Tohtorikandidaatti Rosenqvist Tiina

30000 €

Color and Competence

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Yksivuotinen

My project is a dissertation in philosophy of perception, focusing largely on color, and consisting of six interconnected chapters. First, I motivate and defend a particular approach to philosophy of color, one that engages with the relevant empirical sciences (visual ecology, neuroscience, psychophysics) from the very beginning, and leads with the question of the function of color vision. Second, I argue that the available data from the relevant sciences supports the conception that the overarching function of color vision is to help organisms see better in general, rather that to see color per se. Third, I show that the existing philosophical theories of color and color perception either entail widespread color visual system failure, make such failure exceedingly rare, and/or struggle to accommodate and explain at least some ordinary color perceptual phenomena. Fourth, I motivate and sketch a new philosophical theory of color perception that avoids the pitfalls mentioned above. I suggest that we understand color vision as being "competence-embedded" in the sense that its overarching function is to enhance and enable the manifestation of relevant (species-specific) competences, and that color experiences are correct when they result from competence-enhancing processing. Fifth, I offer a new interpretation of the early modern distinction between "primary" and "secondary" qualities. I suggest that we understand primary qualities as the kind of properties that we can competently perceive, and secondary qualities as properties that are involved in the exercise of perceptual competences. Sixth, I compare and contrast the color system and the pain system. I suggest that the processing performed by both systems is competence-embedded, but whereas the color system aims at enabling and enhancing the manifestation of perceptual competences, the pain system aims at enabling and enhancing the manifestation of behavioral competences.