This paper develops a relational theory of colour constancy. Take the ordinary, intuitive judgement that an object looks the same colour under a change or variation in illumination. The view is that, in a significant proportion of cases, such judgements are adequately explained by approximately invariant perceptual representations of the colour relations between the object and other objects in the scene. In addition to this core feature, I argue that relational constancy involves two further aspects: an awareness of a low-level, possibly pre-attentive cue as to the nature of the change in the scene, and awareness of the qualities of the edges of surfaces. Set in contrast to popular dual-component theories of constancy, the view provides an alluringly parsimonious account of our ordinary perceptual sense of constancy. The view also raises interesting issues concerning the notion of ‘appearance,’ and the relationship between ‘looks’-statements and the representational contents of perception.
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Philosophy of Mind Work-in-Progress convenor: Nicholas Shea