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Seeing with the HandsBlindness, Vision and Touch After Descartes$
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Mark Paterson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474405317

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474405317.001.0001

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‘Suppose a man born blind…’: Cubes and Spheres, Hands and Eyes

‘Suppose a man born blind…’: Cubes and Spheres, Hands and Eyes

(p.33) Chapter 2 ‘Suppose a man born blind…’: Cubes and Spheres, Hands and Eyes
Seeing with the Hands

Mark Paterson

Edinburgh University Press

In 1688 the Irishman William Molyneux posed his famous question to John Locke: if a man born without sight, and who already knew a solid cube and sphere through direct tactile experience, was now able to see, would he be able to tell which was which by sight alone, without touching them? The reason Ernst Cassirer called it “the central question of eighteenth century epistemology and psychology” in 1951 is the crux of this chapter.

Keywords:   Molyneux, Molyneux question, Camera obscura, Dark Chamber, Blindness

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