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The true hue of grue

Gammack, J. and Denby, E. (2006) The true hue of grue. New Ideas in Psychology, 24 (1). pp. 82-97.

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This paper presents a preliminary investigation into color naming decisions, a phenomenon at the boundary of language and perception. An individual with socially anomalous color naming was tested, illustrating a challenge for normative categorizations. Perceptual consciousness of color distinctions exceeds the language terms available in human cultures, and hues in the region between blue and green (grue) are recognized as particularly difficult to name reliably. Decisions based primarily on intentional, context dependent language processes rather than on purely physical perceptual discriminations distinguish elements of individual and social consciousness. Color as a category further allows physical description in terms of light and energy that implies an "objective" or standard consciousness of some reality. Various models and codes for color naming exist, but make different epistemological assumptions in their theories of color vision. These may eventually become reconciled within an interactivist appreciation of consciousness that embraces physical correspondences and subjective intentional biases. "Objective" comparisons against categories identified in color models however potentially allow for intentional phenomena of individual consciousness to be considered in their own right. This paper outlines some relevant theories and initial findings, which we attempt to place against a wider perspective of consciousness studies.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Information Technology
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2006 Elsevier Ltd
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