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Shadow-Experiences and the Phenomenal Structure of Colors



It is a common assumption among philosophers of perception that phenomenal colors are exhaustively characterized by the three phenomenal dimensions of the color solid: hue, saturation and lightness. The hue of a color is its redness, blueness or yellowness, etc. The saturation of a color refers to the strength of its hue in relation to gray. The lightness of a color determines its relation to black and white. In this paper, I argue that the phenomenology of shadows forces us to consider illumination as an additional dimension of phenomenal colors. For this purpose, I will first introduce two different interpretations of shadow-experiences, which Chalmers has called the simple and the complex interpretations, and show that they both fail to account for important phenomenal facts about shadow-experiences. I will then introduce my own alternative interpretation based on the idea that illumination is a dimension of phenomenal colors and explain how it can account for these facts.