The Columns

Pittsburgh Professor to Speak on The Indecisive Murmur of Color

— by on February 25th, 2016

Mazviita Chirimuuta, assistant professor in history and philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh, will give a lecture at Washington and Lee University on March 4 at 5 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.

Chirimuuta will speak on “The Indecisive Murmur of Color.” The talk is free and open to the public. The lecture is sponsored by the Philosophy Department.

“In my book, ‘Outside Color,’ I defend the idea that colors are not properties of either the objects we see, or of our inner mental states, but instead properties of the perceptual interaction between the seeing subject and the object viewed,” Chirimuuta said. “This proposal invites the objection that colors appear to be stable, intrinsic features of things around us and thus cannot be properties of an inherently changeable activity.

“In this lecture I will discuss how the apparent constancy of color can be understood according to my interactionist views. In particular, I will review some relevant findings from the psychology of color vision and relate them to a longstanding puzzle concerning our experience of perceptual constancies.”

As well as “Outside Color: Perceptual Science and the Puzzle of Color in Philosophy” (2015), Chirimuuta has written or co-written 10 articles, including “Psychophysical Methods and the Evasion of Introspection” (2014), in Philosophy of Science; “Extending, Changing and Explaining the Brain” (2013), in Biology and Philosophy; and “Magnitude of Perceived Change in Natural Images May be Linearly Proportional to Difference in Neuronal Fining Rate” (2010), in Seeing and Perceiving.

She is also on the adjunct faculty of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition and the secondary faculty of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh.