Perplexities of Consciousness, Chapter One:

Recoloring the Dreamworld

Eric Schwitzgebel

in draft


This chapter treats the rise and fall of the view, widespread in the U.S. circa 1950, that dreams are primarily a black and white phenomenon. I argue that it's likely that dreams themselves did not change over the course of the 20th century, but rather that what changed was only people's opinions about their dreams. The view that dreams are black and white was most likely due to an overanalogizing of dreams to the black and white film media dominant at the time. It's also possible, I suggest, that the contemporary view that dreams are in color -- as opposed to leaving unspecified the color of most of the objects represented -- is also due to overanalogizing to film media. 

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