Chapter 2. What Is Color and How Did We Come to Experience It?

  1. Rolf G. Kuehni

Published Online: 28 JAN 2005

DOI: 10.1002/0471687448.ch2

Color: An Introduction to Practice and Principles, Second Edition

Color: An Introduction to Practice and Principles, Second Edition

How to Cite

Kuehni, R. G. (2004) What Is Color and How Did We Come to Experience It?, in Color: An Introduction to Practice and Principles, Second Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/0471687448.ch2

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 JAN 2005
  2. Published Print: 8 OCT 2004

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471660064

Online ISBN: 9780471687443

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Keywords:

  • adaptation;
  • consciousness;
  • opponent-color system;
  • perception;
  • philosophy;
  • qualia;
  • vision;
  • visual cones

Summary

This chapter takes an evolutionary approach. Vision in humans is made possible by four kinds of light sensitive cells in the eye. An evolutionary table shows the sequence of the development of the four types, based on genetic evidence. The food hypothesis is mentioned as the likely cause for development of the primate trichromatic system. Normalization and better exploitation of the information from the three cone types is given as the reason for development of an opponent-color system. As yet there is no answer to the question of what color is because of lack of understanding of consciousness. A symbolic character for color is postulated.