Perception and the Synthesis of Experience

Wayne Waxman

in Kant and the Empiricists

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780195177398
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786176 | DOI:
 Perception and the Synthesis of Experience

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This chapter examines Locke’s theory on perception. Locke used Molyneux’s thought experiment — whether someone born blind and suddenly made to see could distinguish between a cube and sphere without touching them — to convince his readers of the extent to which visual depth perception is influenced by experience. Locke’s doctrine established the framework in which Berkeley, Hume, and Kant addressed the issues of realism and idealism. Berkeley’s theory of nature is simply the Molyneux problem writ large, while Kant’s theory of nature is a transformation of Berkeley’s, inspired by Hume instead of God.

Keywords: John Locke; perception; Descartes; Molyneux

Chapter.  14013 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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