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Lieven Decock: Reflectance Physicalism and Contrast Colours

Lecture organized by the Dep of Theoretical Philosophy


I argue that Hilbert and Byrne's reflectance physicalism underestimates the importance of contrast colours. By means of a thought experiment based on spectral compression I submit that reflectance physicalism gets some important phenomenal aspects of colour experience wrong. I provide experimental data, in particular an experiment by Paul Whittle concerning contrast colours, that support my criticism. I conclude with an alternative physicalist colour ontology, namely colour structuralism.


Lieven Decock is lecturer at the philosophy department of the VU University Amsterdam. His research interests are in the philosophy of the cognitive sciences, ontology, epistemology, philosophy of mathematics and the history of analytic philosophy. 

Time and Place

Wednesday, September 7, 15:15 - 17:00 hrs, room Omega

Last modified:30 October 2012 8.39 p.m.