has to be the right kind of eliminativism, for there are several varieties. This chapter argues that we can be ontological eliminativists, holding that there are no colours, as ordinarily understood, without being conceptual eliminativists. There are important reasons for retaining the concept, even if it is not instantiated—as well as for accepting a place for other concepts of colour.

Keywords:   colour, colour eliminativism, conceptual eliminativism, ontological eliminativism, transparency, projectivism, colour realism, colour subjectivism

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