‘Colour Resemblance and Colour Realism’ (2010)

Rivista di Estetica, vol. 43, 2010, pp. 85-108.

Published Version | Final Draft | PhilPapers


One prominent ambition of theories of colour is to pay full justice to how colours are subjectively given to us; and another to reconcile this first-personal perspective on colours with the third-personal one of the natural sciences. The goal of this article is to question whether we can satisfy the second ambition on the assumption that the first should and can be met. i aim to defend a negative answer to this question by arguing that the various kinds of experienced colour resemblances – notably similarities in hue distance, sameness in superdeterminables, and colour resemblances between surfaces, volumes and illuminants – cannot be accounted for in terms of the mental representation of the scientifically studied properties, which colours are best identified with in response to the second ambition.