Record Number : 92375 of 13452

Title : Neurons and neonates : reflections on the Molyneux problem

Description :
'Neurones and Neonates: Reflections on the Molyneux Problem' is an e-text version of an interesting and informative paper by Shaun Gallagher, professor of philosophy at the University of Central Florida. An earlier version of the paper was published in 1996. The paper addresses the "Molyneux Question", which was posed by William Molyneux (1656-1698), and hypothetically asks whether a person born blind, upon miraculously recovering his sight, would be able to recognise at first and by sight alone shapes that he is familiar with by touch. Molyneux thought not, as famously did philosophers John Locke (1632-1704) and George Berkeley (1685-1753). The question is of interest to philosophers wanting to know to what extent our perceptual knowledge and concepts are empirically driven (e.g. whether or not we need experience of something in order to know it), and also to what extent our perceptual concepts are transferable across our different sense modalities. Gallagher in his paper, having introduced the Molyneux Question and summarised reactions to it over the last 300 years, brings to bear recent findings in developmental psychology and in neurophysiology in his attempt to definitively solve it. He concludes, among other things, that our different sense modalities do communicate with one another from the outset, but nonetheless stresses the ways in which experience is a necessary factor in the proper development of our sense faculties. This resource would be of interest to anyone considering the empirical basis of perception, and in particular to those researching the application of contemporary scientific findings to the Molyneux Question itself.

URL : http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~gallaghr/molyneux.html

Controlled Keywords : philosophy; epistemology;

Language : eng;

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