What makes unique hues unique?
- 150 Downloads
There exist two widely used notions concerning the structure of phenomenal color space. The first is the notion of unique/binary hue structure, which maintains that there are four unique hues from which all other hues are composed. The second notion is the similarity structure of hues, which describes the interrelations between the hues and hence does not divide hues into two types as the first notion does. Philosophers have considered the existence of the unique/binary hue structure to be empirically and phenomenally well-grounded, and the structure has been considered to be primary because this can account for the similarity structure. Consequently, the unique/binary hue structure has played a central role in color philosophy. This calls for the assessment of the justification for its existence carried out in this paper. It is concluded that, despite the prevalent view among philosophers, none of their reasons for endorsing the existence of the unique/binary hue structure are justified. Since the notion of the unique/binary hue structure appears intuitively plausible for many, however, a sketch explaining this intuition is outlined at the end.
KeywordsColor space Unique/binary hues Psychophysics Color cognition
- Berlin, B., & Kay, P. (1969). Basic color terms: Their universality and evolution. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Brentano, F. (1979). Vom Phänomenalen Grün. In F. Brentano (Ed.), Untersuchungen zur Sinnespsychologie. Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag.Google Scholar
- Byrne, A., & Hilbert, D. R. (1997). Colors and reflectances. In A. Byrne & D. R. Hilbert (Eds.), Readings on color, volume 1: The philosophy of color (pp. 263–288). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Byrne, A., & Hilbert, D. R. (2003). Color realism and color science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 26, 3–21.Google Scholar
- Clark, A. (1993). Sensory Qualities. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
- Conway, B. R., & Stoughton, C. M. (2009). Response: Towards a neural representation for unique hues. Current Biology, 19(11), R442–R443. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.04.056.
- Conway, B. R., & Tsao, D. Y. (2009). Color-tuned neurons are spatially clustered according to color preference within alert macaque posterior inferior temporal cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(42), 18034–18039. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0810943106.
- Gage, J. (1999). Color and culture: Practice and meaning from antiquity to abstraction. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Hardin, C. L. (1988). Color for philosophers, unweaving the rainbow. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.Google Scholar
- Hering, E. (1878). Zur lehre vom lichtsinne (on the theory of sensibility to light). Wien: Carl Gerold’s Sohn.Google Scholar
- Kiper, D. C., Fenstemaker, S. B., & Gegenfurtner, K. R. (1997). Chromatic properties of neurons in macaque area V2. Visual Neuroscience, 14(6), 1061–1072. doi: 10.1017/S0952523800011779.
- Komatsu, H., Ideura, Y., Kaji, S., & Yamane, S. (1992). Color selectivity of neurons in the inferior temporal cortex of the awake macaque monkey. The Journal of Neuroscience, 12(2), 408–424.Google Scholar
- Ladd-Franklin, C. (1929). Colour and colour theories. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company Inc.Google Scholar
- Lennie, P., Krauskopf, J., & Sclar, G. (1990). Chromatic mechanisms in striate cortex of macaque. The Journal of Neuroscience, 10(2), 649–669.Google Scholar
- Miller, D. (1997). Beyond the elements: Investigations of hue. In C. L. Hardin & L. Maffi (Eds.), Color categories in thought and language. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Mollon, J. D. (2009). A neural basis for unique hues? Current Biology, 19(11), R441–R442.Google Scholar
- Newton, I. (1704/1952). Opticks. London: Smith & Walford/Dover.Google Scholar
- Stoughton, C. M., & Conway, B. R. (2008). Neural basis for unique hues. Current Biology, 18(16), R698–R699. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2008.06.018.
- von Goethe, J. W. (1810). Zur Farbenlehre (Theory of Colours). Tübingen.Google Scholar
- von Helmholtz, H. L. F. (1867). Handbuch der physiologischen optik (handbook of physiological optics). Leipzig: von Leopold Voss.Google Scholar
- Wooten, B., & Miller, D. L. (1997). The psychophysics of color. In C. L. Hardin & L. Maffi (Eds.), Color categories in thought and language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Wright, W. (forthcoming). Eliminativism. In D. Brown & F. Macpherson (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of philosophy of color. Routledge.Google Scholar
- Xiao, Y., Wang, Y., & Felleman, D. (2003). A spatially organized representation of colour in macaque cortical area V2. Nature, 421, 535–539. doi: 10.1038/nature01372.