For the Tempus-fugitives: Christopher Norris on the Philosophy (and Poetry) of Colour


  • Alice Barale Università degli Studi di Milano


Parole chiave:

colour, antirealism, linguistic turn, poetry


Born in 1947, Christopher Norris is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Cardiff University. He worked first on literary criticism, then on the question of realism and antirealism in philosophy (as a strong adversary of antirealism), on Derrida and deconstructionism and, more recently, on the philosophy of science. In the past few years he has also authored several philosophical poems.

In this issue we present two poems he wrote that are dedicated to color. Color is a recurrent theme in Norris’ poetry. Why? And why does Norris choose, for nearly ten years past, to mainly use poems for his philosophical investigations? Is there a link between his interest on color and this choice he has made?

Moreover: Norris was always a strong adversary of antirealism and the extreme consequences of the “linguistic turn”. Isn’t there a contradiction between this philosophical position and the importance he gives to poetry? Perhaps color can give us a key.

Riferimenti bibliografici

BARALE, Alice, Il giallo del colore. Un’indagine filosofica, Jaca Book, Milano 2020.

CRANE Hewitt, PIANTANIDA, Thomas, On seeing reddish green and yellowish blue, in “Science”, 221, 1983, pp. 1078-1080.

JOHNSTON, Mark, How to Speak of the Colours, in A. Byrne, D.R. Hilbert, Readings on Color, vol. 1, MIT Press, Cambridge Ma. 1997, pp. 226-7.

MACPHERSON, Fiona, Novel Colour Experiences and their Implications, The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Colour, Routledge, London 2020.

NORRIS, Christopher, The Cardinal's Dog and Other Poems, De La Salle University Publishing House, Manila 2013, co-published De La Salle with Seventh Quarry Press, Swansea 2015.

NORRIS, Christopher, Deconstruction and the unfinished project of Modernity, Routledge-Athlone, London-New York 2000.

NORRIS, Christopher, The Folded Lie, Culture Matters, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 2019.

NORRIS, Christopher, For the Tempus-Fugitives: poems and verse-essays, De La Salle University Publishing House-Sussex Academic Press, Manila- Eastbourne 2017.

NORRIS, Christopher, Introduction, in Id., Deconstruction after all. Reflections and conversations, Sussex Academic Press, 2015.

NORRIS, Christopher, Language, Logic and Epistemology: a modal-realist approach, Palgrave, London 2004;

NORRIS, Christopher, Epistemology: key concepts in philosophy, Continuum, London-New York 2005.

NORRIS, Christopher, The Matter of Rhyme: verse-music and the ring of ideas, De La Salle University Press- Sussex Academic Press, Manila- Eastbourne 2018.

NORRIS, Christopher, Minding the Gap: epistemology and philosophy of science in the two traditions, University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst 2000.

NORRIS, Christopher, New Idols of the Cave: on the limits of anti-realism, Manchester University-St. Martin's Press, Manchester-New York 1997.

NORRIS, Christopher, On Truth and Meaning: language, logic and the grounds of belief, Continuum, London-New York 2006

NORRIS, Christopher, A Partial Truth: poems 2015-19, Seventh Quarry Press, Swansea 2019.

NORRIS, Christopher, Philosophy and Literary Theory: Will the Real Saul Kripke Please Stand Up?, Continuum, London 2007.

NORRIS, Christopher, Quantum Theory and the Flight from Realism: Philosophical Responses to Quantum Mechanics, Routledge, London 2000.

NORRIS, Christopher, Resources of Realism: prospects for “post-analytic” philosophy, Macmillan-St. Martin's Press, London-New York 1997.

NORRIS, Christopher, Socrates at Verse and Other Philosophical Poems, Parlor Press, South Carolina 2020.

NORRIS, Christopher, The Trouble with Monsters: poems for dark times, Culture Matters, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 2019.

NORRIS, Christopher, Truth Matters, Realism, Anti-Realism, and Response-Dependence, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 2002.

NORRIS, Christopher, The Winnowing Fan: verse-essays in creative criticism, Bloomsbury, London 2017.

WOLCHOVER, Natalie, Red-Green & Blue-Yellow: The Stunning Colors You Can’t See, in “Live Science”, 17th January 2012 ( blue-yellow-stunning-colors.html; last view July 2020).






Sezione Monografica