Leibniz on Molyneux's Question

History of Philosophy Quarterly 29 (3):247-264 (2012)
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Might the once-blind recognize shapes familiar to the touch by sight alone? “Not”, replied both Locke and the question’s designer, William Molyneux. Leibniz, by contrast, replied, “yes” to Molyneux’s Question. However, Leibniz’s reason for his affirmative answer has yet to be discussed directly with any depth, a lacuna this paper seeks to address. The main contention of this paper is that Leibniz cannot think that sensory representations based on the sight and touch of shape sufficient for this task, as several commentators have suggested. Rather, I argue that Leibniz’s answer is based on the ability of the once-blind to unconsciously employ “common sensibles,” representations of shape that are independent of sight and touch.



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Brian Glenney
Norwich University

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Leibniz and the Molyneux Problem.Bridger Ehli - 2020 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 2 (1):8.

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