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Proceedings Paper

Color: an exosomatic organ?
Author(s): Jaap van Brakel; Barbara Saunders
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Paper Abstract

According to the dominant view in cognitive science, in particular in its more popularized versions, color sensings or perceptions are located in a 'quality space'. This space has three dimensions: hue (the chromatic aspect of color), saturation (the 'intensity' of hue), and brightness. This space is structured further via a small number of primitive hues or landmark colors, usually four (red, yellow, green, blue) or six (if white and black are included). It has also been suggested that there are eleven semantic universals - the six colors previously mentioned plus orange, pink, brown, purple, and grey. Scientific evidence for these widely accepted theories is at best minimal, based on sloppy methodology and at worst non-existent. Against the standard view, it is argued that color might better be regarded as the outcome of a social-historical developmental trajectory in which there is mutual shaping of philosophical presuppositions, scientific theories, experimental practices, technological tools, industrial products, rhetorical frameworks, and their intercalated and recursive interactions with the practices of daily life. That is: color, the domain of color, is the outcome of interactive processes of scientific, instrumental, industrial, and everyday lifeworlds. That is: color might better be called an exosomatic organ, a second nature.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 December 2001
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 4663, Color Imaging: Device-Independent Color, Color Hardcopy, and Applications VII, (28 December 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.453010
Show Author Affiliations
Jaap van Brakel, Katholieke Univ. Leuven (Belgium)
Barbara Saunders, Univ. of Cambridge (Belgium)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4663:
Color Imaging: Device-Independent Color, Color Hardcopy, and Applications VII
Reiner Eschbach; Gabriel G. Marcu, Editor(s)

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