What, if Anything, is Colored?: Color Perceptions - Color Judgments - Without Color

By: Olivia Ziegler '15

Advising Faculty: Andrew Pessin

In this paper I argue that color does not exist anywhere, physical or non-physical. This will amount to what I call a “double error” theory of color: Not only are we mistaken in our ordinary belief that physical objects are colored, we are also mistaken in believing that we perceive colors at all.

Though color nihilism, as this theory of color is sometimes called, is not entirely new, the version defended here is novel both in its thoroughness and, in particular, in its incorporation of scientific evidence to provide a serious treatment of color experiences, even in the absence of color. It aims to provide a foundation towards future research helping to blend seamlessly the philosophical and the empirical approach to the study of color.

This honors thesis may be read in its entirety at Digital Commons @ Connecticut College.


Related Fields: Philosophy