Volume 12, Issue 3, 2012
In The Red and the Real, Jonathan Cohen defends a relationalist view of color: the view that colors are constituted by relations between objects, perceivers, and circumstances. Cohen’s defense of relationalism is often ingenious, but it also commits him to some extremely counterintuitive—one might say “crazy”—claims. The present paper argues that the phenomena that are captured by Cohen’s ingenious defense of his interesting view can be captured equally well by a more “boring” view. Such a view distinguishes between colors and the ways that those colors appear to various viewers, takes colors to be relatively vague, and claims that other species with color vision simply see other colors. Since the boring view stays closer to common sense on many points, it is to be preferred.