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The extension of color sensations: Reid, Stewart, and Fearn

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020

Giovanni B. Grandi
Affiliation:
University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus, Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, 1147 Research Road, Kelowna, BC, Canada, V1V 1V7
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

According to Reid, color sensations are not extended nor are they arranged in figured patterns. Reid further claimed that ‘there is no sensation appropriated to visible figure.’ Reid justified these controversial claims by appeal to Cheselden's report of the experiences of a young man affected by severe cataracts, and by appeal to cases of perception of visible figure without color. While holding fast to the principle that sensations are not extended, Dugald Stewart (1753–1828) tried to show that ‘a variety of colour sensations is a necessary means for the perception of visible figure.’ According to John Fearn (1768–1837), two motives appear to be central to Reid's views about color sensations and extension: his commitment to the Cartesian doctrine of the immateriality of the soul, and his attempt to evade ‘Hume's dilemma’ about the existence and immateriality of the soul.

Type
Perception
Copyright
Copyright © The Authors 2011

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