“Color is its own Reward”

–or so sang Croweded House.  The department here at AU is hosting a conference, “Color and Philosophy”.  Today is the second and final day.

Wittgenstein writes that “colors spur us to philosophize”.  That seems right.  I reckon it is, in part, because colors are strangely phenomenologically mobile.  They seem to move from being ‘in’ us to ‘out there’ and back again.  They seem now existentially dependent upon me, and now existentially dependent upon the object they color; now wholly intimate with me, now wholly indifferent to me.  How can something be such that what it is–say, what it is essentially–is revealed completely even to a more or less casual glance (how can color be, to use Johnston’s term, “revelatory”) and still be something that I know only as a perceiver, as receptive?  Is color that, well, shallow?  And if it is, how can something so shallow, even infinitely shallow, find a place among the deep dark densities of the outer world?

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