University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Friday, April 10th 2015
Speaker: Mazviita Chirimuuta, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh
Subject: Ontology of Colour, Naturalized
Refreshments served in Room 275 Nicholson Hall at 3:15 p.m.

Can there be a naturalized metaphysics of colour—a straightforward distillation of the ontological commitments of the sciences of colour? In this talk I first make some observations about the kinds of philosophical theses that bubble to the surface of perceptual science. Due to a lack of consensus, a colour ontology cannot simply be read off from scientists' definitions and theoretical statements.

I next consider three alternative routes towards a naturalized colour metaphysics.
1) Ontological pluralism—endorsing the spectrum of views associated with the different branches of colour science.
2) Looking for a deeper scientific consensus.
3) Applying ideas about emergent properties that have been useful elsewhere in biology.

Sponsored by the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science.

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