a1 University of Toronto
In Color for Philosophers, C. L. Hardin argues that chromatic objectivism—a view that identifies colour with some or other property of objects—must be false. The upshot of Hardin's argument is this: there is, in fact, no principled correlation between physical properties and perceived colours. Since that correlation is a minimal condition for objectivism, objectivism is false. Mohan Matthen, who accepts Hardin's conclusion for what can be called “simple objectivism,” takes it that an adaptationist theory of biological function applied to colour is able to surmount the problems Hardin describes. It is Matthen's view that I am primarily concerned with in this paper. I will argue that it entails an overly simple view of adaptive value—as, perhaps, do all objectivist views.