Edited By Antonio Marques and Nuno Venturinha
ANDREW LUGG Wittgenstein on Reddish Green: Logic and Experience 155
155 Wittgenstein on Reddish Green: Logic and Experience ANDREW LUGG Between 1916 and 1950 Wittgenstein regularly discussed ques- tions concerning colour and colour concepts. Initially he was ex- ercised by the problem of explaining why nothing can be two colours all over at the same time, and on returning to Cambridge (and to philosophy) in 1929 after a decade away, he ranged fur- ther afield. He considered other questions – whether colours like red and blue are properly regarded as simple, whether there are three or four primary colours, whether it makes sense to speak of a shade of orange as closer to red than to yellow, whether pure blue is necessarily darker than pure yellow and, especially, why reddish green is impossible even though reddish blue is possible. In writings from 1930 to 1950, including his final discussion of colour in Remarks on Colour, he returns time and again to the thought that reddish green is linguistically monstrous.1 He does not, however, always articulate this thought the same way, and how his thinking about the topic shifted during the two decades is instructive, not least for the light it sheds on his conception of philosophy. When his remarks concerning reddish green down the years are traced out, it becomes clear that common views about his later philosophy are misleading, indeed at variance with what he explicitly states. In the manuscripts that have come down to us, Wittgenstein first refers to the impossibility of something being reddish green 1 It is...
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