© 2017

How Colours Matter to Philosophy

  • Marcos Silva


  • Examines the logical and linguistic aspects of colours as philosophical problems

  • Offers a historically informed discussion of colours

  • Coverage bridges continental and analytic philosophy


Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 388)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. History of Philosophy

  3. Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 123-123
    2. Kevin Mulligan
      Pages 125-136
    3. Peter W. Ross
      Pages 137-158
    4. Nicholas Unwin
      Pages 159-174
    5. Bernardo Ainbinder
      Pages 175-193
    6. Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer
      Pages 195-213
  4. Philosophy of Language and Philosophy of Logic

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 223-223
    2. Graham Priest
      Pages 225-236
    3. Jean-Yves Beziau
      Pages 273-288

About this book


This edited volume explores the different and seminal ways colours matter to philosophy. Each chapter provides an insightful analysis of one or more cases in which colours raise philosophical problems in different areas and periods of philosophy. 

This historically informed discussion examines both logical and linguistic aspects, covering such areas as the mind, aesthetics and the foundations of mathematics. The international contributors look at traditional epistemological and metaphysical issues on the subjectivity and objectivity of colours. In addition, they also assess phenomenological problems typical of the continental tradition and contemporary problems in the philosophy of mind. The chapters include coverage of such topics as Newton’s and Goethe’s theory of light and colours, how primary qualities are qualitative and colours are primary, explaining colour phenomenology, and colour in cognition, language and philosophy.

 "This book beautifully prepares the ground for the next steps in our research on and philosophising about colour" Daniel D. Hutto (University of Wollongong)

"It is not an overstatement to say that How Colours to Philosophy is a ground breaking publication" Mazviita Chirimuuta (University of Pittsburgh)

"Anyone interested in philosophical issues about color will find it highly stimulating." Martine Nida-Rümelin (Université de Fribourg)

"The high quality papers included in this anthology succeed admirably in enriching current philosophical thinking about colour” Erik Myin (University of Antwerp)

“This is certainly the most complete collection of philosophical essays on colours ever published” André Leclerc (University of Brasília)

“All in all this collections represents a new milestone in the ongoing philosophical debate on colours and colour expressions” Ingolf Max (University of Leipzig)


Cognition Colors Colors and Analytic Philosophy Colors and Hermeneutics Enactivism Geometry of Colors Phenomenology of Colors Philosophy of Colors Philosophy of Paraconsistency Qualia Square of Oppositions Vagueness

Editors and affiliations

  • Marcos Silva
    • 1
  1. 1.Federal University of AlagoasMaceióBrazil

About the editors

Marcos Silva is currently Associate Professor at the Federal University of Alagoas, Brazil. His work deals mainly with Philosophy of Logic, Philosophy of Language and Wittgenstein’s Philosophy. He already presented some topics of his research in several countries, as Portugal, Italy, Belgium, France, Austria, England and Germany. He was already a visiting researcher in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, (2012) in Leipzig, Germany (2013-2014), in Fortaleza, Brazil (2015), and in Pittsburgh, USA (2017).  In 2017, he received the Fulbright Junior Faculty Member award.

Bibliographic information