Journal of Logic, Language and Information

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 391–420 | Cite as

Vagueness and Order Effects in Color Categorization

Article

Abstract

This paper proposes an experimental investigation of the use of vague predicates in dynamic sorites. We present the results of two studies in which subjects had to categorize colored squares at the borderline between two color categories (Green vs. Blue, Yellow vs. Orange). Our main aim was to probe for hysteresis in the ordered transitions between the respective colors, namely for the longer persistence of the initial category. Our main finding is a reverse phenomenon of enhanced contrast (i.e. negative hysteresis), present in two different tasks, a comparative task involving two color names, and a yes/no task involving a single color name, but not found in a corresponding color matching task. We propose an optimality-theoretic explanation of this effect in terms of the strict-tolerant framework of Cobreros et al. (J Philos Log 1–39, 2012), in which borderline cases are characterized in a dual manner in terms of overlap between tolerant extensions, and underlap between strict extensions.

Keywords

Vagueness Borderline cases Dynamic sorites  Color categorization Hysteresis Enhanced contrast Order effects  Strict-tolerant semantics Contextualism Contradictions 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Egré
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vincent de Gardelle
    • 3
  • David Ripley
    • 4
  1. 1.Institut Jean-Nicod (CNRS-ENS-EHESS) ParisFrance
  2. 2.NYU, Department of PhilosophyNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Psychologie de la PerceptionUniversite Paris Descartes, CNRSParisFrance
  4. 4.University of ConnecticutDepartment of PhilosophyStorrsUSA

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