Questions for Discussion

At the 2002 Color Perception: Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives meeting in San Diego, the participants assembled a list of questions about color that they would like to discuss in more detail. This list of questions follows. Between now and the 2003 meeting in Vancouver, participants are invited to submit short (~1 page) answers to any of these questions by email (ascii or html preferred) to (omit text in caps, which reduces automated spam).

I will upload whatever answers I receive to this page for general consumption.


  1. What is the relation between the projects philosophers and psychologists work on when they study color? Do their studies complement one another or are they on different tracks?
  2. Is there a "hard problem" of color consciousness? Should philosophers be interested in it? Should psychologists be interested in it?
  3. Why care about the veridicality of color perception?
  4. What different concepts of color are there?
  5. What is the relation between color experience and color neurophysiology? Isomorphism? Correspondence? Identity? What is the physiological basis of trichromacy? Of color imagery?
  6. Does individual variation in color perception put a strain on our understanding of color experience? Of color appearance? Of color ontology? Does it threaten notions of veridicality?
  7. Why is there color awareness, over and above that of the ability to discriminate among the colors?
  8. What does it mean to say "color vision has the (teological) function F"? Does such a question have empirical content?
  9. What is the relationship between achromatopsia and blindsight for color?
  10. Is there a color categorization scheme that is independent of language?
  11. Why are the color categories disparate in shape and size in color-appearance space?
  12. What wrinkles do we add to the theory of color appearance when we take account of colors like gold, silver, and mother of pearl? Where do colors end and surface properties begin? Can we take care of such qualities just by adding to the dimensionality of color appearance space?
  13. Do dichromats, tetrachromats, and other non-standard color perceivers simply imitate the normal use of color terms? Or can they be said to have the same basis for color categorization that normal perceivers do?