Shoemaker on Qualia, Phenomenal Properties and Spectrum Inversions

Academic Article


  • Sydney Shoemaker's account of color perception attempts to do justice, within a functionalist framework, to the commonsense view that colors are properties of ordinary objects, to the existence of qualia, and to the possibility of spectrum inversions. Toward these ends, Shoemaker posits phenomenal properties as dispositional properties of colored objects. I argue that his account does not in fact allow for the description of a spectrum inversion scenario, and that it cannot sustain a functionalist relationship between an object's color and its phenomenal properties. Shoemaker rightly recognizes, however, that functionalists must come to terms with empirically confirmed intersubjective spectrum shifts.
  • Authors


    Publication Date

  • November 29, 2006
  • Published In

  • Philosophia  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 203
  • End Page

  • 208
  • Volume

  • 34
  • Issue

  • 2