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Seeing with the Hands – Blindness, Vision and Touch After Descartes - Edinburgh Scholarship Online
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Seeing with the Hands: Blindness, Vision and Touch After Descartes

Mark Paterson


The ‘man born blind restored to light’ was one of the foundational myths of the Enlightenment, according to Foucault. With ophthalmic surgery in its infancy, the fascination by the sighted with blindness and what the blind might ‘see’ after sight restoration remained largely speculative. Was being blind, as Descartes once remarked, like ‘seeing with the hands’? Did evidence from early cataract operations begin to resolve epistemological debates about the relationship between vision and touch in the newly sighted, such as the famous ‘Molyneux Question’ posed by William Molyneux to John Locke? M ... More

Keywords: Blindness, Vision, Touch, Visual Impairment, Disability

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9781474405317
Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017 DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474405317.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mark Paterson, author
University of Pittsburgh