Ishani was discussing the following kind of example, and I wanted to get feedback from others who might have clearer intuitions than I.
Billy lives in a house that is painted red on the outside, but every room is painted bright yellow. To get a sense of how yellow, imagine every room looks like this
except without Dizzee Rascal, and with yellow floors. His house is yellow.
Suzy lives in a house that has a perfectly normal, white walls brown wooden floors interior, but every part of the outside is yellow. When driving down the street, people often look out and say That house is yellow.
No other house on the street has a yellow exterior or a yellow interior.
Question: How many yellow houses are there on the street?
My sense is that we can’t say two here. There is a context where we can say that Billy’s house is yellow. And there’s a context where we can say that Suzy’s house is yellow. But there’s no context where we can say that both houses are yellow. That strongly suggests that there’s something funny going on with the meaning of ‘yellow’, possibly something that requires a contextualist solution.
These kind of cases – swapping colour between interior and exterior – can be multiplied easily.
Jack’s car is painted white, but you can’t see that now because he’s been out rally driving, and it is covered with brown mud.
Jill’s car is painted brown, but you can’t see that now because it is literally covered with ice and snow, so if you look at it you only see white.
There’s a context where you can say Jack’s car is brown, and a context where you can say Jill’s car is brown, but not I think a context where you can say Both Jack’s car and Jill’s car are brown.