Constraints on colour category formation

Y. Jraissati, E. Wakui, L.B. Decock, I.E.J. Douven

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    This article addresses two questions related to colour categorization, to wit, the question what a colour category is, and the question how we identify colour categories. We reject both the relativist and universalist answers to these questions. Instead, we suggest that colour categories can be identified with the help of the criterion of psychological saliency, which can be operationalized by means of consistency and consensus measures. We further argue that colour categories can be defined as well-structured entities that optimally partition colour space. We provide some empirical support for this claim by presenting experimental results, which indicate that internal structure is a better predictor of colour categories than perceptual saliency. © 2012 Open Society Foundation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)171-196
    Number of pages26
    JournalInternational Studies in the Philosophy of Science
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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