How things appear

over 10 years ago

Actually, it's worse than that. As these quotations attest, Western philosophy is used to dealing with ideas of depth and surface, essence and appearance, or basis and superstructure, and this just about always translates into a moral distinction between the profound and the superficial. So where does colour lie along this well-worn path? Well, if colour is make-up, then it is not really on this path at all, and perhaps this is a part of the colour problem. If surface veils depth, if appearance masks essence, then make-up masks a mask, veils a veil, disguises a disguise. It is not simply a deception; it is a double deception. It is a surface on a surface, and thus even farther from substance than 'true' appearance. How things appear is one thing; how things appear to appear is another. Colour is a double illusion, a double deception. It is not just that colour is at the wrong end of a moral opposition; it is perhaps, just beyond the wrong end.

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