In On the Genealogy of Color, Zed Adams argues for a historicized approach to conceptual analysis, by exploring the relevance of the history of color science for contemporary philosophical debates about color realism. Adams contends that two prominent positions in these debates, Cartesian anti-realism and Oxford realism, are both predicated on the assumption that the concept of color is ahistorical and unrevisable. Adams takes issue with this premise by offering a philosophical genealogy of the concept of color. This book makes a significant contribution to recent debates on philosophical methodology by demonstrating the efficacy of using the genealogical method to explore philosophical concepts, and will appeal to philosophers of perception, philosophers of mind, and metaphysicians.
"Adams has produced a stimulating and challenging book. It raises a host of interesting and thought-provoking questions." —Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
"Adams's book offers a richly textured history of the interplay between theoretical components in our evolving concepts of color." —Jonathan Cohen, University of California San Diego, USA
"This book is impressive not just because it shows how our ‘ordinary’ concept of color involves incompatible commitments inherited from radically different philosophical theories of color, but because it also demonstrates how awareness of the history of philosophy can completely change how we think about contemporary debates." —Nat Hansen, University of Reading, UK
1. The Problem of Color Realism 2. The Aristotelian Strand 3. The Cartesian Strand 4. Descartes’s Quandary 5. Moving Beyond the Problem of Color Realism