Locke's Answer to Molyneux's Thought Experiment

History of Philosophy Quarterly 27 (2):165-80 (2010)
Authors
Michael Bruno
Mississippi State University
Eric Mandelbaum
CUNY Graduate Center
Abstract
Philosophical discussions of Molyneux's problem within contemporary philosophy of mind tend to characterize the problem as primarily concerned with the role innately known principles, amodal spatial concepts, and rational cognitive faculties play in our perceptual lives. Indeed, for broadly similar reasons, rationalists have generally advocated an affirmative answer, while empiricists have generally advocated a negative one, to the question Molyneux posed after presenting his famous thought experiment. This historical characterization of the dialectic, however, somewhat obscures the role Molyneux's problem has played in spawning debates within the empiricist tradition. Fortunately, the differences between various empiricist accounts have been widely recognized and discussed among historians of philosophy working on the topic. The focus of the present essay is to develop an interpretation of John Locke's views on Molyneux's problem that best coheres with his other views on human understanding as well as with the predominant scientific opinion about the nature of perception during the period in which he lived.
Keywords Molyneux Problem  Locke  Multimodal Perception
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Two Visual Systems in Molyneux Subjects.Gabriele Ferretti - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 17 (4):643-679.
Molyneux’s Question and the Amodality of Spatial Experience.Janet Levin - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (5-6):590-610.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Real Molyneux Question and the Basis of Locke's Answer.Martha B. Bolton - 1994 - In G. A. J. Rogers (ed.), Locke's Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press.
Molyneux's Question.Brian Glenney - 2012 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Molyneux's Problem.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1974 - Journal of Philosophy 71 (October):637-650.
Molyneux's Question Redux.Alessandra C. Jacomuzzi, Pietro Kobau & Nicola Bruno - 2003 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2 (4):255-280.
Locke on the Intellectual Basis of Sin.V. C. Chappell - 1994 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 32 (2):197-207.
Leibniz on Molyneux's Question.Brian Glenney - 2012 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 29 (3):247-264.
Molyneux’s Question.Robert Hopkins - 2005 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35 (3):441-464.
Do Things Look the Way They Feel?John Schwenkler - 2013 - Analysis 73 (1):86-96.
Locke and the Story of the Studious Blind Man.Richard Gray - 2000 - The Locke Newsletter 31:69-77.
Thomas Reid on Molyneux's Question.Robert Hopkins - 2005 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (3):340-364.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-11-06

Total downloads
113 ( #53,828 of 2,275,182 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
17 ( #23,523 of 2,275,182 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature