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in which argument about the ultimate nature of colour has been the focus of attention. By this stage the connection with Wittgenstein’s text has become tenuous. Westphal offers a technical definition of white, and of the colours, in terms of spectral reflectance: “A white surface.. . will always reflect most of the incident light, and therefore it will not darken the light.. .as surfaces of other colours will” (p. 21). There are several graphs to show the different spectral reflectancecurvesof white and other coloured surfaces. A transparent white surface is impossible because it would have to transmit almost all the incident light and at the same time scatter back almost all the incident light (p. 20). Although this isa correct account of the physics of light, Westphal seems not to recognise that we ordinarily have no perceptual awareness of the relation between incident light and reflected light. We cannot see the colour or intensity of light as it passes towards a reflecting surface. We need to set up instruments if we are to measure the reflectance of any givensurface, as opposed to simplyseeing and judging the relative reflectance of different surfaces. This surprising oversight renders Westphal’s solutions largely irrelevant to Wittgenstein’s problems. If there is a unifying thesis in Wittgenstein’s remarks it is his idea that there is a ‘grammar’ of colour. At one point he says: “We do not want to find a theory of colour (neither a physiological nor a psychological one), but rather the logic of colour concepts” [2]. Westphal acknowledges Wittgenstein’s claim, but his arguments are directed towards showing that the idea of a separate grammar or logic of colour concepts, outsideor beyond the scienceof colour, is ultimately untenable. His arguments are at many points daunting in their technicality; little concession is made to the nonphilosophical reader. This is a pity because, while the book is addressed to a philosophical readership, the subject matter isperhaps of wider interest. This is especially the case where Westphal pertinently draws upon physics, psychology and phenomenology to solve the puzzles. The visual artist, like the philospher, needs an understanding of colour that bridges the separate interests of scientific specialists. It is a weakness of Westphal’s study that heisunable to giveanyinterpretation of Wittgenstein’s text that shows it to have an overall unity of thought and some significant (if only incipient) philosophical thesis. If the posthumously published text is merely a sequence of inconclusive notes, then it is hard to see why it should have been the subject of a book. In the light of modern colour science, it is possible to interpret Wittgenstein’s puzzles in a way that makes them seem trivial. Lawrence Wheeler certainlyjudged them to be soin his review of Remarks on Colour when it was first published [3]. Westphal’s book is held together by the development of his own arguments, but they have little connection with Wittgenstein’s ideas. By isolating the puzzles, Westphal implies that Wittgenstein was searching for answers to them. It isjust as reasonable to hold that all his questions are rhetorical and intended to exhibit acoherence in our colour concepts that lies hidden behind the complexities of our language and experience of colour. REFERENCES 1. Ludwig Wittgenstein,Remarkson Colour (Oxford:Blackwell, 1978). 2. Wittgenstein[l] I 22, p. 5. 3. LawrenceWheeler, Review of “Remarks on Colour,” Leonard0 11, No. 4, 335 (1978). SOUND AND SEMBLANCE: REFLEXIONS ON MUSICAL REPRESENTATION by Peter Kivy. Princeton Essays on the Arts Series. Princeton University Press, Lawrenceville,NJ,U.S.A.,1984.235pp., illus. E24.90. Reviewed by Jean-Bernard Condat, B.P. 8005,69351 Lyon Ctdex, France. Professor Kivy’s new book is a coda to The CordedShell,whichappeared in 1980 [l]. That was an investigation into the nature of expression in music. Its companion examines representation in music and, like The Corded Shell, is deeply rooted in eighteenth-century writing about the arts: James Haaris, Johann Adam Hiller, Immanuel Kant, Adam SmithandJean-Jacques Rousseau. The opening chapter discussesthe way in whichtheAristotelian concept of mimesis became transformed into a theory about expression in the hands of the theorists; not the least valuable feature of this book is the unearthing of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9282
Print ISSN
0024-094X
Pages
pp. 461-462
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-04
Open Access
No
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