Don Dedrick | College of Arts

Don Dedrick

Don Dedrick picture
Associate Professor
Phone number: 
519-824-4120 x53203
Room 329 MacKinnon Bldg.


B.A. (1982), M.A. (1984) Carleton University
Ph.D. (1993) University of Toronto

Research and Teaching

Google Scholar

Colour perception and categorization, cognitive science and its foundations, culture and cognition.

Much of my research has been focused on the study of colour categorization (colour concepts & colour language). I am interested in the cognitive abilities that underlie colour naming, and in the ways in which those abilities interact with culturally contingent variables. I have published a book and a number of articles on these topics. I have general interests in the foundations of cognitive science and in the relevance of evolution to culture in a broad sense. I often teach critical thinking (PHIL 2100) and the philosophy of art (PHIL 3050). In the Psychology Dept., I teach courses on Minds, Brains and Machines (PSYC 3280) and Evolutionary Psychology (PSYC 3100).

Teaching in Fall 2018: PHIL 3280; PSYC 3280 Minds, Brains Machines.
Teaching in Winter 2019: TBA

Graduate Supervision: I'd like to talk to MA and PhD students that are interested in cognitive science and its foundations, culture and cognition, evolutionary psychology, and the philosophy of art. I am always interested in the intersection of philosophy and other disciplines and practices such as psychology, biology, cognitive science, and art. Recently, I've taught senior/graduate courses on free-will and neuroscience, experimental philosophy, evolutionary aesthetics, and the psychological origin of concepts.




Computation, Cognition, and Pylyshyn.
Don Dedrick, Lana Trick (Eds.). MIT Press, 2009.

Anthropology of Color.
Robert MacLaury, Galina Paramei, Don Dedrick (Eds.). John Benjamins, 2007.

Naming the Rainbow: Colour Language, Colour Science, and Culture. 
Synthese Library/Volume 274. Kluwer, 1998.



"Colour, colour language, and culture." Routledge Handbook to the Philosophy of Colour. Ed. D. Brown and F. Macpherson. Routledge (2018 in press).

"Some philosophical questions about colour." Handbook of colour psychology. Andrew J. Elliot, Mark Fairchild and Anna Franklin, (Eds.). Cambridge University Press (2015)

"Color language, thought, and culture." F. Sharifiian (Ed.), Routledge handbook to mind, language and culture. Routledge (2015).

"Bornstein's paradox (redux)." Wendy Anderson, Carole P. Biggam, Carole Hough, Christian Kay (Eds.), Colour studies: A broad spectrum. John Benjamins (2014).

Review of The semantics of colour: A historical approach. Carole P. Biggam. Cambridge University Press. Language, v.89, n.4, (2013).

"The Phenomenology of Color." Encyclopedia of color science and technology. R. Luo (Ed.) Springer Verlag (2012).

Reed-Jones, J.G., Dedrick, D., & Trick, L.M. “Blindsight and enumeration: A case study” (abstract). Journal of Vision, n.8 (2010).

Dedrick, D., and Paramei, G. "Color naming research in its many forms and guises." (Introduction to the volume). In Anthropology of Color, MacLaury, R., Paramei, G., and Dedrick , D. (Eds.) John Benjamins, (2007).

Jameson, K. A., Bimler, D., Dedrick, D., & Roberson, D. "Considering the prevalence of the Stimulus Error in Color Naming Research." The Journal of Cognition and Culture, 7 (2007).

"Explanation(s) and the patterning of basic colour words across languages and speakers." Progress in Colour Studies, Volume II. Psychological aspects. Edited by Nicola Pitchford and Carole P. Biggam. John Benjamins (2006).

"Color, color terms, categorization, culture." The Journal of Cognition and Culture (2005).

"Explanation and color naming research." Cross Cultural Research (2005).

"Productance physicalism and a posteriori necessity," Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26, 01 (2003).

"The Routes/Roots of Color Term Reference," in Theories, Technologies, Instrumentalities of Color, ed. B. Saunders, University Press of America. (2002).

"Whatever... A Reply to Albahari." Dialogue XL. (2001).

"The Foundations of the Universalist tradition in Color-Naming Research (and their supposed refutation)." Philosophy of the Social Sciences, V.28 No. 2. (1998)

"Some Potential Sources of Prejudice in Science, with Reference to the Social Sciences," in Le Discours Scientifique comme porteur de Prejuges, ed. A. Goldschlager and C. Thompson. Mestengo Press (1998).

"Culture in cognitive science." Behavioural and Brain Sciences. v. 21. (1998)

"Colour Categorization and the Space Between Perception and Language." Behavioral and Brain Sciences. v20 (1997).

"Colour Language Universality and Evolution: On the Explanation for Basic Color Terms." Philosophical Psychology 9 (1996)

"Can Colour be Reduced to Anything?" Philosophy of Science : Philosophy of Science Association 96 Supplementary Issue, Part I: Contributed Papers 63 (1996).

"Objectivism and the Evolutionary Value of Color Vision." Dialogue XXXIV (1995)

"The New Naturalism."  Metaphilosophy 24  (1993) .



2013. LEH (Learning Enhancement Fund), University of Guelph. "Logic in context." $12,900.

2005-2008. SSHRC Standard Research Grant. "Cognition and Colour." $59,759.

2005. SSHRC Workshop Grant. "Zencon: The work of Zenon Pylyshyn." $16,713.