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EECS Publication

Color as a Material, Not an Optical, Property

Bruce MacLennan

We argue that color, in the sense most behaviorally relevant for humans and other animals, includes much than reflectance. For all animals color is an indicator of the substance and state (including internal state) of objects, for which purpose reflectance is just one among many relevant optical properties. Further, linguistic evidence shows that for humans color includes optical (and nonoptical) properties of objects more closely related to the material of the object than is reflectance. Rather than attempting to reduce color to a simple physical property, it is more realistic to embrace the full phenomenology of color experience.

Published  2003-01-01 05:00:00  as  ut-cs-03-501 (ID:207)


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