The dedication of this book expresses my greatest obligation, for it is no exaggeration to say that, were it not for Francisco Varela, the book would never have been written. The study owes its origin to a conversation the two of us had in the summer of 1986 in Paris. Varela suggested that comparative colour vision would provide a novel perspective from which to examine issues about the mind and perception in cognitive science and philosophy. This work is the outcome of that suggestion and is deeply indebted to my continued collaboration with Varela.
Since that conversation in 1986 the work has developed through two stages. A first draft of certain portions was submitted as my doctoral dissertation in Philosophy at the University of Toronto in 1989; Lynd Forguson, who supervised this stage, deserves special thanks. Then, in 1992, an expanded and more technical version of certain sections of the dissertation was published as the target article (co-authored with Francisco J. Varela and Adrian Palacios) 'Ways of coloring: comparative color vision as a case study in cognitive science', Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1 (1992):1-74. Thirty-three commentaries by visual scientists and philosophers were published with the article, as well as our response. I am grateful to many of the commentators for teaching me more about colour vision. Because of the limits to the length of that forum we were not able to discuss in detail all of the important points they raised, but I have tried to take them into greater consideration in this book.
I am deeply grateful to my family-my father, William, my mother, Gail, and my sister, Hilary; as well as my wife, Rebecca