Do we have to be Realists about Colour in order to be able to attribute Colour Perceptions to Other Persons ?

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    One of the main targets of Barry Stroud’s criticism in his recent book ‚The Quest for Reality. Subjectivism and the Metaphysics of Colour’ are eliminativist theories of colour which he regards as a version of the metaphysical project of the unmasking of colours (Stroud, 2000). According to this view, no physical objects have any of the colours we see them or believe them to have. However, although this error theory describes all our colour perceptions as illusory, and all our colour beliefs as false, it cannot deny that we actually perceive colours and that we do believe that physical objects are coloured. Therefore, it has to account for these psychological facts without relying on any assumptions about the colours of things. Thus, the central question for the unmasking project is whether it is possible to acknowledge someone’s perceiving a certain colour or having beliefs about the colours of things without holding that anything anywhere has any colour at all. Contrary to Stroud, this paper defends the view that we can acknowledge that people believe in colours without having ourselves to accept their existence.